As I read this I'm drinking a homebrewed IPA that won a blue ribbon at a recent local comp. Can't get more local than that, right? Well I'm drinking it from a New Belgium glass I got for free just for being an AHA member on a recent visit to the brewery. It was a pleasant experience and they had some solid beers on tap. The iPA I'm enjoying was brewed with hops and malt from the Pacific Northwest. The yeast came from San Diego. The water's local but filtered with an RO filter made who knows where and treated with salts from who knows where. It's carbonated with co2 purchased locally and made who knows where. My point is, beer is rarely a truly local commodity from a standpoint of environmental sustainability. It's great to support any and all local businesses for economic reasons. But if you're supporting the locals for environmental reasons, maybe a local estate winery would be easier to find.
The caring, sharing, lovey-dovey, hippy-dippy, artsy-fartsy image of the professional brewing community is nice but when it gets down to brass tacks it's an extremely competitive profit driven industrial business. Personally I don't have the stomach for going pro. I'll stick to the caring, sharing, lovey-dovey, hippy-dippy, artsy-fartsy world of homebrewing. Drink what ya like. Especially if ya got something local worth spending your money on.