Making a Case for Craft Beer Trends

by Ryan Hudak on May 27, 2015 in Culture
Making a Case for Craft Beer Trends

For the long Memorial Day weekend, I had originally planned on smoking a pork shoulder and sitting outside in the beautiful weather with friends, enjoying multiple beers throughout the day. How was I going to do that without getting completely plastered? My old summer go-to, Founder’s All Day IPA, a wonderful session IPA that clocks in at an exceedingly-drinkable 4.7% ABV without sacrificing any flavor.

But thank god for Paste Magazine! I would have had no idea about the error of my ways. Apparently, session IPAs are a thing of the past, one of their recent “Craft Beer Trends We Are Completely Over”. How was I to know that a delicious beer I could drink out in the sun without it going straight to my head was off-limits if it weren’t for the fine folks at Paste? I may have made the apparent faux-pas of drinking one of these trendy beers I used to enjoy so much.

Paste also goes on to list other “trends” that we’re all over. Waxing bottles is at the top of the list. Although they quantify it as being okay with special releases, they harp on breweries waxing the caps of everyday beers like IPAs and Vienna lagers. That said, they don’t bother providing examples of any of these beers that are unnecessarily waxed.

The article also rails against adding adjunct ingredients to beer to add flavor, but once again makes a point of noting the ones that are acceptable like coffee, vanilla, chocolate and coconut. So, while we’re stripping any flair from the bottling of our beer and doing away with an easy-drinking summer beer that has flavor and rivals macro-lagers, let’s also take away various flavorings that are a big part of what sets craft beer apart from macro-beer, or gives a brewer a chance to experiment with something someone may not have thought of.  

But, I shouldn’t be worrying about the macro-brewers, since that’s fourth and final on the list of trends that are over: worrying about what the big boys do. But, again, there is a caveat: they’re fun to make fun of, but anything more serious than that (even as the macros are trying to put craft brewers out of business and remove their market share) is just too much. The article even ends saying, “You worry about making good beer, I’ll worry about making fun of Budweiser.”

I’m not sure who this article is trying to speak for, but hopefully no one I know. I’m sick of being told what to drink and what not to, and what makes a good beer and what is an over-the-hill trend. As long as Founders makes a session IPA, it will be my go-to during the summer. As long as a local brewer comes up with something interesting to drink, I’ll keep drinking it. And as long as asshats keep trying to tell us what we should and shouldn’t drink, we’ll continue to reject their ideas and think for ourselves.

Photo via Flickr user QuinnDombrowski


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