Beer Gear Evolution 101

I don’t know too many people who enjoy good beer that do not own a tshirt from their favorite bar, restaurant, or pub.   These are also the shirts that get worn until the printed logos of the places they represent sometimes outlast the places themselves, before eventually fading as well – or worn until the shirt itself is ready to fall apart, looking like the next stiff wind might disintegrate them into dust. I’m no different from other owners of t shirts like these – over the years I’ve collected several tees from places that remind me of good trips, good vacations, and for me also had the one requirement of a decent selection of beer.  These shirts are somehow markers of all these things.

I still buy shirts such as these occasionally, but for a true beer lover, is there a next step in evolution of these sorts of t shirts?  (My girlfriend would now take this opportunity to tell me natural evolution would be to finally put on something with a collar.)  But is there a next step, a more clearly defined symbol of one’s love of good beer?

It would have to be something that speaks directly to the appreciation of the beer itself, right?  A shirt with which the ink, threads, or screen printing knows no loyalty to a particular place, but simply to the beer.  Yes, there is such gear out there.

I first started noticing shirts like this a few years back, being sold out of a booth at Roanoke’s Microfestivus beer festival.  Scott Balthaser  (a.k.a. Saint Obnoxious, Scott’s fictional alter ego) was manning the table, and featured comfy, heavyweight printed shirts mainly featuring classic sayings about beer.  Two years ago I bought my first one, which I still wear with pride today – “The immense importance of a pint of ale to the common person should never be overlooked”, a rule of thumb I have to admit I live every day.   I’ve recently asked Scott to track down another, featuring one of those famous beer related sayings that Ben Franklin may or may not have said.  Scott’s kept in touch, and this has been one of the nicest things about him, he’s been very responsive to my emails.   He and his alter ego St. Obnoxious, which the website refers to as a “bungling, but well-intentioned, beer drinking calligrapher and aspiring T-shirt magnate with a great sense of humor who tries to use his creativity to put a smile on your face”, run the beer lover’s clothing business both at booths at festivals and from the site itself (  There are several different designs, and several different sayings to choose from.  One of my favorites is the shirt sharing the secret “The best beer is where the priests go to drink”.  There are other items on the website as well, such as beads, mugs and caps.  New shirt designs have just been released too.

Barring the occasional collared shirt that you’ll see me in, these t shirts are definitely the next step in beer appreciation gear.  Scott will be back at Microfestivus this summer.  I’ll be there too, probably displaying as well as probably buying more of his products, featuring some classic and true ode to one of the world’s oldest beverages.  The only thing better than a shirt dedicated to a place where the beer is located is one devoted to good beer itself, after all.

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~ by thebeerroad on March 21, 2010.

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