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Home Beer There are no shortcuts

There are no shortcuts

Especially in beer.


Put in the hours.

That’s the one major concept that stood out for me when I read Sam Calagione’s “Brewing Up a Business,” his account of building and growing Dogfish Head Brewery.

He began with a home brewing kit that led to experiment with different batches of beer to impress his friends and family. Eventually, that led to a launching the smallest commercial brewery in the country, where he brewed up a different batch each night.

It was the Malcolm Gladwell 10,000-hour rule in action. If you want to master your craft, you have to practice.

I was reminded of this example recently when I saw news from the opposite end of the beer spectrum. Specifically, there is a Keurig for beer being developed at the same time that powdered beer is hitting the market this summer. Without trying this myself, maybe they both produce an amazing product. But you’d be right to be skeptical.

Maybe the only surprise is that it’s taken this long for the fast food and instant gratification trend has taken this long to reach beer. But craft beer is supposed to be about taking your time, not speeding up. It’s about being “fussed over,” to take a phrase from a macrobrewer.

There is similar trend in exercise to get results quickly, which isn’t new. The concept of 7-minute abs was parodied years ago in “There’s Something about Mary.”

And we know it doesn’t work. Would you have a hard time believing someone who told you that you could PR in a marathon with just five minutes a day of exercise? Of course you would.

Those who are serious about fitness know that it takes time, and it’s a lifelong commitment. You can’t get it with a Keurig for exercise.

And if you want quality beer, you probably won’t get it with powder. There are no shortcuts.

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Tim Cigelske is DRAFT's Beer Runner. (Beer Run•ner [noun]: Someone equally devoted to fine beer appreciation and an active, healthy lifestyle. Ex. "John downed four microbrews at the triathlon finish line. He's a total beer runner.”) Follow Tim on Twitter @TheBeerRunner, and email him at beerrunner [at]

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  • Eric says:

    Tim, I’m just curious why you think the Synek system is such a bad idea. To me, it looks like a way to open up distribution options, don’t really see any downside.

  • Jules says:

    The Synek is a delivery system, not a production one. It promises to keep beer fresh for more time than a growler. Not necessarily ‘instant gratification’ but better kept beer and ideally, money saved by craft brewers in their bottling systems.

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