This is slightly convoluted, but bear with me. James Fallows is a writer for The Atlantic–and one of America’s best journalists, with a history that goes back to speech writing for Jimmy Carter. Over the past three years, Fallows and his wife Deborah worked on a project for The Atlantic called “American Futures” that took them around country to small and midsized towns in a single-engine airplane. Their goal was to get a different view of American life than we normally see reflected in the media. It culminated in a cover story in this month’s Atlantic, and includes a lot of insight about what makes America tick. One of the things Fallows noticed was that the presence of breweries seemed to be associated with community vitality.
That led me to write a piece for All About Beer pointing out that breweries don’t appear like mushrooms after a rain in healthy cities. Rather, they’re one of the drivers of health. And now we come full circle as Fallows comments on my piece.
I mention it now on general principles, and because its site now features an interesting piece by Jeff Alworth, author of The Beer Bible, extending my premise that craft breweries have become a no-joke indicator of larger civic revival. This is how he explains it, in a way that rings absolutely true to what my wife Deb and I have seen from Georgia to California to Mississippi to Minnesota.
I bring your attention to this solely for the purposes of self-congratulation. I’ve been reading Fallows for decades, and this may be the only chance I ever have to appear in The Atlantic (never mind how distant this piece is from the print edition). Hey, if you can’t do a bit of the old self-promotion on your blog, you’re doing it wrong.
Thanks for the shout-out, Mr. Fallows–