Dear Editor,

I don’t know how many times I have been asked, “What is your favorite beer?” I always give some form of this answer:

I don’t have a favorite beer or brewery. I, of course, really like the beers we brew at SBC, and my beer preference changes with my mood, the weather and what I am eating. I do love beer and today’s beer consumer is truly lucky with the awesome selection of great beers. When I started homebrewing in 1986, there were more excellent imports than there were craft beers brewed in the U.S. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to be a brewer. And today it is really exciting to be part of a community of more than 2,000 U.S. craft brewers who are all busting their tales to brew great beers. Michael Jackson (the late beer writer) stated, in one of his last speeches to a large brewing audience, that the U.S. was the best place in the world for great beer because of our mature and diverse craft beer scene. You cannot have a favorite when there are so many great beers and breweries out there.

To see an online poll asking my favorite beer reminds me that there is still a lot of work to be done spreading the word about craft beer. Popularity contests between and/or amongst craft brewers do not tend to help local producers. Sorry for not digging the beauty pageant!

It is our goal at Springfield Brewing Co. to brew a great selection of beers that we believe make our consumers happy. I sincerely hope that when our beers are enjoyed that our customers are happy with their choices. But to pressure our beer-loving friends into choosing a favorite is really an unfair proposition. It’s kind of like asking, “Who’s your favorite musician?” If you really love music, you don’t have a favorite musician.

—Ashton Lewis, Springfield Brewing Co. master brewer and columnist and technical editor