Are we approaching a perfect beer or just getting bored with current styles?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Rockjocknroll, Aug 21, 2016.

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  1. Rockjocknroll

    Rockjocknroll Disciple (385) Jun 15, 2014 California

    IPAs went from East Coast malt balance to West Coast hop prominence back to Northeast Coast dry, clean balanced hops. The resurgence of more drinkable but refined beers (stouts dropping in ABV again) seems to be the norm almost everywhere. Is experimentation leading us to perfect beers or will we keep looking for the 'next big thing'? Thoughts?
    hudsonvalleyslim and utopiajane like this.
  2. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    JLaw55, TheDoctor, rgordon and 10 others like this.
  3. Jay_P22

    Jay_P22 Aspirant (233) Mar 17, 2016 Virginia

    I think perfect beers have already been made, but people keep thinking something can be better than focal banger, tree house offerings, coveted bourbon barrel stouts, etc.

    I like the idea that great beers have already been made and more are coming.
    Fox82791, bbtkd, scottbrew4u and 3 others like this.
  4. Dredgy

    Dredgy Initiate (0) Jun 1, 2016 Australia

    Technical perfection makes for a very boring beer and I think it's been achieved many times. Reason I like trying beers is for the crazy, fun stuff I've never had before and doesn't always taste that great!
    dcotom, phillyhops, bbtkd and 2 others like this.
  5. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (5,380) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
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    I suppose you could consider it approaching perfect. There are so many breweries that can make outstanding beers, that the different between some of them is near on negligible. Think about the Olympics, and the minute difference between first and last. With more and more outstanding breweries, it becomes harder to stand out and win with a lead.
  6. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (8,224) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming

    Perfect beer? Not possible if ratings come into play and they have to. No perfect 5 beer evah on the top beers list of any beer centric website.

    And no, I am not bored with the "current" styles. For the vast majority, I have found some that tickled my fancy. Seeking out samples of beer styles I don't favour and finding at least 1 that agrees with my palate is sooo rewarding. Prost!
    TheDoctor, cavedave, bbtkd and 4 others like this.
  7. MistaRyte

    MistaRyte Defender (686) Jan 14, 2008 Virginia

    Gose/sours seem to have exploded this summer... granted, they were around in the previous years, but damn, everyone's got a gose out now. Hopefully, when summer grinds to a halt, gose production will drop off a bit.
    raynmoon, Mojo and TonyLema1 like this.
  8. 57md

    57md Poo-Bah (3,425) Aug 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    There is no perfect beer.

    That said, I am not sure that the latest trend of breweries making 10-20 different DIPAs and 10-20 different IPAs is moving the beer world forward.
  9. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,803) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    I'm not sure I want perfect beer anymore than I'd want to hang around with perfect people. Vive la difference.
  10. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Initiate (0) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    The perfect beer has been being brewed in Chico CA for over 35 years.
  11. HeyItsThatGuy

    HeyItsThatGuy Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2016 Illinois

    Agree with 57md, just like a perfect world, there can be no perfect beer. Beer is like us. We are different. We are unique under are own conditions. We have learned to love, not just ourselves and others, but many other things in life including beer for their imperfections. There are some who would consider "bitterness" or "booziness" or "sour" and "roasty" flavors to be an imperfection or a blight within a particular style of beer that they love, whereas to others, some of those flavors are simply what they love. As long as we live in a world of differing tastes, and have different styles of beer that cater to those particular tastes, there will be no such thing as a perfect beer....and thank God for that :grinning:
    Corrado42, 57md, bbtkd and 2 others like this.
  12. DLang713

    DLang713 Initiate (0) Apr 23, 2012 New Jersey

    If there were a perfect beer, we'd have nothing to talk about here anymore. Me, I'm hoping to see a trend towards more classic styles, specifically lagers (Märzens, Helles/Dunkel Munich Lagers, Pilsners, etc.) rather than the big, in your face, palate wreckers that dominate today. I don't think there's anything wrong with those types (e.g., juicy IPAs and barrel aged stouts), but for me, they get in the way of conversation and require too much of my attention to enjoy. I'm just starting to get back into different lagers (very happy that O-fests are now lining the shelves) and am trying to bring beer back to what it originally was for me--a simple pleasure to accompany good food/friends/family etc.
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  13. Fordcoyote15

    Fordcoyote15 Meyvn (1,213) Nov 19, 2011 Pennsylvania

    X2. When I think about a "perfect beer" my mind passes over the personally high rated big stouts, dipas etc and what comes to mind are offerings that are not extreme in any way. Namely weihenstephaner original is the beer I think of when I think of "perfect".
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  14. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,615) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Beer Geeks are constantly looking for the next BIG thing. As long as US craft breweries cater to the Beer Geek market you can be rest assured that there will be constant development here.


    P.S. Who would have guessed that Sierra Nevada would produce a year round Gose beer brewed using Prickly Pear!?!:rolling_eyes:
    bbtkd likes this.
  15. Rockjocknroll

    Rockjocknroll Disciple (385) Jun 15, 2014 California

    I totally agree; when I stated perfect I by no means meant something that adheres to a particular recipe or standard for style but a beer that could be considered the best combination of flavor and drinkability for a thirsty human. It's great to see how even good breweries are having to up their game and try new things to stay relevant.
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  16. Rockjocknroll

    Rockjocknroll Disciple (385) Jun 15, 2014 California

    Totally; it's easy to forget the accessible and cheap old-world standards that still blow newer beers out of the water. Schneider, Ayinger, Weihenstephaner (have you tried they're 1516? it's ridiculously good) might never be topped for style.
    Corrado42, Cthulhusquid and TongoRad like this.
  17. Rockjocknroll

    Rockjocknroll Disciple (385) Jun 15, 2014 California

    Green label's pretty damned good!
  18. Rockjocknroll

    Rockjocknroll Disciple (385) Jun 15, 2014 California

    It's been really cool to see so many resurrected styles...keep em coming!
  19. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,461) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
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    Perfect/near perfect beers have already been nailed in England, Germany and Belgium for various styles over the past decades/centuries. The U.S. has been steadily improving the quality in beer making overall year after year, both in making tasty old world beers closer to the origniators, new hybrid styles that are amazing, and resurrecting extinct styles and improving them. The beer quality is still improving IMO as a whole and quality beers continue to get easier to find even with a lot of startups brewers making not very good beer. Some perfect beers are being made along the way as well.
    Corrado42, StoutElk_92, bbtkd and 2 others like this.
  20. Crusader

    Crusader Disciple (365) Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    I think most people are wired to get bored with something that they experience regularly, it becomes mundane rather than special. It might still serve a purpose, and be enjoyed, but it wont generate the same level of excitement anymore. Perfection can thus never be achieved for perpetuity imo, it can only be fleeting and temporary. But enjoyment can be achieved and maintained over the long haul, at least with some people.
  21. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (9,923) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    The word "perfect" has multiple meanings. The definitions I think apply best to beer are numbers 2 & 3 here: . I think perfect, as in "as well as can be done", and not "flawless", already exists in the beer world. Many times over.
  22. Zorro

    Zorro Poo-Bah (5,060) Dec 25, 2003 California

    Approaching Death by Hops.
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  23. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Initiate (0) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona

    I think there are many perfect beers out there but like anything people will try and make the next great one also. I think a lot has to do with the industry and skill level out there that we just have a ton of great beer.
    StoutElk_92 likes this.
  24. Jay_P22

    Jay_P22 Aspirant (233) Mar 17, 2016 Virginia

    Why do you guys keep saying there can't be a perfect beer? If it's perfect to a person, it's perfect. May not be perfect to you, but it's still perfect to someone else.

    You guys keep chasing something that will never exist, I'll be in the corner appreciating my beer. About to cracking a focal banger today. Yeah, it's perfect,
  25. BalancingBrooms

    BalancingBrooms Poo-Bah (1,810) Aug 22, 2013 California
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    I'd say BMC brew perfect beers. Perfect doesn't = good/flavorful, necessairly. They have perfected their brewing process and are arguably the most consistent Brewers in the world. It's perfect for mass market and dominated the market until recently.

    So I'll echo what others have said, I don't think it's the pursuit of perfection but the variety, that is the spice of life, that we seek.
  26. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,902) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    Like others I think there's abstract problems with the notion of "perfect" beers.

    Having said that, I agree with some who have noted that we have already passed that mark on some occasions (to use the notion anyway). For example, a reasonable and available candidate for close to perfect as you can get might be something like Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier for that style. The challenge is getting it uber fresh with clean lines and such at the bar, or a fresh bottle at the shop.

    I don't see a movement to one up beers like Weihenstephan mentioned above, as far as I see it brewers know they can't so they don't even try. Instead they give us the lemongrass hefeweizen. Or the lemon pepper hefeweizen. Or the tangerine hefeweizen. A lot of shit that is euphemistically under the label "innovation". Or FFS, just take all of the good flavors from the proper yeast out and proudly sell it as an 'merican wheat.

    For my tastes, we're actually in a sort of diversion or perhaps a decline. The best of many styles already exist as far as I'm concerned. Perfection, or near perfection, or whatever is not the problem. The problem is people drinking so much of the other stuff that is nowhere near as good as the best examples that we could have been drinking regularly instead for awhile now.
    #26 yemenmocha, Aug 22, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016
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  27. Wasatch

    Wasatch Poo-Bah (7,354) Jun 8, 2005 Colorado
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    I have not found it yet (perfect beer).:slight_smile: I think the OP has been watching too much "Bar Rescue", Taffer just gives the place a new station and he pours out a beer and sez "The perfect beer". What he should have said is "The perfect pour", that's about it, at best. I'm definitely not getting bored with the current styles of brew's out there, tons of awesome shit to drink.

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  28. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Poo-Bah (2,072) Jul 2, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    "Perfect" is a 100% subjective term. Would agree that Tree House Green is a perfect ipa with some others here. But. Again it's subjective. And always changing. I just think brewers are getting better at their craft.
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  29. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Poo-Bah (2,072) Jul 2, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    Taffer is all about the money. Im sure he cares about his businesses but i doubt he knows much about beer because a majority of his bar rescues ive seen its all BMC beers. Itd be cool to be proved wrong because i like the guy but either way....he called a perfect margarita calls for grand marnier. I prefer triple sec. Perfect is a very personal worf.
    Wasatch likes this.
  30. marquis

    marquis Champion (812) Nov 20, 2005 England

    Perfect? Always something to strive for.
    I began my drinking life at a time when the choice was mild or bitter. Despite the multitude of beers available nowadays,they are still my first choice. I can drink them all day and never tire of them.
    cavedave likes this.
  31. utopiajane

    utopiajane Initiate (0) Jun 11, 2013 New York

    I don't know about perfection but there will always be another brewer, another beer. You can't help but pass on what you love to a new generation so perfection is out of the question. There's skill and learning involved.
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  32. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Poo-Bah (2,465) Sep 15, 2014 Colorado

    A perfect beer to me is something that you completely enjoy and have absolutely no complaints, gripes, or wishes for improvement about. I would say that I've had some perfect beer before, within its intended guidelines. Duvel is a perfect beer. Troegs Sunshine Pils is a perfect beer. Founders Backwoods Bastard is a perfect beer. Bell's Two Hearted Ale is perfect, in my opinion.

    As for getting bored with current styles? Hell no! Every year seems to be getting better and better. American brewers have been constantly reviving and reinventing old world styles. Dry-hopped sours? Check. Australian-hopped IPAs? Check. Barrel-aged saisons? Check.

    We live in an amazing time for beer, and I have no complaints whatsoever.
  33. deleted_user_1111368

    deleted_user_1111368 Initiate (0) Feb 21, 2016 Delaware

    This was my thought reading the OP. I'd say 75% of the time I'm enjoying my 1st beer of any style or brand, is as close to perfect it'll get. Subsequent visits back to those beers always seem to score lower on the overall tastings. There are some that level off nicely, but they never match match that 1st encounter. Is that due to my senses being on high alert, together with a pseudo euphoria? Who knows?
  34. Hoppsbabo

    Hoppsbabo Champion (881) Jan 29, 2012 England

    I've had a ton of beer I'd consider perfect, and another ton I'd consider shitty.
  35. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (14,613) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
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    And to emphasize subjectivity, if you find BB perfect, you may want to try Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale too; seems to me (and others based on reviews) to be more perfect than BB, which I still like a lot.
  36. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (3,102) Mar 12, 2009 New York
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    Well, if perfection is a destination of course you can't get there if you don't go forward. However, like the end of the rainbow, perfection is something that doesn't exist, but looking for it provides multitudes of wonderful moments of pure sensory enjoyment.
  37. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    So long as one keeps in mind that the perfect can be the enemy of the good.
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  38. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (3,102) Mar 12, 2009 New York
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    True, faulting a very good system for not being a perfect system often can be a poor way of looking at things, Always good to be reminded of this.
  39. HopsDubosc

    HopsDubosc Initiate (177) Apr 24, 2015 Vermont

    And that it would be priced at $3.99 a sixer at stores all around Vermont. Delightful stuff but supply definitely outpaced demand, and I've been drinking on the cheap this summer as a result.
    Corrado42 likes this.
  40. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,284) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I like this answer because the perfect beers that I have had were never rated- or the names remembered. At a cafe in Karlsruhe we were drinking a perfect Alsatian elixir while learning the history of the place and meeting the lovely people. The memory is more perfect than the perfect beer.
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