The tipping point, indeed

A few months agon Jack Curtin used the term “the tipping point” (which comes from Malcolm Glaldwell’s book with that title) in writing about the spread of what those of us around here understandably describe as “real beer.”

And today the Los Angeles Times joins the fray by headlining the story on the cover of its Calendar section “At the tipping point: Roll out the barrel, beer lovers are eager to taste local microbrews.” (Registration may be required.)

This look at how and why Los Angeles has finally come to “get beer” includes a lengthy list of places to drink these beers and a shorter one of brewery restaurants.

“Wine paved the way here,” Sang Yoon (of the Father’s Office, long a bastion for better beer) says. “The success of wine has opened the door for craft beer, as people now have a basic understanding of wine they didn’t have 20 years ago. People are realizing that beer can taste like peaches, or beer can taste like a coffee, or beer can taste like a chocolate milkshake. It’s a far broader palate than wine. It’s like suddenly being handed a big box of crayons.”

This story appears just a day after the Brewers Association announced craft beer sales were up 11% in the first half of 2007 and dollar sales up 14%.

And before we could even get the link to the LA Times posted, this in from the Sun Sentinel in Florida: The Sunshine State is making a name for itself with great craft brews.

What’s next, North Dakota?