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Jim Koch Weighs in on Hop-Bombs

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by AlcahueteJ, Apr 25, 2013.

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  1. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Advocate (645) Massachusetts Dec 4, 2004 Verified

    tronester, sneezye, azorie and 10 others like this.
  2. Koch dropping knowledge on suckas.

    Im excited to meet him at the BBC in Boston this year
    VncentLIFE likes this.
  3. lucasj82

    lucasj82 Champion (880) Indiana Aug 13, 2009 Verified

    I agree to an extent as I have climbed the IBU mountain and have moved down to a more moderate range for most of my Pale Ale beers, but sometimes I want a 100+ IBU monster.
  4. KS1297

    KS1297 Initiate (0) Wisconsin Apr 14, 2013

    I dont get the point of the article.
  5. Just was hired to the company in Boston. Great operation they have going on and can't wait to meet him!
    KevinGordon and alex_hart like this.
  6. MikeCactusGordon

    MikeCactusGordon Advocate (665) Ohio Feb 20, 2011 Verified

    At first I was like "wuh?"

    Then I was like "uh huh"

    And then I was like "aw yeah"
  7. DStoked

    DStoked Savant (335) Ohio Sep 28, 2011

    So basically..."Anyone that likes super hoppy beers is, quite simply, just not as sophisticated as me." -Koch
  8. Are you feeling insulted?
  9. cmmcdonn

    cmmcdonn Savant (400) Virginia Jun 21, 2009

    "There's a real purpose of the brewer's art, which is not to make strange, exotic, extreme. At the end of the day the purpose of the brewer's art is to make beers that give people pleasure."

    I find a bit of contradiction between those two statements. It may just be because it's the current trend, but I find that strange/exotic/extreme beer do in fact give craft beer fans pleasure.

    I also don't see why you can't have complexity and harmony in an 80-ibu ipa. Every style is plagued with the same issue of having 100 or so world-class examples, with 1000 more that are "meh". Not just the extremely flavorful ones.

    My inner monologue reading along with that half of the article had a sour grapes tone to it.
  10. DStoked

    DStoked Savant (335) Ohio Sep 28, 2011

    I couldn't care less what Jim Koch thinks, I'm just pointing out that he sounds like an arrogant prick.

    I laughed out loud when he purported to know exactly how we all define pleasure: "There's a real purpose of the brewer's art, which is not to make strange, exotic, extreme. At the end of the day the purpose of the brewer's art is to make beers that give people pleasure."
  11. DStoked

    DStoked Savant (335) Ohio Sep 28, 2011

  12. mark14580

    mark14580 Initiate (0) New York Jan 15, 2011

    heady topper is not new or interesting but Latitute 48 is? Riiiiiiiiiiight.
  13. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (965) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    How does Koch explain Utopias then? I mean wouldn't that be considered exotic/extreme?
  14. My favorite bit was when he took it upon himself to describe the evolution of every beer drinker's palate. I never had a hop-happy stage to move past; I just used 60-minute IPA from DFH to cut my teeth enough so that stronger beers like stouts wouldn't railroad me into the ground. Then I wound up revisiting IPAs, and wound up liking them quite a bit.

    But I'm sure Koch knows me better than I know myself, so whatever.
  15. maltmaster420

    maltmaster420 Advocate (525) Oregon Aug 17, 2005

    That's rather hypocritical coming from the guy who's company has put out Utopias, Triple Bock, the god awful "historically accurate" hard rootbeer, and dozens of "strange, exotic and/or extreme" things in the LongShot series.
    kwakwhore, Roguer, cnbrown313 and 3 others like this.
  16. atomic

    atomic Savant (480) Illinois Sep 22, 2009 Verified

    I don't think thats what he was saying. He's saying that the trend now is to make beers that are entirely hop focused but otherwise unbalanced. While there are tons of balanced IIPAs out there, heady, hopslam, pliny... there are many out there that are just bitter hops and nothing else. If anything Lat48 is an example of him practicing what he preaches.
  17. This is what I got out of it all.

    There is a whole lot of butthurt going on in this thread.

    M1k3y, Bung, harrylee773 and 8 others like this.
  18. Cvescalante

    Cvescalante Savant (435) Texas Dec 24, 2012

    "There's a real purpose of the brewer's art, which is not to make strange, exotic, extreme. At the end of the day the purpose of the brewer's art is to make beers that give people pleasure."

    I can agree with a lot of what he had to say, and this^^ statement is especially true in my opinion.
    craigo19 and Roguer like this.
  19. mark14580

    mark14580 Initiate (0) New York Jan 15, 2011

    directly from the article:

    Interviewer: I asked Koch what he thought of the Alchemist's Heady Topper and other massive IPAs

    Koch: "They're big IPAs. There's 100 of them. Are they new or interesting? Not really"

    He absolutely said Heady is not interesting.
  20. I should first disclose that I really like hoppy beers. I think that Heady Topper is an excellent beer! I recently purchased a case of Ithaca Flower Power which I am really enjoying.

    So, I happen to think that Jim Koch has a good point of: “then you're looking at the real fundamentals of quality, which to me is not just a lot of flavor but is balance, and complexity and harmony. That's kind of where I am. Let me see what flavors they put in there and how they came together.”

    Drinking a beer which has” balance, and complexity and harmony” is also a very enjoyable experience. I recently homebrewed a Kolsch which fits the description of “balance, and complexity and harmony” to a T, and I enjoy drinking that beer as well.

    I will never stop drinking beers like Heady Topper, Palate Wrecker, Flower Power, etc. but I certainly do appreciate “balance, and complexity and harmony” as well.

    We are so lucky to be living during the American craft beer era where we have so many excellent beers to choose from: hop-monsters and balanced beers as well.

  21. Revenant

    Revenant Savant (350) Minnesota Aug 8, 2012

    I haven't drank a Samuel Adams beer in like 7 years. People still care for this pedestrian, just barely better than Inbev brews shite?
  22. Overly hoppy beers give me pleasure.
  23. stupac2

    stupac2 Initiate (0) California Feb 22, 2011

    I'll trust Koch's view on IPAs when he brews a good one.
  24. dwagner003

    dwagner003 Poobah (1,065) California Jan 4, 2013 Verified

    Jim Koch is more of a marketing genius than he is a brewer.. Look at Infinium and their ridiculously shaped glass with "laser-etched nucleation points to release aroma".. Please.. It's called puffery.
  25. BrettHead

    BrettHead Advocate (650) Nebraska Sep 18, 2010

    harperman69 and GetMeAnIPA like this.
  26. jbarone

    jbarone Aficionado (120) New York Jan 24, 2013

    Is Heady great? Absolutely. Is Jim Koch right? Absolutely.

    You have to love the hate for Sam Adams on Beer Advocate.
    Bung, harrylee773, Roguer and 10 others like this.
  27. Just because Koch suggests that there is more skill in making balanced beers than "extreme" beers, it doesn't mean he can't still brew extreme beers. It seems as if a lot of responders to this post are trying to call him a hypocrite. The guy's running a business and is responding to what consumers want. That doesn't mean he can't have his opinions on the matter.
  28. BB1313

    BB1313 Champion (835) Ohio Jul 16, 2009

    I respect Jim Koch but he comes off as a douche in this interview. He was speaking alot of truth, but it gets blinded by his hop-bomb comments. Comapring the experience of drinking a world-class DIPA to BMC is ridiculous. And saying that it involves no skill, meanwhile SA has never pumped out an IPA that grabbed people's attention. He just sounds salty imo..
  29. GoGators

    GoGators Champion (755) New Jersey Aug 5, 2010 Verified Subscriber

    It's funny how the brewers who don't have any great IPAs in their lineup are always saying hoppy beers and IPA's are just a phase. If Greg Koch or Tony Magee said this it would hold more weight.
  30. HomeBrewed

    HomeBrewed Savant (425) Minnesota Dec 10, 2006 Verified

  31. Grumpy Monk grabbed mine?

    I fucking love that beer.
  32. LopeJuice

    LopeJuice Savant (365) New York Aug 23, 2012

    forget it, donny, you're outta your element
  33. Mavajo

    Mavajo Advocate (570) Georgia Feb 10, 2007

    I know there's a big crowd here that swings from his jock strap, but the more I hear Jim Koch talk, the more he sounds like a raging jackass. He thumbs his nose at IPAs/DIPAs because they're apparently too predictable for Lord Koch. That's rich. A guy that brews 2.7M barrels a year of mediocre beer criticizing other brewers for being too predictable. "Mediocrity" can be predictable too.

    And no, I'm not much of a hop head. But I still appreciate them from time to time.
  34. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (845) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    Jim Koch likes Cranberry Lambic.

    His brother Greg brews better beer.
  35. Cvescalante

    Cvescalante Savant (435) Texas Dec 24, 2012

    He very clearly stated that "At the end of the day the purpose of the brewer's art is to make beers that give people pleasure." He said that after making his statement about strange, exotic, extreme beers, which BBC makes. Why on earth are people getting offended by that? What he's saying is common sense. Brewers make their beer for people to enjoy, no matter how they go about doing it.
    dan027 and acevenom like this.
  36. steveh

    steveh Champion (885) Illinois Oct 8, 2003

    Uh, ouch? :)
  37. cmmcdonn

    cmmcdonn Savant (400) Virginia Jun 21, 2009

    I also don't think there's a single definition people are using for "balanced".

    My view of balanced deals specifically with the bu:gu ratio, so I'd never consider heady or pliny as balanced beers (by design).
  38. LambicKing

    LambicKing Advocate (675) Florida Apr 13, 2011

    But we know that's brandy, not beer. :p
  39. BB1313

    BB1313 Champion (835) Ohio Jul 16, 2009

    To each their own, it's all subjective. I was just saying they've never brewed an IPA that has been universally praised.
    kwakwhore, Skunkdrool and Cvescalante like this.
  40. atomic

    atomic Savant (480) Illinois Sep 22, 2009 Verified

    I don't think he said Heady specifically, but the entire style as a whole. I agree. While I love heady and pliny, theyre not exactly interesting. I had a palate wrecker for the first time last week, I loved it, but was it interesting? Was the experience new to me? No. Like I said, I loved it, I'll drink more, but it wasn't something new to me. Does any of this make the examples I listed any worse? No obviously not. But Jim's point isn't that they're bad, its that theres only so much deviation you can get when the focus is just hops hops hops. And he's right that after a while, the super bitter hop bombs lose their appeal and you start looking for balance. Everything he said is spot on.
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