Once Upon A Time, Beer Was About Being Beer!
After decades of American beer getting watered down and diluted by cheap adjuncts, in the late 70’s a few early brewing pioneers, Jack McAuliffe of New Albion and Fritz Maytag of Anchor just to name 2, set out to make REAL beer again. They were attacked by the big guys but made enough headway for breweries like Sam Adams and others to propagate the “Microbrew”.
And it was good …
And then came the “Brewpub”, which was to the 90’s what the sports bar was to the 80’s.
Many of these early Brewpubs didn’t last for the long haul, but they reminded folks what real beer tasted like and introduced many to new beer styles.
Throughout the 2000’s, with an occasional up and down, what eventually evolved into craft beer flourished.
We saw the revival and in some cases the rebirth of many classic styles.
The Zwickel, The Berliner Weisse, The Gose etc …
Then American craft breweries took those existing styles and kicked it up a notch.
The IPA became the Double/Imperial IPA, beers found their way into every spirit barrel imaginable and … it was still good!
We added 100 sub-styles of IPA, okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but not by much.
But, Oh No, that wasn’t enough.
In came raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, dingleberries, okay, not dingleberries, but we did run the whole damn thing through the garden but that was still not enough.
Then the beer had to taste like chocolate, peanut butter, marshmallow, Graham cracker, goat cheese … okay, I just made up goat cheese, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a goat cheese beer out there somewhere.
We’ve used beard yeast, yeast cultivated from the cootchie of a supermodel, yeast cultivated from the pubic hair of an aboriginal pygmy elder, okay, I made up that one too, but you get the point
Then someone decided glitter should go into beer. Why? NO ONE KNOWS!
Those that like the idea have said to me,”It’s just fun Tom” or “Why are you trying to stifle our creativity”.
Hey, like what you like, but glitter, really?!
Now, I’m sure that it’s not the end for crazy flavors and experimentation, but we are starting to see many craft breweries bringing back beer that tastes like beer. We’re seeing more classic English styles like the Mild or Bitter, many are doing German and Czech style pilsners, some doing better versions of American style lagers, more accessible craft beers, beer without pretention, and quite frankly, it’s overdue.
REAL BEER Is Back!
Oh yeah baby, beer is back!
I’m loving that the craft Pilsner is being brewed more frequently, clean malt, crisp and refreshing, spicy, earthy and herbal hops, oh baby, a beer that tastes like beer, what beer was meant to be.
We are also seeing craft brewing heavyweights like Founder’s, Firestone Walker, Sierra Nevada putting out quality lagers, and behold, real beer is back and it’s good!
Will it stick?
Oh, who the hell knows. I mean, 30 years ago could any of you have predicted glittering mountain oyster beard beer? I think not.
The truth is these styles never really went away and they’re not going anywhere, but it’s nice to see them in the forefront of the craft brewing industry rather than an afterthought or sidekick to the latest hipster craft beer trends.
This latest shift shows that you don’t have to stand in line for great beer, fine beer doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg and come in a 750. It can even be merely labeled a “shelf” beer.
So, for the time being, I for one am enjoying the resurgence of real beer, what craft beer started out to be, a beer that tastes like beer …
And IT’S GOOD!
I Am Tom The Beer Whisperer
Beervangelist, Prolific Beer Drinker
Purveyor Of Wisdom
And … All Around Good Guy!