Jim Koch Weighs in on Hop-Bombs

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

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  1. rousee

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

    BTW guys--when the Alchemist was a brewpub and not a cannery, they made a ton of different beers besides Heady --and almost all of them were excellent.
    Mag00n likes this.
  2. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,493) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    Wow! 100 posts in just 1.5 hours. Is that a record?

  3. Celtics76

    Celtics76 Defender (670) Sep 5, 2011 Rhode Island

    Your contributions to this discussion are lacking in substance.
    beastmammoth likes this.
  4. TheLostGringo

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

    Plus if there is a worse beer than Merry Mischief I just don't know what it could be. I rather drink a blend of Bud,Coors,Miller & Cat Piss.
    Mag00n likes this.
  5. BrettHead

    BrettHead Devotee (479) Sep 18, 2010 Nebraska

    Because suggesting a conspiracy is afoot is such a well-reasoned thought out post. I'll remember that.
    Bung, BMitch, Gosox8787 and 1 other person like this.
  6. drgarage

    drgarage Initiate (0) Aug 19, 2008 California

    There was a time when a heavily hopped IPA meant a crazy bitter beer. Those times are passing. Late kettle additions, such as the brewing technique used in HT, Alpine's IPAs, a lot of Hill Farmstead IPAs, Row 2 Hill 56, Zombie Dust, etc., are bringing flavors to beer that weren't seen before. And I couldn't be happier. A year ago, I was as dismissive of IPAs as Jim Koch is -- despite regular access to Pliny. Then I tried HT and Zombie Dust, and my opinions changed pretty dramatically. IPAs that are entirely about flavoring and aroma with new varietal hops are a completely different ball-game. They're practically a different beer style altogether.
    Beezee likes this.
  7. cmmcdonn

    cmmcdonn Initiate (0) Jun 21, 2009 Virginia

    It may be if you don't count the epic threads that get nuked to the dark corner of unallocated space.
  8. Celtics76

    Celtics76 Defender (670) Sep 5, 2011 Rhode Island

    Please stick to the topic at hand and contribute something meaningful.
  9. BrettHead

    BrettHead Devotee (479) Sep 18, 2010 Nebraska

    But Bud Light is rated poorly on this site. Is that because of an anti-BMC "vibe". Or is it the obvious answer (I think) of it's not a good beer.
  10. crusian

    crusian Crusader (755) May 14, 2010 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Jim often knocks other brewers and craft beer drinkers alike. I appreciate what he has done in the past, but his time is over... and he needs to keep his mouth shut. Seems to me that every time I see himj in an interview or read something about him, he is spewing something. He is entitled to his opinion, sure, but dont insult people.

    Those that dont like Infinium dont have a sophisticated palate, or dont know what good beer is, that was my favorite.
    bsp77 likes this.
  11. Bluecane

    Bluecane Initiate (0) Dec 30, 2011 New York

    "In fact, Utopias MMII has even been described by some as almost "fiery" -- a fitting description for the strongest beer in history. Beyond the special brand of hops, Utopias features ingredients that truly set it apart from other varieties of beer."

    "Sweet fire, with a rich malt and wood complexity, Samuel Adams Utopias is unlike any other beverage in the world."
    Hopportunistic and Hanzo like this.
  12. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,046) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    And people say that I get defensive when someone calls lagers uninteresting. Not even "good but uninteresting" -- like Koch said of the hop bombs -- just flat out "boring."
    mdillon86 and yemenmocha like this.
  13. acevenom

    acevenom Initiate (0) Oct 7, 2011 Louisiana

    Compared to Stone or Green Flash, no Sierra Nevada "doesn't make" hop bombs. But in the basic sense of the word, what are they best known for? For that matter, they replaced a spring seasonal last year with yet another IPA. Sure they make Narwhal now and that is a pretty solid beer, but I wouldn't say their regular releases make up a very diverse portfolio. Sure there's Beer Camp as well and you could say that implies some diversity, but what does Sierra Nevada do best? They do IPAs best and there's nothing wrong with that even if their most well known beer is a pale ale.

    What does BBC excel at? They excel at hitting the session beer market, which is one of those markets we often forget about. It's certainly no less valid or important. I do enjoy a fresh Boston Lager more than I do a Boston Ale. I certainly don't want to kill my palate every time I drink a beer. But if you want one of their hoppier notes that does tend to get pretty consistent reviews here, check out Double Agent IPL. That might be up your alley. Sure they've done a lot of experimentation and I don't care for their summer seasonal that much (Sierra Nevada beats them pretty easily here), but they've done a pretty solid job overall even with their higher gravity releases. Again it comes down to taste.

    I enjoy offerings from both breweries and no one says you have to. But good is a relative term for a lot of people, so simply just saying, "It isn't good," doesn't really offer much to the discussion. Neither does claiming there is anti-Boston Beer sentiment because they're bigger than the others.
  14. Beerandraiderfan

    Beerandraiderfan Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2009 Nevada

    You're cracking me up. Totally owning that dude.
    Bung and Celtics76 like this.
  15. Hopportunistic

    Hopportunistic Aspirant (263) Jan 24, 2013 North Carolina

    True. Utopias is about as "extreme" as any other beer. It's basically akin to someone trying to make the world's hottest hot sauce. After a certain point, pain is just pain, and you've left flavor in the dust long ago.
  16. BrettHead

    BrettHead Devotee (479) Sep 18, 2010 Nebraska

    I get that you don't want to attempt to justify your original post, but the way you go about avoiding it is funny. :sunglasses:
  17. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,150) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

  18. Frankinstiener

    Frankinstiener Aspirant (233) Jul 28, 2009 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Koch is the undisputed king of the brewniverse.
  19. Hopportunistic

    Hopportunistic Aspirant (263) Jan 24, 2013 North Carolina

    And I just realized Jim Koch is probably just pissed over the fact that he is slowly losing market share to better tasting beers.
  20. Beerandraiderfan

    Beerandraiderfan Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2009 Nevada

    BBC makes some good beers, even some good hoppy ones (IPL, Latitude 48, Latitude 48 Simcoe).

    But just because they haven't made one that is excellent, is no reason to get jealous of the attention and acclaim others are getting. You've made over a dozen hoppy beers, a dozen+ extreme beers etc. . . might want to look a bit in the mirror and mouth those words about how there's only 100 good ones, and 500-1000 ones that are just there. . .it's true, it's very true. . . but guess which side of those numbers your attempts fall into Mr. Koch?
  21. Celtics76

    Celtics76 Defender (670) Sep 5, 2011 Rhode Island

    Once you justify yours, I'll justify mine.
  22. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,493) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    Scott, as you well know lagers will generate a bit of interest within the BA community but nothing like a controversial discussion about hoppy beers. This thread is a twofer:

    · It has the Jim Koch/BBC aspect which will always get an energetic response
    · And then there is the hoppy beer aspect

    I predict this thread will break all records: number of posts and number of posts/hour!:wink:

    HipsterBrewfus and herrburgess like this.
  23. HipsterBrewfus

    HipsterBrewfus Initiate (0) Jun 3, 2012 Maryland

    Dude you're playing the adult version of "I know you are, but what am I."

    And failing miserably.
  24. ao125

    ao125 Initiate (0) Dec 1, 2010 Virginia

    Taste is subjective.
    I enjoy well made "hop bombs", "barrel aged beers" and other "extreme beers"... and I'm willing to pay for them.

    Frankly, I think he's just butt-hurt because his Macro-Craft brewery isn't agile enough to keep up with the taste trends that Micro's and Nano's are able to capitalize on.
  25. Celtics76

    Celtics76 Defender (670) Sep 5, 2011 Rhode Island

    And inciting a response from others.
  26. Rekrule

    Rekrule Initiate (0) Nov 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    Jim Koch knows what buttons to press and how to stir some stuff up to get people talking. He's a marketing whiz. What he did just worked.
    acevenom and herrburgess like this.
  27. douginromeo

    douginromeo Initiate (0) Apr 1, 2013 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    He said that it doesn't take "a huge set of skills to make an 80-IBU beer". That's true; it takes a huge set of skills to make a truly great 80+ IBU beer that is memorable and highly sought after. There are a lot of shitty IPA's for which I won't spend a single dollar; there are a lot that are good, but not memorable. There are only a few that make me want to jump into the air and click my heels together because they are that fantastic.

    I get what he's trying to say, but he also believes in making beer for the masses, for the most part. I'd love to hear Vinnie Cilurzo's opinion on this.
  28. Hopportunistic

    Hopportunistic Aspirant (263) Jan 24, 2013 North Carolina

    He should spend less time marketing and more time adding Cascade and Simcoe to Third Voyage. Then I might buy more of it.
    Smitty1988 likes this.
  29. Rekrule

    Rekrule Initiate (0) Nov 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    Yeah, because marketing hasn't made him the money he has today. He needs you to buy an IPA.
  30. DavoleBomb

    DavoleBomb Poo-Bah (2,463) Mar 29, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Oh please. Yes, it is hard to make a great pilsener on a homebrewing level, but brewing on a SA scale is little more than pushing a few buttons.
  31. Hopportunistic

    Hopportunistic Aspirant (263) Jan 24, 2013 North Carolina

    Nice try, but I'm there's already enough childish repartee occurring in this thread. Don't get me wrong. I like a lot of Samuel Adams stuff, and certainly respect what Mr. Koch has done for the industry. But what originally made him money was making beer with better flavor, which marketed itself.
  32. acevenom

    acevenom Initiate (0) Oct 7, 2011 Louisiana

    You missed the point. Notice I didn't say anything about making a great IPA, which isn't easy to do either.
  33. Smitty1988

    Smitty1988 Initiate (0) Oct 16, 2012 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    Jim Kock's explaination is him telling me why I have never really purchased his products, not because of his arrogance, but he produces beers for certain consumers, and refuses to do styles he doesnt like. I spend about $200.00 a month on beer and rarely purchase a Boston Brewing product, not to knock them, but I guess I am just young and unsophistocated. And I love my Hop Bombs
    Revenant and Hopportunistic like this.
  34. LambicPentameter

    LambicPentameter Meyvn (1,486) Aug 29, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    If I might provide some middle ground here...

    First, some caveats:
    • I like Sam Adams. Not only do I respect the inroads they paved into making craft beer "mainstream", but I like the fact that they use their enormous footprint to spread the word about rarer styles. I would have likely never tried a Gose or a Sahti if it weren't for Sam Adams.
    • I also think that Sam Adams suffers undue prejudice from some parts of the craft-drinking community. It always annoys me when someone compares Sam Adams to the BMC breweries. They just aren't the same at all.
    • All that being said, I am not a big-time follower/fan of Sam Adams. By that, I mean that I think a lot of their beers taste VERY similar to one another, so much that I sometimes wonder why they release so many "different" beers if they aren't dedicating the time to differentiate them.
    In reading Jim Koch's comments, I think there is a lot to reasonably criticize. While he does say some things that I agree with and are generally harmless (For example "At the end of the day the purpose of the brewer's art is to make beers that give people pleasure."), he couches that amidst comments like these:

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

    "There's not a huge set of skills to make an 80-IBU beer."

    "It's not that they're bad. It's like drinking Bud or Miller or Coors"

    "If you're surprised, it's generally a bad surprise"

    "and 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"

    "There's a real purpose of the brewer's art, which is not to make strange, exotic, extreme."

    Again, from the perspective of someone who absolutely doesn't hate Sam Adams (I really like Winter Lager, Verloren, Double Agent IPL and Grumpy Monk, to name a few), those statements come off as borderline insulting. I mean, why would you even drop the "tastes like BMC" in an interview where you're talking about other craft brewers? He has to know that's like tossing bloody meat to a school of piranhas.

    And to re-iterate what some others have said, the note he makes about only a select few of a given style really being amazing compared to the tons of the same style that are out there is true of every style. The proportion of bad lagers and pilsners to good ones is just as high as the proportion of bad high-IBU beers to good ones. I find that comment especially interesting, since Sam Adams has a list of different beers about as long as any brewery in the country.

    I guess all I'm saying is that Koch could have been a lot more self-aware in his comments. I think he can talk about the nuances of palate and flavor without coming across as some sort of arbiter of what breweries should or shouldn't be doing.
    cjgiant, M1k3y, mjshearer1 and 5 others like this.
  35. Rekrule

    Rekrule Initiate (0) Nov 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    Agree to disagree.
    Hopportunistic likes this.
  36. Hopportunistic

    Hopportunistic Aspirant (263) Jan 24, 2013 North Carolina

    Agreed. :wink:
  37. Revenant

    Revenant Aspirant (280) Aug 8, 2012 Minnesota

    Somebody send me a can of Heady already! That way I can join in on Beer Advocate's biggest beer circle jerk, or, I can tell you all that your palates need re-alignment :grinning:
  38. GuzzLah

    GuzzLah Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 Illinois

    Artificially flavored Cherry Wheat takes some mad skillz to brew yo. Don't even try it at home. :wink:
    fredmugs, Bung and Horbar like this.
  39. DavoleBomb

    DavoleBomb Poo-Bah (2,463) Mar 29, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    You implied that making a great lager is some act of brewing mastery. On a huge setup with great temperature controls, it's not hard at all from a technical standpoint. Make a good recipe and push buttons. Also a good pils recipe is a lot easier to come up with than a good IPA recipe.
  40. t420o

    t420o Zealot (566) Jul 16, 2009 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    "At the end of the day the purpose of the brewer's art is to make beers that give people pleasure." -Jim Koch

    It's amazing how many of BBC's beers give me very little pleasure and are not "complex or harmonious." People like really hoppy IPA's, and I'd bet those same people (me being one of them) appreciate a very balanced IPA. Hey, Jim, you are entitled to your opinion, but to take shots at extreme beers is just plain stupid. From a Helles to the most big bad barrel aged Stout, they are all works of art. And what about the Utopias? Is that not an "extreme beer"?

    I guess my point is, as long as people like the beer, who gives a fuck?
    Horbar likes this.
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