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American Craft Beer Driving Me Back To Imports...

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Nurb, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. Seems like another case of jumping off the hot thing when it gets too hot. I can't imagine people drinking hoppy beers because it's the hip thing to do, more likely is that people are trying it for the first time and really enjoy it. I didn't even like beer until I tried stouts and IPAs. I do know that the "I'm so sick of hops and IPAs" is becoming the in thing, with some of my friends too ...guess it's just a matter of time until hops is out and then becomes in because it's out. I'll gladly be the lame-ass with an IPA because it's what my taste buds are digging.

    I used to like ALF too, so who knows, maybe my brain is lying to me.
  2. Who are these people you speak of? They sound horrendously boring and you should stop hanging out with them. It's like saying "The skill and musicianship involved in technical death metal is lost on you because your brain is lazy." I don't care what you're drinking as long as it's not water.
  3. Beer is subject to the whim of fashion.In this country Porter was King, public preference switched to mild, then to bitter/pale ale and eventually to pseudo lagers. The switch was so large that Porter almost ceased to exist and Mild is hanging by a thread.Also as has already been pointed out , these styles in themselves evolved and changed over time.
  4. EagleTalon

    EagleTalon Advocate (520) Oklahoma Feb 28, 2002

    Back when I was in Tulsa around 2001-2007, where there was a strong home brew club, I remember that at every club meeting a good percentage of the members brought a keg of their IPA. Almost without exception, I wondered "' where the hell is the malt?" All I was perceiving in those beers was hops and alcohol. I called those beers a "hops and alcohol show" and always sought out other styles. Now that is starting to happen commercially. I understand and appreciate hop- forward beers but it better have a strong malt backbone otherwise it is annoying to me.
  5. “I understand and appreciate hop- forward beers but it better have a strong malt backbone otherwise it is annoying to me.”

    Some folks refer to hop forward IPAs that do not have a prominent malt backbone as being West Coast style IPAs. I must confess that I personally have a preference for West Coast IPAs but from time to time I also enjoy drinking some IPAs that are more balanced (what some folks refer to as East Coast style IPAs). It would appear that East Coast style IPAs would be your preference. I would recommend:

    · Victory Hop Devil

    · Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA

    · Southampton Burton IPA

    · Deschutes Inversion IPA

    I am sure that there are plenty of others beyond the above list.

    Cheers!

    P.S. It will not be available to you but I had a draft pint of Helltown The Rapture IPA last night. That beer had big hops but also a very substantial malt backbone to ‘balance’ the hops. A very tasty and balanced IPA.
  6. A few thoughts, probably unoriginal -

    As a few others have noted, I think it's unlikely that people are consuming hop-bombs because it's hip. It seems to me that aggressively-hopped beers are an acquired taste (one that I have very much acquired over the past 10 years), and they are obviously in high demand. So a hoppy revolution is in full swing... so what? I see no shortage of imports and more traditional styles on the shelves, or at the very least, interpretations of traditional styles that are not aggressively hopped. For me and my fridge, unbalanced hop bombs have a permanent home because I happen to find them very tasty.

    Trends wax and wane, such is the cycle of things.

    Edit - I suppose the above is only a single thought, not a few thoughts, as I had intended... Last night's combination of Narwhal, The Dark Truth and Pliney (you know, big American abominations) left me with fewer thoughts this morning than usual.
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  7. mlhyatt

    mlhyatt Savant (315) Georgia Jul 27, 2013

    I'm pretty new to the craft beer world - only been drinking for a year and immediately got into craft beer rather than the BMC crowd. I like the discussion on this thread because some of what the opener said are things I've thought before. I do find that a lot of beers get hoped up and feel out of place. Americans love their hops though. Nothing wrong with that, but I just wish that when I buy a certain style of beer, it would taste like it instead of being blasted with a taste of hops. I used to not be into hoppy flavor but as I drink more and more beers with hoppiness in them I have a few that I do enjoy. However, I do wish that I could kind of predict how the style will taste instead of constantly being surprised.
  8. Agree with the OP. F the machine, drink what you want. I drink what I like. Big, boozy beers.
  9. drtth

    drtth Advocate (740) Pennsylvania Nov 25, 2007

    You left out the distributors. Many brewers report pressure from their distributors to respond to their (the distributor's) perceptions of what the market (i.e., the consumer) well be wanting. One example of this is the earlier and earlier appearance of seasonaos (e.g., Oktoberfest, Pumpkin beers, etc.) on the shelves as a result of distributor pressure on the brewers to get their product "out their first" so as to get it mostly sold before the competition can get their beers to the market.
    JackHorzempa and yemenmocha like this.
  10. Nurb

    Nurb Aficionado (170) Illinois Jul 22, 2004

    There are a lot of them on forums and blogs. I don't know fine wine or various kinds of hard liquer afficiandos, but hops has developed something of a "fanboyism" about it that I don't see with other ingredients or styles. I haven't witnessed people acting offended over opinions of yeast. Just look at the number of people who think I was "attacking hops".

    There's people who actually consider certain styles "girly beers" as well. Too many treat beer like harder booze; it has to be strong and it has to punch you in the mouth in some way.
    yemenmocha likes this.
  11. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Champion (930) Arizona Jun 18, 2002

    In person I've heard some folks disparage any IPA that comes out at <7%. Yep.
  12. zid

    zid Savant (355) New York Feb 15, 2010

    ... or people getting yeast tattoos on their forearm.
  13. TEKNISHE

    TEKNISHE Savant (250) Pennsylvania Jan 12, 2011


    i like your comment. a lot of the heavy handed beers are awesome, but my palette has come full circle and i'd just rather more frequently enjoy standard offerings that are balanced, with some of the other more gnarly shit sprinkled in from time to time. I'm sure other ppl feel this way, but i guess it's just not natural to be on here raving about the simplicity of a beer that we in America have the luxury of writing off as ordinary because you can get it anywhere.
  14. It's exactly the opposite. Today's IPAs are tropical fruit/citrus bombs. It's the most popular style because it's easy to enjoy, they're most definitely not acquired tastes. New craft beer drinkers are loving the fruit flavors that burst out of these beers. These are not the overly bitter rip-your-tongue-off IPAs of ten years ago. The other day I had someone tell me they loved Lagunitas because one of their beers tasted like mangos.

    You see no shortage because you're not looking for it. If all you drank was say, English bitters or Helles lager, you would most certainly see a shortage. For a current example, pumpkin beers have almost completely pushed out imported German Oktoberfests at a few of my local liquor stores.
    yemenmocha likes this.
  15. TEKNISHE

    TEKNISHE Savant (250) Pennsylvania Jan 12, 2011

    dude I've only been on BA for a year or so (with a much longer lurking period) and i feel like almost every thread on here is a rehash/variation of a previous one. Including some of my posts i'm sure. Fuck it /c'est la vie or whatever it is. And sometimes it's fun to poke fun at these threads that are started by some poor sap who doesn't realise how much of a cliche´ their thread is. You don't have to click on it.
    Ranbot likes this.
  16. Sponan

    Sponan Aficionado (240) Tennessee Jan 20, 2008

    Without the intention of inflaming hop lovers, I have to agree there are too many hoppy beers on shelves. How many bottle shops have a lot of shelf space taken up by past their prime IPA's that did not move because the were not very good?

    And I still have not figured out the whole bigger beers are more flavorful and therefore better argument. Is a good steak drowning in hot sauce better than a properly seasoned steak because it is more intense? Is Indian cuisine inherently better than sushi because it is spicier? Are super hot habanero hot wings the pinnacle of food?
  17. utopiajane

    utopiajane Champion (860) New York Jun 11, 2013


    Say what now? You are trying to confuse me. Habanero hot wings are indeed the pinacle of food but nothing beats sushi for refreshment and nutrition. It's just a fact of beer life that hoppier beers sit on the shelf due to consumer neglect and the idea that if it's not the latest and greatest it gets passed over. I have held in my hand so many beers I didn't buy. Hoptical illusion by blue point comes to mind and southampton burton ipa. Why didn't I buy them? . . . there was a bigger fish inthe ocean. I am going to go and get those . . .unless I see something better.
  18. Looking for a shortage, no, but I look at all beers when it's time to stock up, and I still don't see a shortage. Perhaps it's a regional thing - I don't exactly live in a beer mecca, and my local Bevmo's don't carry a lot of the "latest and greatest" - nor am I even up on the "latest on greatest" for that matter... I'd wager that the Bevmo I frequent most has far more imports and traditional styles than anything else.
  19. mrk829

    mrk829 Aficionado (245) Georgia Aug 1, 2008

    I agree with a lot of the points made by the OP as well the other posters. I am with the OP that Hoppy is a huge trend - and too big in my opinion but I have never been a a really big hop head. I do prefer a maltier beer over a hoppy one. From the marketing stand-point brewers will make what sells- so if people like hoppy, they will sell hoppy beer. I am thankful that there are lots of options for both craft as well as imports and I am free to choose what I want to drink. I am also appreciative of the people on here who share their opinions as well as their recommendations as it helps me choose/ decide on what beers I would like to try. Lastly, I would love to see all breweries have a description of the beer - along with things such as malts, hops, IBU's, etc on the bottle (I know a number of breweries already do this - but I have been surprised a few times when I bought, for example, an english brown ale that was too hop forward but the only way to find out was to drink it.)You live, you learn.
  20. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Champion (930) Arizona Jun 18, 2002

    Agree with what you've said, plus I'd add that it's also affected the taps at many beer bars and for those of us who like the better imports, there have been huge changes. In the 90's or early 00's I could get a few decent import options at respectable beer bars. Even when traveling I'm now noticing there's few or NONE, especially German, and instead there's multiple IPA's and even multiple DIPA's to choose from. So it's not always at the bottle shop where this matters, because sometimes we're faced with only a dozen or twenty options in a beer bar setting.
  21. I am sorry to hear about the beer choices that some folks have discussed. I live in SEPA and I suppose I am spoiled by the choices that I have. Below is a list of beers on tap at a local beer bar that I went to last evening.

    The first beer I had was Ayinger Oktoberfest which was yummy but I was seriously considering getting the Bahnhof Leipziger Berliner Weisse. I followed that up with a Green Flash Hop Odyssey Citra which was a very tasty session IPA (it was less than 5% ABV). My last beer was Stones 17th Anniversary Ale which was a tasty DIPA.

    Below is the entire draft list. By my reckoning:

    · 8 beers were IPA/DIPA

    · 3 beers were hoppy beers not IPA/DIPA (e.g., Pale Ale)

    · 4 beers were Porter/Stout

    · 11 beers were other (Pumpkin, wheat, Wit, Oktoberfest, Cider, Belgian Ale, etc.)

    So roughly 42% were of the hoppy variety and 58% were of the non-hoppy variety.

    Plenty of beers to choose if you want something that isn’t hoppy or high in alcohol.

    See draft list below.

    SOUTHERN TIER 2X RYE IPA

    SIERRA NEVADA FLIPSIDE DOWN IPA

    BALLAST POINT SCULPIN IPA

    LAGUNITAS MAXIMUS

    ITHACA FLOWER POWER

    NORTH COAST OLD RASPUTIN

    HOPPY BREWING WASABI PALE ALE

    VIVEN SMOKED PORTER

    SOUTHERN TIER PUMKING

    AYINGER OKTOBERFEST

    STONE COCONUT IPA

    LONG TRAIL BELGIAN WHITE

    FOUNDERS RUBAEUS

    FOUNDERS DOUBLE TROUBLE

    ALLAGASH CONFLUENCE

    GOOSE ISLAND SOFIE

    STONE 17th ANNIVERSARY

    GREEN FLASH HOP ODYSSEY

    KONA WALUAI WHEAT

    DESCHUTES MIRROR POND PALE ALE

    BAHNHOF LEIPZIGER BERLINERWEISSE

    ALESMITH SPEEDWAY STOUT

    ARSONS PICK 91 BONE DRY CIDER

    EVOLUTION RISE UP STOUT

    BELLS OBERON

    ALLAGASH WHITE
  22. Jirin

    Jirin Savant (310) Massachusetts Apr 28, 2013

    What I find interesting is that everybody who doesn't like IPAs says they like stouts, wheats, and belgians. Including me. Almost everybody I know who is into beer but doesn't like super-hoppy beers has the same favorites. There has to be something to that.
  23. creal92

    creal92 Initiate (0) Kentucky Feb 24, 2013

    Of course a lot of threads are repeated. The only reason I said anything was because there were 2 threads about the same exact shit on the first 2 pages, and the other one was still active so this thread wasn't needed at all. You don't have to acknowledge my post.
    jman005 likes this.
  24. jivex5k

    jivex5k Advocate (550) Florida Apr 13, 2011

    Berliner Weisse is becoming the new trendy style.
    Fads come and go, drink what you like. Rasputin is always around ;)
    StuartCarter likes this.
  25. StuartCarter

    StuartCarter Savant (425) Alabama Apr 25, 2006

    If you have never served Old Rasputin to accompany apple pie with ice cream, you should do so tonight :)
    The_Feebler_Elf likes this.
  26. utopiajane

    utopiajane Champion (860) New York Jun 11, 2013

    The thing you have to remember is that there's someone new here every day. That person hasn't seen all the other threads that are the same or similar. they will have the same noob questions as all the other noobs before them and after them. They will make all the same discoveries you did and find the same controversies and challenges int heir beer experience. It's good to be a teacher rather than someone who is bored as hell with the sameness of it all. :)

    If I am snarky I do apologise.
  27. ThirstyFace

    ThirstyFace Initiate (0) New York Jan 11, 2013

    The only style I've been overhopped out of is DIPAs, which I really don't consume anymore.

    Beyond that, I think there are enough brewers brewing to style to keep most of my money in the pockets of US Brewers, but I do still buy a decent amount of German imports
  28. CraftFan5

    CraftFan5 Savant (450) New York May 14, 2013

    I have to agree with most of the points everyone has made. My own personal opinion is that preference for a beer is just a matter of expectation. As an example, I often enjoy a barleywine, because sometimes I'm in the mood for something malty and a bit on the sweeter side. A few months ago, I cracked open my first SN Bigfoot, took my first sip, and almost coughed it up. I was not expecting the intense hop bite at all. At all. While I wouldn't consider it a bad tasting beer, I was just so unprepared for the hoppy American-ness of it all. As far as I'm concerned, and I certainly wouldn't consider myself a connoisseur, Bigfoot is an IPA. I had virtually the same experience with my first Nugget Nectar. Certainly not a bad beer, but hardly a classic amber. In my opinion, NN is an IPA. Bigfoot at NN might be brewed in the spirit of a barlewine or an amber, but the hop flavor completely overpowers everything else. Granted, I'm not the hugest IPA fan, but as a consumer of beer, I feel as though I should stay current and follow the trend, so I try to drink a different IPA at least once a week. But when I pop the cap off a Sculpin, I know what I'm getting myself into, and I'm ready for it. I'm sure it's some psychological process at work, but I enjoy a beer much more when I have an idea of what it's supposed to taste like.
  29. The number of acres of British hops are shrinking rapidly, due to economic pressure to do something other than farm hops. The brewers have to get hops from somewhere.

  30. Let the Bigfoot sit for a few years (personal preference is 5, but you can experiment). It becomes a thing of beauty. I buy a case every year, have one or two fresh, then let them sit. I think I have about ten years of them so far.
  31. CraftFan5

    CraftFan5 Savant (450) New York May 14, 2013

    Wish I could, but I still live in an apartment. I'll just have to stick to the English barleywines for now. Actually I currently have an Arctic Devil in the fridge; maybe I'll crack it open later.
  32. misterid

    misterid Savant (270) Wisconsin Apr 3, 2009

    /thread
  33. good for you, more for me.

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