Post-hipster, is it safe to drink craft beer?
I am starting to worry about myself. I wrote in this column some time back detailing how the hipster subculture would be asset-stripped and subsumed into the mainstream. It happened remarkably quickly in the end. Just like everything from pop art to punk to dance music culture before it, hipster followed the usual path of successful subcultures and was rifled by the advertising industry, the music industry, the food industry, the design industry, the tech industry and all the other forces of capitalism. Faster than you could grow a mo or pull some pork, hipster became the new mainstream. Of course, if I were a hipster I would be pointing out that I was saying that about hipster before it was well-known.
Personally, I am worried that now that it is in the mainstream, and it is possible to adopt some of the useful things about the hipster lifestyle, now that it is safe, I am danger of developing hipsterish tendencies. Relax, ladies; I won't be growing a beard or a waxed moustache of any kind. But I have found myself exploring the world of craft beers, to the point where I now find many mainstream beers fizzy and vaguely toxic.
In my defence, I should say that I was always more of a beer man than a wine man. When I travelled, I always found that the terroir and flavour of a place was contained more in the beer than in the wine. I would often enjoy a beer with food, long before there were beer sommeliers to advise on pairing. But I have to admit I had, until this summer, largely avoided the world of Old Witch's Tit and Vicar's Elbow and Rusty MacSullivan's olde ale. You're talking to a guy who wouldn't even let a pint of stout past his lips for many years. I did indulge in a couple of India Pale Ale sessions on trips to the UK, but it was all a bit too much like those beardy old losers of the campaign for real ale for my liking.