I’m an IPA fan. Let me rephrase, I’m a huge IPA fan. However, I’m also a beer fan. Or better yet, a fan of almost all beer styles. I have an affinity for German lagers and Belgian wild fermenting ales, as well as English ales (Porters and bitters). The list goes on.
I feel that we in the American beer industry have reached interesting times. As we all know, IPAs dominate the American craft beer scene. We’ve reached a point where if you want to be a relatively successful craft brewery in this country, or if you want to stay viable at all, you must be brewing IPAs. As mentioned earlier, I’m an IPA fan, so I do find plenty of enjoyment in having a wide selection of IPAs available on the market. However, I do have a fear.
My fear is that the complexity that is found in lagering and decoction brewing, or the balancing act that goes into creating a perfectly balanced English Mild, is beginning to be viewed as boring by the American beer consumer. This scares me. It frightens me because I’m a firm believer that beer is an art form wrapped in history. Beer tells stories and provokes emotions. Without getting too romantic here, my point is that beer is not a one trick pony led by the “dankest” hops around. Yes, they have their place. However, I hate to see new beer drinkers miss the opportunity to sip on a Gueze by Cantillon, or learn the history of Russian Imperial Stout while sipping on an Old Rasputin, all because they were blinded by the “Super Hop 500 IPA” listed on their local bar’s beer list.