I too used to dislike my hometown. Sure, the town is the county seat, so it's more than just a few buildings at an intersection with a stoplight. It is also home to a small liberal arts college, so it isn't devoid of all culture. And its downtown area did not die the cruel, slow death that the downtown areas of other small Midwestern towns did in the '70's and '80's. Indeed, for a town of its size, my hometown probably has one of the liveliest downtowns in the state.
The Test of the Small Town and move on to someplace vibrant. Someplace larger. Someplace less homogeneous.
So 20 years ago, I left in search of urban life. My search eventually led me to Indianapolis. Admittedly, the city back then wasn't what I was hoping for when I landed there. I'd originally wanted to move to Chicago and often second-guessed my decision to move to Indy during the first five or six years that I lived there. But in many ways, Indianapolis has morphed into a fantastic place in which to live; it finally has much of the culture and vibrancy that I was seeking 20 years ago. I can truly say that I now love the city.
Yet later visits showed me that there's a lot to like about my hometown. It has good schools. It's a great place to raise a family. It has some excellent restaurants and bars. It even has a great brewery. And my hometown has a comfortable familiarity; my family is still there, and good people live there. In short, I've come to realize that the people who decided to stay there were neither stupid nor "too comfortable"; they were wise.
A fair number of craft beer aficionados are like the urban snobs who look down on their hometowns. They're forever in search of the next "big" beer. They often ignore the simpler beers--the pilsners, the English pale ales, the brown ales, the traditional English IPAs, the bitters--the beers that have become the small towns of the craft beer world. I'm thinking of beers like Figure 8's Where Lizards Dare IPA or Broad Ripple Brewpub's Lawnmower Pale Ale. Beers like Lafayette Brewing's Tippecanoe Common Ale and New Albanian's Community Dark Mild Ale. Beers like People's Pilsner and Fountain Square Brewing Company's Workingman's Pilsner. These are still craft beers to be sure. But for some, they're just not exciting enough.
However, just like a big-city dweller can grow tired of the noise, the crowded sidewalks, the rudeness of people, and the strips of concrete that have overrun nature, so too can the big-beer-seeker grow tired of the quest for the hefty barrel-aged beers, the palate-blowing sour ales, and the exclusive ales brewed by a handful of Belgian monks in a remote monastery. Sometimes, simplicity is desirable. After awhile, perhaps the best thing to do is pull a Thoreau and immerse yourself in the craft beer version of Walden.
In the end, passing the test of the small town is not seeing how quickly you can flee it; it's realistically appreciating the good things that the town has to offer.