Beer Utopia friend “Chipper” Dave Butler, author of the Northern Colorado Beer Examiner and Fermentedly Challenged, has an interesting theory about Twitter and other social media replacing the traditional pub.

If the current economy gets any worse, online social media sites like Twitter may soon reduce the need to go out to socialize and have a beer.  As state alcohol laws get tougher each year and the cost of purchasing fine craft beers continue to climb, more and more beer drinkers are opting to stay home to imbibe and turn to online sites to chat with their drinking buddies instead.

Certainly there is a lot of truth in the fact that pubs, and craft brewers in general, are facing rising costs in a faltering economy, but I’m not convinced. Maybe I’m a Pollyanna but I like to think that social media is used more for arranging meet-ups (or “tweetups”) at the pub than replacing it.

Dave also has a list of the top 10 beer enthusiasts to follow on Twitter. Of course, Beer Utopia has a Twitter feed, too: @BeerUtopia. Feel free to point us towards other follow-worthy Tweeters in the comments and weigh in on the social web vs actual socializing debate.