The Session, a.k.a. Beer Blogging Friday, is an opportunity once a month for beer bloggers from around the world to get together and write from their own unique perspective on a single topic. Each month, a different beer blogger hosts the Session, chooses a topic and creates a round-up listing all of the participants, along with a short pithy critique of each entry
For the first round of Session posts in the newly christened 2014 Rebecca from The Bake and Brew has chosen a topic curiously entitled “Against the Grain.” The question she poses is as follows:
How much is our taste or opinion of a craft beer affected by what friends and the craft beer community at large thinks? What beer do you love that no one else seems to get? Or what beer do you say “no thanks” to that everyone can’t get enough of?
This is my first take at a Session post, but why not start fresh in 2014?
Personally, I have found my friends to have more or less similar tastes in things. I am the odd duck in my love of sours and wild ales. Just like some people crave the next big hop explosion my taste buds seem especially receptive to Sours. The Tartness, the funk, just matches my tastes perfectly.
As for craft beer at large? I never got the hop bitterness for the sake of being as abrasive as possible. That is not to say I do not like IPAs, I am a huge fan of ones like Sculpin, DirtWolf, and Hop’solutely. The other trend that i am doing my best to avoid is the bourbon / whiskey barrel aged items. Fresh they are way to hot and boozy, and need some time to sit to be mellow.
If I had the time money and space to cellar everything for a year or two that would be one thing, but if i go to the shops to buy something brand new, I would like to be able to drink it then. If something needs to be aged for x amount of time before it gets to the point its at its best, maybe it should not be released until then? (like the old stories of Dark Lord being released in April but would be at its best after thanksgiving..) Now if I am lucky and find a year old or older BA beer (which happens often enough with barrel aged Imperial Stouts) i will give them a try, and generally I love them.
I figure that barrel aging will be the next huge wave in craft, as at this point can you go any higher in IBU’s without needing to chew hop pellets. I think we are at the point with IBU that Hot Sauces hit with maxing out the Scoville Scales with pure Pure capsaicin and Dihydrocapsaicin products – I am looking at you Blair’s 🙂