Jim Koch Weighs in on Hop-Bombs

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

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  1. acevenom

    acevenom Initiate (0) Oct 7, 2011 Louisiana

    Jim isn't wrong. It doesn't mean Heady is a bad beer. In fact, I hear it's a great beer. There are a lot of IPAs out there that are so so, but also some that are great beers. The same could be said of many styles. It's hard to make a great pilsener or a great English mild. It's fairly easy to make a so so IPA by just dumping a lot of hops in there.
    ElderPuma and djsmith1174 like this.
  2. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    Oh Utopias 10th Anni was bloody fantastic, but that is besides the point, it's still a "beer" to him, so don't say you shouldn't brew extreme beers and then brew extreme beers.

    N'aw mean?
    BeastLU, mcrago, tectactoe and 2 others like this.
  3. Sam21

    Sam21 Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2009 Connecticut

    I think he was simply using the comparison to say that you know what you are going to get with a lot of the heavily hopped IPAs. That's it. He said it himself, they are good, but you aren't necessarily going to learn something from JUST extreme beers. I don't think he is being a douche at all, but rather saying that there is a place and time for balance and extreme beers and that he has personally gone through stages of what HE enjoys. He isn't telling anyone what they should enjoy - his use of BMC might ignite some people, but I look at it in a completely harmless way. Does anyone really think he is actually comparing heady topper to BMC? No.
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  4. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,446) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    While it is technically not an IPA since they used lager yeast (and the beer is crisp & clean like a lager), I am really enjoying Sam Adams Double Agent IPL. I have already bought three 6-packs of Double Agent. It is a tasty, hoppy beer. This beer seems to be getting good reviews on BA. I was a bit surprised to see that this beer has over 600 reviews; that is a lot for such a new beer.

    JimKal, Profchaos20 and acevenom like this.
  5. Celtics76

    Celtics76 Defender (663) Sep 5, 2011 Rhode Island

    I think Tasmen Red and Third Voyage are outstanding IPAs. Their ratings here are affecting by the fact that they're BBC beers, and there's obviously an anti-BBC vibe here.
    cjgiant, M1k3y, Mitchell57 and 4 others like this.
  6. LambicKing

    LambicKing Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2011 Germany

    Yes, very pleasantly surprised by 10th Utopias and yes, I know whatchumean and agree with what you said. All fun at Jim's expense.
  7. LopeJuice

    LopeJuice Initiate (0) Aug 23, 2012 New York

    so if I make a mediocre beer, but the style is more difficult to brew, that makes it a more interesting beer? Here I was all this time thinking that you are supposed to judge beer based on its taste. the more you know.
    thatche2, Bung, GetMeAnIPA and 4 others like this.
  8. Skunkdrool

    Skunkdrool Devotee (448) Jul 31, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    And these statements coming from someone in the business as long as he has been and STILL hasnt made a great IPA? Who slipped this guy the kool-aid?
    mcrago likes this.
  9. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,013) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    But couldn't you credit that to the Bigger Brewery Prejudice that always strikes BBC? There are a lot of Sam Adams beers that are pretty well-made that get the cold shoulder just because they're Sam Adams.
    dan027 likes this.
  10. BrettHead

    BrettHead Devotee (479) Sep 18, 2010 Nebraska

    No, they just aren't good beers...
    Gosox8787 likes this.
  11. MADhombrewer

    MADhombrewer Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2008 Oregon

    Brewers can and do make very interesting IPAs. I have been a hophead for years and there is no sign of that changing for me. I like them because they are interesting every time. There is a vast amount of hop varieties and when combined there is always another interesting flavor profile to the beers.

    "At the end of the day the purpose of the brewer's art is to make beers that give people pleasure."
    I like hoppy beers!!!!!

    I assume Koch is not a hophead and that is ok, but he could've just said that.
    nootch23 and mcrago like this.
  12. BB1313

    BB1313 Poo-Bah (2,668) Jul 16, 2009 Ohio

    I acknowledged that he was comparing the experience, not the beers themselves. And it almost makes sense, but it's still kinda ridiculous and can be looked at as trolling. He could've gotten his point across without mentioning BMC, but I'm sure he was looking to get people buzzing, and it worked. Yes, at the end of the say it's harmless, but not the best look for him, imo..
  13. mark14580

    mark14580 Initiate (0) Jan 15, 2011 New York

    Based on the article he did say heady, specifically.

    I guess it hinges on the definition of interesting. If to be interesting a beer must be completely different from any other beers then I would say 99% of the beers discussed on this site aren't interesting. That's also pretty hypocritical of koch because most of his beers are kind of bland and similar to many, many others.

    If to be interesting a beer can take a step above the rest in its style then I would say heady is most definitely interesting.
  14. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,013) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Sounds to my like he doesn't really care to try.

    How do you know it's not all the IPA lemmings who are drinking the Kool-aid? :grinning:
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  15. joelwlcx

    joelwlcx Initiate (198) Apr 23, 2007 Minnesota

    I don't know about the scotch reference. The first peaty scotch I've had was Laphroig 10 y/o, and I was instantly put off.
  16. HipsterBrewfus

    HipsterBrewfus Initiate (0) Jun 3, 2012 Maryland

    If anything, I don't think Koch mentioned Heady by name at all...

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

    So he's got that going for him, which is nice.
  17. BB1313

    BB1313 Poo-Bah (2,668) Jul 16, 2009 Ohio

    Sure, it plays a factor. I'm not a SA hater and I like some of their beers. I've personally never been impressed by any of their IPAs though..
    dcloeren likes this.
  18. Sam21

    Sam21 Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2009 Connecticut

    Is it also possible that he wasn't trying to stir anything up, but that with BMC and "I prefer balance" get thrown into the mix that BA gets itself worked up into a tizzy? Maybe this is just how he feels and he was just speaking plainly with little intent other than to share his perspective. Not arguing against you, but just feeling like Jim weighed in on the lay of the craft beer land and shared his opinions on extreme beers. Balance vs. Extreme = apples and oranges to some. I love them both depending on the day, week, or time of year, but others may strongly prefer one over the other. Now, if you want to talk about beers that extreme for the sake of being extreme and lack any redeeming character I will gladly share some less accepting opinions.
  19. Mavajo

    Mavajo Zealot (572) Feb 10, 2007 Georgia

    If I never liked Sam Adams or Jim Koch to begin with, can I point out the blatantly obvious fact that he brews mediocre beer that's only marginally better than BMC, without being labelled a "hater"?

    Sam Adams is mediocre and has always been mediocre. It's only worth drinking when it's the only alternative to BMC.
    cjgiant, dcloeren, lic217 and 5 others like this.
  20. Sam21

    Sam21 Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2009 Connecticut

    To each their own - I began with and fell in love with Laphroig 10 and moved right to Ardbeg 10 and Caol Ila 12. Now, I will likely move to something with a bit more balance and focus on the malt. I had a similar start in craft beer, as I wanted the hop bombs and extreme beers that were an adventure. Now, I have my moments where I want that, but also greatly appreciate the balanced beers - even if it's really just MORE balanced. Balance can be a bit more difficult to come by in the American craft beer scene.
  21. Skunkdrool

    Skunkdrool Devotee (448) Jul 31, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    I know because this is the same guy who decided an "IPL" was a good idea.
  22. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Defender (637) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Just like anyone posting here, Mr. Koch is entitled to his opinion. But nothing says I have to agree with him, though.
    johnnydicfore and HipsterBrewfus like this.
  23. acevenom

    acevenom Initiate (0) Oct 7, 2011 Louisiana

    Balanced lower gravity beers are also cheaper on the wallet. A six pack of a good lower gravity beer can be much cheaper than a higher gravity bomber of beer of comparable quality.
  24. HipsterBrewfus

    HipsterBrewfus Initiate (0) Jun 3, 2012 Maryland

    Would you say the same thing about the much smaller Jacks 's Abby?
    dan027 likes this.
  25. BB1313

    BB1313 Poo-Bah (2,668) Jul 16, 2009 Ohio

    I'm sure he meant everything he said, but when you're the figure that he is, he opens himself to criticism reguardless of his intent.
  26. socon67

    socon67 Poo-Bah (1,661) Jun 18, 2010 New York

    Making an IPA with a very high IBU is not interesting. Making one that has complexity to its aroma and taste, balancing that bitterness with some citrus & pine notes, or a flavorful grain prfile, is very interesting and likely puts that beer atop the BA ratings.

    Jim Koch does make a valid point, but the way it is written in that article does seem dismissive of the style. I make nothing of it because we have no idea how that interview was chopped up and what wasn't included to frame that answer.
    BradenMK and Profchaos20 like this.
  27. TheLostGringo

    TheLostGringo Initiate (0) Dec 7, 2011 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    Always been a big supporter of SA because as someone who started drinking craft in 1989 I remember how little there was around especially in the Northeast, always felt SA was not appreciated for much of what they have done and what they still do, but Koch comes off as a complete DB here.

    Really feel this would be no different then large BMC companies saying craft is a fad. Sounds like he just wants to protect his Market Share.
  28. Horbar

    Horbar Zealot (560) Feb 24, 2012 Rhode Island

    Sounds like somebody is a little but hurt because their big brewery can't brew a decent IPA. Sour grapes??? Also, good job with that Hoponius rip-off.
  29. HipsterBrewfus

    HipsterBrewfus Initiate (0) Jun 3, 2012 Maryland

    Does this mean that anyone who makes an IPA is ripping off another brewery? or a sour? or anyotherfuckingbeerinexistance
    dan027 likes this.
  30. Celtics76

    Celtics76 Defender (663) Sep 5, 2011 Rhode Island

    Very insightful response.
    mdillon86, JimKal, dan027 and 3 others like this.
  31. rousee

    rousee Meyvn (1,033) Aug 13, 2004 Massachusetts

    Koch likes to use noble hops for his beers. How many types of noble hops are conducive to brewing an IPA ?
  32. BrettHead

    BrettHead Devotee (479) Sep 18, 2010 Nebraska

    No more or less insightful than your "there is a anti-SA conspiracy" post

    Or you could just go with Occam's razor, i.e. they are not good beers.
  33. LCB_Hostage

    LCB_Hostage Initiate (0) Jan 30, 2013 Pennsylvania

    Here's what this sounds like to me. Koch is a guy who was at the forefront of the craft beer industry just a few short years ago. In recent years, his own success and his penchant to marketing like the BMC big boys has tarnished his image among a lot of craft drinkers. Now he's regarded as something of a sell-out in certain circles and it pisses him off that the respect he thinks he deserves is going to other, smaller brewers. So, this is his (in my opinion) childish way of lashing out at the brewers he feels have unfairly leap-frogged over him. But by making snarky remarks questioning the skillsets of other brewers and the products they produce, I think all he's doing is alienating even more of the drinkers he ought to be romancing.

    Just my 2 cents for what it's worth.

    JJWIGHT Aspirant (273) Feb 14, 2012 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I used to drink SA in between Old Milwaukee and Busch when I was in college, then I discovered Stone IPA, Furious, Abrasive and decided I was not refined enough to enjoy balanced beer anymore. I left all the balanced beers for everyone else. I like to be punched in the mouth with big IIPA's, Stouts and Barleywines they taste better to me.
  35. Hopportunistic

    Hopportunistic Aspirant (263) Jan 24, 2013 North Carolina

    I respect and take my hat off to Jim Koch and Boston Beer. Boston Lager was one of the first American beers I tried that actually had a distinct, recognizable flavor, and I think Boston Beer does some good things. HOWEVER, he definitely shouldn't knock other brewers for doing the exact same thing that he did years ago: get tired enough with the mainstream crap beer to get up off his ass and do something about it. Just because he doesn't care for uber-hoppy beers doesn't mean that there isn't a great deal of love, research, and dedication put into them by those that do them well. And I don't buy his notion that a love of "hop bombs" implies an immature or uneducated palate. Everyone has a different set of taste buds, and to each his own.
    Bluecane and Horbar like this.
  36. mark14580

    mark14580 Initiate (0) Jan 15, 2011 New York

    Did Jim think Merry Mischief was new and interesting compared to Hardywood GBS?
  37. Horbar

    Horbar Zealot (560) Feb 24, 2012 Rhode Island

    Clearly, he thought a hopped up lager was fine, but bashes hopped up beers.
  38. Skunkdrool

    Skunkdrool Devotee (448) Jul 31, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    If your brewery focuses on a particular style and has honed in a solid and successful recipe(s), then no. But when you are mass producing beer and have all the resourses, and cant/wont make a great IPA, or anything successfully hoppy, then dont make a half ass attempt at an IPL. Its like they threw something together to attempt replacing Noble Pils.
  39. BrettHead

    BrettHead Devotee (479) Sep 18, 2010 Nebraska

    Sierra excels not just at hop bombs (and really their beers are not hop bombs anyways) but at virtually anything they put their mind to. What has BBC excelled at?
  40. acevenom

    acevenom Initiate (0) Oct 7, 2011 Louisiana

    Actually, that's quite relative in the end. Plenty of people think Bud Light is a great beer, but it doesn't mean I agree with their interpretation of taste. Sure there will be people who don't like Samuel Adams because they're too big, but there are people out there, like yourself, who don't like their beer. That's fine because that leaves more for me.
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