When’s the last time you drank a regular beer? You know, just a plain old IPA or a simple stout. No ‘we triple dry-hopped this and then added grapefruit and stuck our balls in it for flavor depth’ or ‘bourbon barrel aged then blended with a pile of other beers then dingleberries were added and then we forgot it in the back room for a few years so here it is’. There’s nothing wrong with these crazy new beers, God knows I love weird beers, but there’s something to be said about the simplicity of just a damn good regular beer.
Recently I received New Belgium California Route cans in a beer trade and it opened my mind to something I’d forgotten. Beers don’t have to be complicated to be good. California Route is an organic lager that has great flavor, is refreshing, and paired well with girl’s night sleepover and house work the next day. It’s got hops, it’s got grains, it’s got water hey it’s a beer! There’s nothing crazy about it, but yet it was perfect.
I think it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of innovation. I love being able to grab a brew that is experimental, that features uncommon ingredients, and even challenges the palate. At the same time, I think it’s important to respect and understand that regular classic beers are great too.
A lot of breweries, new and old, get scoffed at for making the classic offerings – a stout, an ipa, a wheat, a lager, and maybe a brown/saison/fruit. A lot of breweries are doing very well with just those offerings mind you. Yes, we were all excited to see new beers out of Victory this year, but their classics are awesome too. Their classics are what have kept them in business for years.
All-in-all I think it’s a valuable idea to remember where we came from while we accept where we’re going. There’s nothing wrong with a simple beer that tastes great and there’s nothing wrong with you (or me) for loving it.