When Did Craft Beer Become a Hipster Beverage?

by Karl S | Updated: January 15, 2014

Something shocking happened right under my nose….craft beer is now a hipster beverage.

I’ve noticed signs for about the past year. It’s usually an overheard remark at a bar or a reference to hipsters in an article about craft beer. Here’s a perfect example from a CNN post called “Why I Drink Good Beer”. Notice the commenter automatically assumes the author must be a hipster:


And from another news article:

I love reading the comments in articles about craft beer, and the anti-hipster comments from trolls have become much more frequent. I normally shrug it off.

“Strange”, I think. “What are they talking about? They’re getting their stereotypes confused. Craft beer isn’t a hipster thing.”

Well the other day a viral video made it perfectly clear that according to popular culture, craft beer is a hipster drink!

I do think the video is hilarious, but that’s a sidenote. My main reaction is one of confusion. When the hell did this happen? Two points:

Point 1: I thought PBR was the beer of hipsters!?! What happened to this?

Hey hipster dude, you don’t get two beers.

Point 2: We know people from all walks of life drink craft beer. Women drink it, minorities drink it, athletes drink it, nerds drink it. But OK, if I were to stereotype the average craft beer drinker it wouldn’t be a hipster. What would it be? An older white guy. Yep, an older white guy with a 67% chance of having a beer belly.

This conflicts with the media portrayal of the craft beer drinker, but that’s been my real-life experience. Granted I come from the homebrewing world so my experience may be skewed.

Damn you hipsters! Apparently they are taking over homebrewing too!

If I think back to the National Homebrewers Conference, OWGs outnumbered hipsters by 100 to 1. Here, I’ll show you what I’m talking about. This is a picture from the 2013 NHC:


I didn’t cherry pick that one. If you think homebrewing is a hipster thing, you’re waaaay off. I’d like to invite you to a beer judging event as well.

So how did this happen?

I ask you now, where is the hipster & craft beer association coming from? Is it…

  • Based on actual evidence that craft beer is now the preferred drink of hipsters?
  • The media knowing how much people like to hipster-bash and blowing the craft beer connection out of proportion?
  • The fact that a younger demographic is getting turned on to craft beer and a young person + a taste for finer things = hipster? (this association drives me crazy)

Is craft beer’s good name in danger of being tarnished by hipsters?