Why Are Milk Pours So Triggering?

Opinion piece written by Chadd Balbi, co-owner of Breweries In PA

At over 31,000 members our Facebook group can be a good barometer of what’s going on with Pennsylvania craft beer. With so many members, from all over the commonwealth, you get a strong sense of each individual beer community.

And you may have noticed recently the rise in the “Milk Pour”. There’s no need for us to define it here, we’ve already done so in a previous post. These “glasses full of foam” have been poured for years in Pennsylvania (and decades in the Czech Republic) but are just now starting to gain popularity with many breweries throughout the state.

But, as with most things that gain popularity in craft beer, the topic has become quite polarizing. So much so that it has caused a very strong debate within our aforementioned Facebook group. (Although the word ‘debate’ is used loosely here, as many of the comments below are of individuals who choose to not understand the topic, rather yell unfounded opinions at others).

However, it isn’t just the internet commenters. Our company has even been trolled about the topic by professional breweries as well. (Side note; I’d drink a glass of milk from a brewery, no osteoporosis for this guy!)

And the oddest thing about all this? The pour is just a simple way to get people into a brewery. It’s not the centerpiece of your drinking night, rather a way to enjoy yourself as your evening goes along. As a community, we collectively spent the last year and a half doing all we could to support local and help small businesses survive a pandemic. We finally have something that is motivating customers to get out of their house and spend money at a local business….and there is pushback??? It flies in the face of what we have been fighting for the last year-plus.

I know a lot of the questions/ topics I ask above are rhetorical. I have been in this craft beer game long enough to know that many people just hate popularity in this industry. This week it’s Milk Pours, next week it will be whatever is popular next. It’s not a specific subject that some people hate, rather they hate popularity in general. They’d rather wait in a five-hour line, retrieve their latest limited haul, hold it over everyone’s head and have them bow down to them as their supreme beer overlord. (Too much?) Milk Pours just happen to be the latest topic they’re upset about. Some people would like to have their local brewery stick to the same two IPA’s without getting too big and expanding. (We saw it with New Trail).

Sure, the beer pour might not be for you. No one is asking you to drink it. But to ruin others’ good times because you don’t like something? Is that how far we have fallen? So here’s my advice to all those out there. Shut up, grab a beer (milk pour or not) and let’s all have a good time.

We only get one go-around in this world. Let’s not waste it worrying about things that aren’t that serious. Cheers!

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