I've never really been a beer guy. Bourbon is more my style. But I had the chance to taste a fresh batch of a locally brewed IPA, and I have to admit it was delicious. The beer was smooth and pumped full of zesty hops and citrus flavor. "'Double dry hopped," the tap room manager said, by way of explanation. That's a brewing technique adds a depth of complexity to the flavor and aroma of the beer.
There was a millennial next to me at the bar, all smug in his fake glasses, blotchy beard, untucked shirt and his beer connoisseurship. He treated me to a lecture on India Pale Ales, or IPAs. Apparently, the English created a special kind of beer for ships bound for India; brewers added extra hops and alcohol to preserve the beer during the grueling six-month voyage.
He nattered on about hoppiness and history for a while. Then, his pal offered a simpler explanation. "Beer is like bread," he offered. "Fresh is best."
Well, that's true in a lot of businesses. As I stood in line for a batch to take home, I thought about the customer we just had in our store in Natick. He'd driven almost an hour to the store to buy a mattress from FCG. With all the mattress stores between his hometown of Hudson and Natick, I was understandably curious why he was such a fan of our mattresses.
He explained: He'd heard that FCG's mattresses are constructed by a third-generation company in nearby Hartford, Connecticut. FCG's mattress maker not only believes in hometown craftsmanship, the company makes it standard practice. All the mattress materials are locally sourced – and workers are hired locally. Even the owners work in the factory.
Most of all, our customer said, "I like the fact that your mattresses are fresh."
What does that mean? Well, when you order a mattress from FCG, our supplier makes it the next day. Unlike our competitors, we don't buy our mattresses from China. Our mattresses aren't stuffed into plastic bags, packed into containers, shipped across the ocean, then jammed into a warehouse for months.
No, FCG's mattress are fresh, just like a great craft beer or an oven-hot loaf of bread. And it doesn't take a snobby connoisseur to know the difference between stale and fresh.