The Unbearable Whiteness of Craft Brewing

National Public Radio had a nice piece yesterday on how overwhelmingly white craft brewing is (the fame and stature of Garrett Oliver notwithstanding).  They bore to dorky heart of matters:
"Craft brewing is rooted in home-brewing," [Lagunitas brewer Jeremy] Marshall says. "And if you look at home-brewing, you see nerdy white guys playing Dungeons and Dragons and living in their mom's basement, and I know this because I was and am one of them."
They then quote Steinbart's Duke Geren, who admits that few of his customers are black--but this has a lot more to do with the pasty sheen of Southeast Portland than homebrewing.* I've often wondered (uncomfortably) what the story is with this.  Beer is a universal beverage, right?  Everyone on the planet makes it.  Everyone in America enjoys it.  Yet craft beer?  Mostly white.  Maybe this old explanation remains the best:
White people don’t like stuff that’s easy to acquire.  Beer is no exception.  They generally try to avoid beers like Budweiser, Labatt’s, Molson, Coors, and Heineken because if it’s mass produced it is bad.  No exceptions....  Being able to walk into a bar and order a beer that no one has heard of makes white people feel good about their alcohol drinking palate.

A friend of mine once met a white guy who brought a notebook with him to every bar.  He would then keep a record of all the beers he drank and his experience with them.  He called it his ‘beer journal.’
Which takes us right back to that kid playing D&D, doesn't it?

*The states with the most breweries per capita are Vermont, Oregon, Montana, Alaska, Colorado, Maine, Wyoming, Washington, Idaho, and New Hampshire--with black populations of 1.1%, 2.0%, .6%, 3.7%, 4.3%, 1.3%, 1.5%, 3.9%, .8%, and 1.4%.  So there's that.