I was very disturbed with your article on the Pizzeria Paradiso’s new Birreria (“The Draft Age,” 5/26). Tim Carman, the writer of this article, is obviously uncultured. In most of Europe—especially in Belgium, the U.K., the Czech Republic, and Germany—beer is treated with much the same, if not more, respect as wine and spirits. It is just as hard to produce great beer as it is to produce these other adult beverages. The United States has started to catch on to flavorful beer. In Napa Valley, there’s a saying in the wine industry: “It takes a lot of good beer to make a lot of good wine.”

U.S. craft-brewed beer saw the largest percentage of growth of any alcoholic-beverage category the last two consecutive years (from 7 percent in 2004 to 9 percent in 2005). If those numbers don’t speak for themselves, I don’t know what will. Obviously, your writer did not do any research on how educated American consumers have become. To call beer a “peasant” product is absolutely absurd. I hope you do better research in the future when you make statements as bold as you did in the article.

Alexandria, Va.

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