“…five people come in on Monday and they all taste out their new variation of IPA or their latest Citra-hopped beer and I have to choose which one I’m going to put on.
And the one with the best story is the one that I usually pick.
It’s not necessarily the story of that particular beer, but it’s the story of thE brewery and the story of the brewer and the story of how this particular recipe came about.” – Michael roper // the hopleaf
The Hopleaf is one of Chicago’s best known and most established craft beer bars, initially committed to largely Belgian beers, but now stocking a lot more American craft.
In conversation with Michael Kiser of Good Beer Hunting, Michael Roper, The Hopleaf’s owner, discussed how he decides which of the ever-expanding beer options he chooses to stock.
And what’s most important to him? The beer’s story.
Michael, of course, goes on to caveat that the quality of the beer remains at the forefront (“I’m not going to accept an inferior beer just because the guy has a great story. He’s gotta bring the product up to par. And sometimes I have to say no to some people, I have to break peoples’ hearts.”), but beer storytelling is key in today’s evolving beer world.
I wanted to share Michael’s perspective because it’s a sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with. I think these stories are well worth sharing, which is why I’m here, too.
Having been in this business for more than 20 years now, Michael’s seen the industry change and has plenty of stories to share himself – his episode of the Good Beer Hunting podcast isn’t one to be missed (just make sure you’ve got 2 hours on your hands!).
Is there a brewery or beer story that you think should be told? Leave me a note in the comments and I’ll make sure it gets heard.
Quote source: Good Beer Hunting Podcast // Episode 68