Craft Beer: A Hard Sell or a Re-Education-in-process

I am a craft beer fan. I want to establish that from the outset. This is not an unbiased piece about whether or not craft beer is the next big thing, that has already been established, in fact I would go so far as to say it is not the next big thing. It is the current big thing. And will remain so for the foreseeable future. The proliferation of Northern Irish craft brewing in the past couple of years has finally permitted me to stock the products I would like to stock and not just those that bar calls demand. The problem for me is, craft beer is not a bar call; at least not yet; not in my bar. I want it to be, oh it’s not for want of trying. 6 months ago the closest my bar got to stocking craft beer was Smithwicks Pale Ale (which can’t decide if it’s blatantly trying to cash in on the craft beer revolution with a poor product, or blatantly trying to cash in on the CAMRA ale drinkers penchant for a well hopped ale…with a poor product). Now I have 10 (at last count) different brands stocked, across draft & packaged. The problem is, nobody is drinking them! Not nobody per sè, but certainly not enough to quantify my passion for bringing them in. A year ago I spent a couple of weeks trying to source as many as I could for an event, and ended up with egg on my face. Aside from Hilden, Whitewater & Clanconnel, there was nothing; save for “importing” from the south, which...