Alright, I have a question for the group. I’ve been drinking beer for roughly 14 years and enjoying the beer i’ve been drinking for about 9, right about the time I started to homebrew. Growing up in Minnesota the beer I started with was either going to be Michelob Golden Draft or Miller High life because at pre-legal to buy beer age this is what was available to us. Once I turned 21, the craft beer available at the local stores was most likely going to be stuff from Sam Adams, Summit Brewery or Schells Brewery in New Ulm, MN. I enjoy these beers and have used them and similar beers to their stuff to craft many of my homebrews. I feel that the craft beers available then opened drinkers to a wide variety of beers, from “lawnmower” style beers up to Belgian Tripels and everything in between. My question stems from hanging out this evening with several beer friends who have gotten in to the craft beer phase within the last year or year and a half. All they could talk about was high gravity and high IBU’s, I found talking to them and others that this is their new thing, lets get beers into the 9% plus range and load them with IBU’s. I also found talking to them that when I would bring up things like “Flying Monkeye’s” oyster stout, “Left hand brewings” Sawtooth Ale, or this years batch of Oktoberfests, that I’m getting looked at like I use to look at the guy who would brag up Budweisers American ale. I love the craft beer industry and the stuff that Stone, Dogfish head and others are doing is amazing but are the extremes of brewing creating a group of “craft beer” drinkers that can’t appreciate anything that won’t knock you on your ass after one beer? and maybe even driving off novice drinkers that think that this is what all non Anheiser-Busch and Miller beers taste like. Sorry about the length of this post but its almost midnight here and I’ve been drinking since 2 and this bugged me tonight. feel free to comment either way on this.
I myself enjoy some of the bigger beers that are hop heavy at 7.5%-9% but also do enjoy some smaller beers (Innkeeper comes to mind) that are only 4% as well.
The thing is when I do sit down to have a beer at the end of the day or end of the week, most times I only have 1 so I don’t mind having that big of a beer.
These extreme beers may be putting off some BMC drinkers that may otherwise enjoy a craft brew or homebrew that is lower in % and IBU’s but for the most part, the BMC drinkers that I know are unwilling to change their minds.
You’re definitely onto something. I’ve been mildly annoyed for a while by what appears to be a single-minded emphasis on extreme beers. I stopped taking Ratebeer seriously a couple years ago.
Check out this video. It really pissed off a lot of people, but I think it’s hilarious and makes an interesting observation about modern craft beer culture: http://vimeo.com/38527325
The funny thing is, I believe we’re in the early days of a trend toward “session” beer popularity.
I don’t think the emphasis on extreme beer is driving off new craft beer fans, though. Look at how quickly the craft beer market is growing. Also consider how BMC are trying to push into the craft beer market as their traditional brands are shrinking.
HAHA that video was funny.
KCBeersnob - I watched those videos, amazing. All five hit home with me and my experience yesterday. including a trip to stand in line at stone, the Twin Cities beer fest, and one person talking about her Cicerone test scores.
I had a conversation with my roommate who brews as well and we both agree on the early stages of a session beer point. also, is it wrong that although I have used Citra hops in a beer once and enjoyed mikkeller one hop ipa they made of it that i’m glad that it has become harder and harder to find?
Very true, unfortunately. Hoppy beer is perceived to the best beers every year, but I enjoy more sessionable beers (having said that I have 2 beers on tap right now that come in at 7.1%
ABV). I like the creativity that is coming forth in the craft beer scene, but just going “over the top” on alcohol and IBU’s isn’t hitting my palate and preference right now. There’s nothing wrong with a well balanced IPA and I enjoy them less often these days, because I enjoy finding well made, flavorful session styles and a few sours, too (I had a very nice Flemish Red earlier today at an ale house for lunch.)
Go with what you like and don’t be afraid to defend it. The only thing I would say as a limiter to that, is that if you only drink one kind of beer, you really are missing out on some great experiences.
I’m with you. Some of my favorites are just good normally hopped session beers. I like the big ones also, and I’ll always enjoy a cold common US regular guy beer on a hot day.
Seems to get to what Kristen England was getting at with ‘session’ beers being hard to find. May be just me but I find lots of people getting in to craft beer (including myself) start out by going nuts on all the extreme beers but if they stick with it begin to appreciate all the variety in styles. I know I’m in the minority of my friends but when we’re at a bar with a decent tap list I always look for the lowest gravity beers and pick from there. Hopefully it is beginning to transition towards where good session beers get as much attention as well made high gravity beers.
I’m personally a fan of a very wide variety. from the low sessions to the high sippers. the low & high IBUs. I’ve also noticed that friends of mine who started brewing well after me were much like I was with the Extreme Brewing. everything had to be bigger, meaner, hoppier. some people grow out of it. some of us never do completely (I still try to push the envelope after 13 years). go easy on your pals. they’re excited about the craft. they might mellow gracefully with age, or they may be continuously hopped!
+1 for ET’s reply. It is a process you have to go through. I have been there myself. I lean more toward the session beers now. An occasional big beer, so long as I know it is coming, and something on the fringe to remind me why I dont go there, now and again.
The biggest problem for a new craft beer drinker is when Miller, anheuser bush, coorse start discreetly mass producing mass low quality “craft beer” to compete and take market share from real craft brewers.
Up until pretty recently the beer industry was based 95% on advertising
. bud, cooorse, miller thrived becuase of a blind loyalty to a brand rather than to quality or taste. A die hard bud fan wouldnt notice if you switched it with miller or vise versa, its all the same basic crap.
Traditional fizz beer sales are declining while craft beer sales are rising… 3 multi million dollar companies will not lose out on a chance to increase martet share and boost declining profits… be ready to see stores over loaded with knock off craft beers… its coming.
I go into a store when buying beer and try to get whatever I have never tried. It keeps a variety in the fridge and can really strile some interesting talk. I save the beers I do not really enjoy and give the to people and say how much I like them, they usually agree and than break out the coors.
Traditional fizz beer sales are declining while craft beer sales are rising… 3 multi million dollar companies will not lose out on a chance to increase martet share and boost declining profits… be ready to see stores over loaded with knock off craft beers… its coming.[/quote]
Yeah, and they try to hide it. I remember a couple of years ago seeing a beer in the store and did not recognize the name of the brewery. Looked on the bottom of the carton and say the name of the brewery at … Lynch Street. Being from St. Louis I easily knew that Lynch Street is the road in front of the AB brewery. Didn’t mention AB anywhere unless you know the address.
That was a hoot! Whoever made this video scored a bull’s-eye! If it pissed people off, it likely just hit a little too close to home. :mrgreen:
The ‘Cicerone’ comment at the very end almost made me snarf my morning tea.
I Like them all. I like the high content beers when i aint doing nothing or just want to get sloshed. What eveybody else calls a lawnmower beer is good for when i want to drink all day. However, when i mow grass i like the Chimay blue label. It makes the day alot more enertaining and it seems like in about 20 minutes i got the yard done and i got a big yard. I think that the big brewers and micro-brewers have a important roll in what we do cause if we hadnt started drinking them then we wouldnt be making our own for a better quality beer.
I’m with you on this, though I make the occasional big beer. I think it’s more fun to drink when you can sit down and have a few and not have to stagger to the bathroom when nature calls. I also agree that it’s all personal preference. Just brew and drink what you like for your own reasons.
This should be rule #2 for homebrewers (right after RDWHAHB).