They are much higher quality, cost more, and made in small batches by actual experts who started as enthusiasts and hopped over the counter.
The main offerings are augmented with seasonal and experimental stuff on the side, whose comings and goings have less to do with sales than with making room for the next variations the makers have come up with to try.
Having one is something more than a purchase of product; it’s an exchange, an experience, a connection. You taste the love and devotion in the care and attention to detail.
The makers are generally concerned with your happiness, treating the ingredients well, and doing their biz with those who supply the special and sometimes unorthodox ingredients for the recipes with respect.
Also of concern to them is where your money goes once it’s been exchanged into their hands; many times they are deliberate in spending it towards others who are deliberately going their own way and offering higher quality, even if it costs more. Artisans supporting other artisans… the oft talked about but rarely actually seen “trickle down economics.” More accurately a trickle sideways approach based on a consciousness of how connected we all are in our little life raft lives.
There is pride, but a different flavor of it than over numbers or market segments conquered; more that of a calling fulfilled, a moment made, an idea manifested. Something special birthed into a world full of glossy mediocrity.
Glossy mediocrity has its place and they’re happy that who it works for has it, but it’s never worked for them and they choose not to work for it.
Who are these people and what are they doing? Technically “manufacturing” though their processes and where they do it might look a little more homegrown.
Bigger must appeal to more for the numbers to support it, so some amount of character is compromised and replaced by the shine. While smart business is important for survival, it doesn’t have to be based on watering down what we do.
Such things occur to one sipping on Real Ale “Real Heavy” Scotch ale after a long but satisfying day of helping wood transform into basses and guitars. I’m sure the guys over at Real Ale know the feeling… maybe at the end of their day they plug in something hand crafted with strings.
(Cortobass #342 on the builds page is one to watch – we’re brewing this one up for dealer HD Custom www.hdcustomguitars.com from very old redwood from a very old brewery tank, with a beer-infused finish and other beer-relateds worked in to the build.) Ok, looks like I’d better hop to it!
Thanks for reading. Hope you found it crisp and refreshing.
Listening to: The Stooges – Fun House, Raw Power; Sonny Rollins – Jazz Manifesto; Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
More info on Scott's 2016 monthly album releases at sbeckwith.com.