When creating InkleDeux, we defined who we are. It took a little work to formalize it into something easy to remember, but we came up with The 4 C’s.
Standing tall at the top of the list, the very core of our business, is Craft Beverages.
The term “craft beverage” is kind of a loaded phrase, intentionally.
In the coffee world, its hard to tell what the difference is between craft and specialty coffee. There might not even be a difference. Craft beer is something that has exploded in recent years. These terms change over time and with every shift in the current culture. Think of the word “gourmet.” That word means something 100% different than what we experience. I mean, is a microwave meal ever really gourmet?
I’m going to lay out what a “Craft Beverage” is to us, regardless of what hipsters try to tells us “craft” really means.
Traditionally, craft pertained to a trade and a trade was something you did with your hands. I like to think of wood working. When we see an excellent piece of wood work, we say, “oooo….look at the craftsmanship.” What we are really saying is, “look at that display of skill performed by human hands.”
Our world has changed so much with what machines are able to accomplish, but they can never truly be craftsmen. They lack the spark behind the product that sings the unique song of the creator. There is no satisfaction of seeing someone enjoy the labor of your hands. Machines can never be human.
Therefore, a craft beverage is something made by hand. The craftsman selected the raw material, labored over a product that is unique to that individual, and joyfully shared with neighbors. I should be able to look the creator in the eye and hear the love of what they do in their voice. To have a craft beverage is to have something uniquely human.
The craft beverages we will be tasting and reviewing are currently coffee, beer, and wine. I know cocktails are probably considered craft, because some bartenders are true artists. We want to drill down to the source. Perhaps in the future, we will add spirits, where we can talk to the distillers. They would be closer to the raw materials and creating a base product (rather than mixing multiple base products to make a unique beverage).
If you have any thoughts on what “craft beverage” means to you, or if you have had any experiences in the “craft” beverage world, we’d love to read them in the comments below.