29.12.16

NO THANK YOU, I DON'T WANT A HEADACHE.

In Slate, Adrienne So asserts, "Hops enthusiasts are ruining craft beer for the rest of us."  I sympathize, since the headache invariably accompanies a close encounter with an India Pale Ale (and what's with the enthusiasm for a beer brewed to survive a sea voyage around Good Hope, given that we have refrigeration?)  Read on, though, and discover that there's more to craft beer than loading up on the hops (which might have made economic sense a few years ago.)
Not all craft beer is hoppy. There are many craft breweries that seek to create balanced, drinkable beers that aren’t very bitter at all, like Patrick Rue’s the Bruery in Placentia, Calif., and the Commons Brewery in Portland, Ore. Among the non-hoppy yet complex and delicious American craft beers available are Widmer’s hefeweizen, New Glarus’ cherry and raspberry beers, and Full Sail Brewing’s Session Lager (a beer specifically developed to serve as a refreshing counterpoint to overhopped beers). America’s independent breweries make beers to suit every palate, not just the ones that revel in bitterness.
That noted, the author suffers from limited horizons, not simply by reference to those boutique drinks.  "Hops’ strong flavors present a stark contrast to watered-down horse piss, which is how I believe one refers to Bud Light in the common parlance. Maximizing hops is a good way for craft brewers to distinguish their creations from mass-market brands."  Or, as I would have it, colored water in blue cans sold to dumb guys.  But in far too many taverns, the list of what's on tap sounds something like "Coors light, Bud light, Miller Lite, and some kind of IPA."  Unless you're in Cub country, and then there are a couple varieties of Old Style on offer.

We can do better, dear reader.


If not a Dunkel, it's coming up on Bock season, and perhaps you can find a Kölsch.  Save the pale ales for when you're sentenced to transportation to the antipodes.

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