The Murtaugh Rule in Beer

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by polloenfuego, Aug 22, 2020.

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  1. polloenfuego

    polloenfuego Jan 26, 2013 Canada (NB)
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    I think a lot of people know about the Murtaugh Rule, which is derived from the film Lethal Weapon, in which Detective Roger Murtaugh plainly stated "I'm too old for this shit."

    Not quite a rule, but essentially, shit you are done with. It's not worth bothering with.

    When I first started dipping my toe into craft beer, way back when, I used to see the curmudgeonly guys who complained about fads and hipsters and punks etc. I have joined their ranks.

    I have hit the Murtaugh line. I am past giving a shit about new trends, while in fact some of the current fads bug me.

    In particular the desire for "juicy" and "hazy" IPAs and pastry stouts boggles my mind. I'm not saying that there are not good versions of either of these. There are stellar versions of both. But every jackass and his dog is trying to shoot the moon with multiple versions of their own.

    I haven't got time for it. Especially since it is pushing other great styles away. I live in Ontario Canada. For love of all that is holy, I cannot find a decently made west coast style IPA anywhere. How about a nice English IPA? This is Canada, it's in our roots right? Nope. Bitter, Porter, Strong Ale, Amber, Brown, or straight up stout? No to all.

    See where I am going. My old cranky ass is tired of it. I don't mind the haze and pastry, but I want variety. Give me classics done well, and with some twists. I'm too old for the goddamn interwebs influencers to be guiding what's available.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I'm sure when I was starting out I rode a fad or two. But, sweet Jeebus on a trike, can we move on from this one? How long have we been stuck in this phase?

    Perhaps it's just me getting older, and perhaps it's my palate, but I have to say, variety is the key to enjoying good beer. One cannot survive on haze alone.

    I don't want to have to wade through 90% haze to find some variety at the local shop. I'm too old for that shit.

    I know I'm not alone, and I know I'm not the first. Pleae tell me I'm not nuts.
  2. honkey

    honkey Aug 28, 2010 Arizona

    I invoke this rule every time I have a brew day that goes longer than 16 hours... Still the youngest employee at my brewery though, so no one is taking me seriously when I say it
  3. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    I hear ya on this. I'm over beer that looks like mud and smells like Froot Loops. I like cake with my stout, not in my stout. Give me clean, bright, tasty beer and I'll buy it by the sixer, give me trends, and I'll buy one for the tick, maybe.
  4. bubseymour

    bubseymour Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    I have no trouble finding variety of most styles. Sure Haze dominates the taps and shelves in stores, but most brewers around me toss out a West Coast IPA periodically as well. Agree that most of the traditional English style beers overall are in a down cycle right now in both popularity and supply.
    Amendm, dcotom, GreenBayBA and 2 others like this.
  5. Mindcrime1000

    Mindcrime1000 Apr 30, 2016 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    Dear OP--You are most-definitely not nuts.

    When I review a brew, I'm especially happy when I get to write some variation of the line "it just looks, smells, and tastes like what I would tell someone 'beer' tastes like." That's one of the best compliments I can give a simple tasty beer.

    But that's the rub. Breweries are businesses, and they need to expand their audience like any other business. At the end of the day, some people (maybe a ton of people) don't like the "beer" flavor I referenced above. For awhile, it was a hop-bomb IBU contest. Now it's how hazy, fruity, and milky can you go. As long as people keep drinking the sweet treats and leaving dusty bottles of the old guard on the shelf, this will continue.
    Amendm, BBThunderbolt and GreenBayBA like this.
  6. Mindcrime1000

    Mindcrime1000 Apr 30, 2016 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    I agree. Give me an English Bitter any day of the week--if I can just find one!:rolling_eyes: Fortunately, a local brewer has started brewing one on a "rotational" basis, but I'm "out of season" right now.
    SABERG, scream and GreenBayBA like this.
  7. Beer-A-Lot

    Beer-A-Lot Oct 4, 2012 Virginia

    I love classic, straightforward styles too, but I also like to see brewers experiment as long as they're not just doing something as a gimmick. The challenge today is that with so many breweries and hybrid, crossover styles, brewers have to constantly look for something new that stands out. I think this is true even if you've mastered a particular style. It tends to be hit or miss. I just wish the one-offs that turn out good will more often remain in rotation. P.s., I just love Dieu Du Ciel.
    Amendm, officerbill, Foyle and 3 others like this.
  8. jvgoor3786

    jvgoor3786 May 28, 2015 Arkansas
    Society Trader

    I love most of the "new" styles and hope they stick around. The beauty is - if you don't like it you don't have to drink it.

    Now get off my lawn.
    ElmerLovejoy, rtrasr, Scrapss and 7 others like this.
  9. Insomniac

    Insomniac Nov 5, 2019 Canada (ON)

    As a fellow resident of Ontario, I can certainly relate to and endorse a lot of what was discussed by the OP. Over the last decade or so, many of the U.K. beers, Germans Pils and Belgian beers that I saw regularly have been replaced by Ontario craft, which tends to focus on trends or currently popular styles. Best of luck finding a quality brewed beer outside the handful of styles and their offshoots that are currently most popular. It’s great that provincially brewed beers are getting attention, but the overall diversity of classic styles available has definitely declined IMO.
    SABERG, Amendm, Ranbot and 2 others like this.
  10. polloenfuego

    polloenfuego Jan 26, 2013 Canada (NB)
    Society Trader

    The other issue we are facing here in Ontario, which is probably happening elsewhere is the scarcity of product.

    It's nearly impossible to get quality American craft. I used to hit NY and VT on the regular.

    As for local, they are barely able to keep up with demand thanks to the 'rona.

    I'd love nothing more than to wander into the Bevvie in Winooski right now and fill the back of my vehicle up with a variety of products. Border closed though.
    SABERG, Amendm, EmperorBatman and 4 others like this.
  11. Beer_Stan

    Beer_Stan Mar 15, 2014 California

    Time to start trading bud. That's how I get beers that I can't get. I know you shouldn't have to and that's part of your point, I'm sure, but if there's a will, there's a way. I'm not sure how much shipping is to Ontario but hit me up and I may be able to help you with some West Coast IPAs If you don't mind sending me some of that stuff you're tired of drinking up there. Cheers bud.
    Fenski, micada, Junior and 5 others like this.
  12. scream

    scream Dec 6, 2014 Wisconsin

    That ain't a lawn, it's a weed field !!
  13. polloenfuego

    polloenfuego Jan 26, 2013 Canada (NB)
    Society Trader

    Thanks for the offer, but getting beer into Canada by mail is like breaking into Fort Knox.

    Our government has such a large stick up its ass, that all parcels at the border are scanned/x-rayed. Beer is considered "unpostable" so it would not be allowed in the country. Same rules technically apply within the country too.

    If the border was open, piece of cake. Pop down the road an hour, mail and pick-up from a P.O. box in Ogdensburg NY.

    I'm just cranky, I want our locals to at least try to make a few other styles. I'm tired of seeing "check out our new release...Carbon Copy NEIPA!"
    Amendm, kuhndog, Junior and 5 others like this.
  14. GreenBayBA

    GreenBayBA Aug 30, 2015 Wisconsin
    Society Trader

    General McAlister, time for you to drink Spotted Cow.
  15. drunkenmess

    drunkenmess Mar 27, 2015 Michigan

    Obviously a dead zone for craft and just regular beer in general...
    We have the overflow of the trendy stuff but a never ending abundance of the classic styles.
    Jus gotta know where to look. :wink:

    Like Kissimmee used to say...

  16. beergoot

    beergoot Oct 11, 2010 Colorado
    Society Trader

    You are among friends. You are not alone. You are not nuts.

    It seems like chatter over the past few years indicate an exhaustion with endless NEIPA / hazy / cloudy IPAs. It does seem that pilsners and lagers are making a minor comeback. Yet there is no denying that such beers still seem to drive the market. Eh, go figure...

    I'm with you. I would like to see more options for classic beer styles like you cited.

    My hope is that all things are cyclic, and that eventually there will be a turn towards more availability of straight-forward beers more focused on clarity and clean tastes and focused primarily on malts, hops, yeast and water with minimal use of barrel aging, exotic adjuncts.
  17. beerjerk666

    beerjerk666 Aug 22, 2010 Florida
    Society Trader

    Right there with ya @polloenfuego !

    I'm in for the tick with some of these "far beers", but just give me a straight up IPA and I'll be happy. Sometimes that's all I want, a palate wrecking tongue buckler of an IPA, no fruits. It seems that is outside of the norm making a true to style beer.
    SABERG, dcotom and GreenBayBA like this.
  18. sjrider

    sjrider Mar 4, 2016 California

    Hey OP,you damn sure are not alone . I have a select group of aficionados and we get together usually once a month for a Thursday night beer tasting.We always bring a few favorites and at least one obscure brew.Last one included Westvleteren 12, Fullers ESB ,SNPA, and a handful of local ipa's and stout's in a more or less blind tasting to see if we could identify them. I immediately knew the first 3 and guessed correctly on about half the others.The new creations I got about half the brewers correct but not the beers.There's just too much out there to even wrap your head around. Classic styles I know and certain brewers malt,yeast ,hop profiles I can usually identify but with all the variables anymore its definitely a challenge.I say drink what you like , try everything or not - your call. I really have no use for fruity weird sour shit or sickly sweet dark roasty stuff but again to each their own.Cheers!
  19. draheim

    draheim Sep 18, 2010 Washington

    Well first, that's not really a rule. More like a catch phrase. But I digress.

    I don't think it's written anywhere that to love beer you have to blindly follow every new trend and fad. @polloenfuego, it sounds to me like you have just figured out what you like and that you don't really care to follow the herd. Good for you. I personally don't even know what a pastry stout is (maybe I've had one and didn't know it), and I doubt I've ever had a milkshake IPA. It's not really that important to me to find out what these things are. If they're around in another 5 or 10 years maybe I'll try them. There are plenty of great styles that have stood the test of time.

    It's a big tent with lots of room for all kinds of tastes. Drink what you like, live and let live. Cheers!
  20. WesMantooth

    WesMantooth Jan 8, 2014 Ohio
    Society Trader

    I went to a store in Columbus today that has a great variety and tons of imports, but I still felt like I had to swim through a lake of 16oz cans of hazy ipas to get to anything. Which isn’t much of an exaggeration. In addition to the regular shelving, there were 2 folding tables full of them along with stacks on the floor just inside the door.
    SABERG, MrOH, bluejacket74 and 3 others like this.
  21. Reidrover

    Reidrover Jan 14, 2003 Oregon

    I guess it is what sells. I love reviewing new beers to me but not a fan of hazy/murky IPAs..its becoming hard to find new beers to try, that are not murksters, even in Oregon.
    Luckily most tap-houses have a better choice with some more classic styles than store bought beers
    BBThunderbolt likes this.
  22. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    And yet, you haz access to Grape Lotion. From @John_M 's weekly GL update;

    The Mad Batter
    (12.4% abv) $30/4pack
    Turns out, The Mad Batter is running late for his own important date, so we decided to hold the release to make sure we get it just right. Never fear, this bonkers dessert stout will be dropping soon, heavily laden with chocolate, vanilla, almonds, and coconut.


    Sir, get you that, and I'm sure you'll understand what a "Pastry Stout" is.
  23. draheim

    draheim Sep 18, 2010 Washington

    I guess I'm confused, because from what I can tell Grape Lotion is an IPA (which I have never had). And I don't see a listing for Mad Batter, but I haven't tried that either. In any case, if this style is anything like Southern Tier Crème Brûlée then I guess I've had something similar. But it's not something I would seek out again. I've got enough health issues without adding diabetes to the mix.
  24. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    Ahh, I think I've got this.

    During your hiatus, we NW forum denizens jokingly nick-named Great Notion, Grape Lotion. So much so that A: some of us can't break the habit, and B: they have a sense of humor, and actually made a grape pop flavored beer called Grape Lotion. Mad Batter, is their latest Pastry Stout, and they've been hyping it for a few weeks, but it's not quite ready yet (again....).

    So, GN/GL is famed, perhaps even revered, for making sticky-sweet fruited IPAs, and thick, Die-A-Beetus inducing stouts. In other words: they focus on what exactly OP was railing against. But hey! Their 2nd Seattle location will be opening soon (Technically, the 2nd spot will be opening before the 1st one does. They don't seem to do anything simply. Sigh.), so you can explore taster pours at your leisure.

    Hope that, uh, helps?
  25. draheim

    draheim Sep 18, 2010 Washington

    Thanks for bringing me up to speed. Clearly I’m like the OP in that I’m reluctant to follow every latest trend in the beer scene. After all, I’m the guy who started a recent thread actually asking for hazy/New England IPA recommendations. Which must seem pretty ridiculous given that we are drowning in options. But ignorance is bliss, especially these days.
  26. beer_beer

    beer_beer Feb 13, 2018 Finland

    All I can recommend is finding ways passing the unpleasant stuff fast for coming to the, often classic, goodies. Make a strategy when wandering into the store. Try to hit the beer shelves from a suitable angel :beers:. Best case scenario you don't even have to see the stuff you're not interested in, no matter how popular it happens to be at the moment.

    The world will feel like a better place :smile:
    deleted_user_950283 likes this.
  27. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts

    Captain obvious here. While I’m sure this trend will flatten and begin to tail downward w/the effects of the pandemic - it pretty much explains why most see a glut of trendy beers. Competition is fierce and the market/consumer drives the trends. But - as others have pointed out - a rising tide lifts all boats - and I agree with @drunkenmess - you just gotta know where to look for your traditional favorites. Personally I don’t long for days past - not the 80s or 90s or 2Ks - I’d freeze the current beer scene in lucite block if I could - cause it’s not likely to ever be better in our lifetime.
    #27 chipawayboy, Aug 23, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2020
  28. SILVER

    SILVER Jan 3, 2007 Florida

    For me, the problem is that the abundance of all these new styles that I don't care for is pushing out the the old standards.
    Yesterday I went to have some food and drink at a place that advertises "over 600 bottles of beer" to choose from. Not a single saison to choose from, imported or domestic/craft could I find.
    When I go to visit a new brewery, what impresses me the most is that they brew close to style.
    Even at the big stores, so much variety but my old standards are getting harder to find. This has been mentioned in different threads on this forum.
    I've taken to "hoarding" because I feel that certain beers that I like and drink on a regular basis might not be restocked once the store runs out. Sometimes, I feel, it is not the stores fault as the distributor doesn't bring it in to the area.
  29. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    You are not alone and you are not nuts.

    I am sorry to hear about your challenge of deceasing beer style choices. I am fortunate that in my area I can still find beer styles like Bitter Ales, Mild Ales, Porter, Brown Ales, etc. but the choices are limited.

    And luckily there are also choices to drink 'beers that taste like beer'



  30. rgordon

    rgordon Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I started out Murtaughed. I've always loved beer since I was about 15. I'll be 70 in May. The arc of my life has been shaped by beer and wine. Traveling to Europe as a 20 year old opened my eyes for good. I ran a wholesale company and bought beer and wine for distribution across North Carolina. So as a salesman I could not besmirch successful styles and brands. I gave consumers what they wanted and really tried to stay ahead of the trends. So, in this manner I was able to acquire emerging brands that made our company grow. I'm not against anything, but I know what I like. Know it alls always amused me.
  31. Providence

    Providence Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    I am. Or, at least in the case of pastry stouts, I am. If hundreds of brewers made a beer that was aged on sardines, one of them would inevitably be less gross than the others. But they’d all still suck. Such is the case with pastry stouts.
    BBThunderbolt likes this.
  32. Stignacious

    Stignacious Aug 24, 2011 New York

    I had my Murtaugh moment early this year while visiting friends in Buffalo. After having a fantastic time at Big Ditch, we tried a new place, Froth, that had recently opened. Of the 12 beers on tap, 5 were kettled sours, 6 were DDH NEIPA's, and an AAL that you could tell was for the brewers.
    It was some of the worst beer that I have ever had. Everything looked the same. The sours all tasted like curdled smoothies, and the IPA's were sweet yet acidic, so I felt like I was drinking bile because all of the hop burn.

    I still regret it, months later, and I just get frustrated when I buy beer because I feel like my options are increasingly limited to a handful of choices. I still drink NEIPA's, but not as often, and I spend much more time hunting for a traditional east coast or west coast + lager; usually stuck buying the same few brews on repeat.
    mattbk, Reidrover, BruChef and 4 others like this.
  33. TongoRad

    TongoRad Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Hell yeah!

    Photo appropriation approved
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  34. Foyle

    Foyle Sep 29, 2007 North Carolina

    I have exactly one store in my area that carries traditional imports from the UK, Ireland, Germany, and Belgium along with 'traditional' craft beers (straight up porters, stouts, brown ales, west coast IPA, etc). Unfortunately that store is a 45 minute drive from my home.
    All of the stores that are closer have given over 35-40% of their cooler space to ciders and seltzers (more power to people who enjoy those, it just annoys me that they have pushed import and craft beer out and replaced them with non-beer). When you then figure another 35% of cooler space for Adjunct lagers (and light and ultra light lagers), that leaves 25%-30% for ALL other options. Of that last portion it seems it least half of the craft brews I see are 'gimmick' beers (craft versions of flavored malt beverages). There is very little left for traditional styles -- with Sierra Nevada, New Belgium, and Sam Adams providing the bulk of those limited options.
    I still enjoy trying new beers when I can find them, but my tastes are just too out of step with the current marketplace. I just cannot get excited about cider, seltzer, flavored malt-ernatives, or gimmick beers. I have come full circle on beer at this point in my life. Price point is king and I buy and drink whatever best meets my goal for straightforward beer at this time, which means I mostly just buy the same beers over and over since options are so limited within my parameters.
    Reidrover likes this.
  35. thebeers

    thebeers Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    The NEIPA and pastry stout trend in the U.S. is quickly being supplanted by these lactose-heavy fruited kettle sours (or, really, fruit & field beers) with names like Joose and Schmoojee and Jreamsicle — a bunch of which explode if you leave them unrefrigerated for more than a day.
    zid and BBThunderbolt like this.
  36. beer_beer

    beer_beer Feb 13, 2018 Finland

    You hate it when trends become too dominant.
    JayORear and rgordon like this.
  37. cavedave

    cavedave Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    Hobbies that grow to become very popular end up with some sorts of conflicts between the folks who were the original people who loved the hobby when it was unknown by most people and those who joined the hobby after it gained wide popularity. I'll leave it to psychologists to explain the kinds of entitlement felt by those in the hobby, and the varying degrees it is expressed, but it is easy to see how many folks who consider themselves originals have a sort of arrogant dismissiveness of those new to the hobby. And those who come into the hobby after it already is popular try to make up for not being "OG" by overcompensating in ways easy to identify when they occur, such as they try to be more knowledgeable or collect more or better things related to the hobby. I enjoy to observe this interaction from the "OG" vantage point in a few hobbies I enjoy, and craft beer shows it in very interesting ways.
    SABERG, Pinz412, KingforaDay and 3 others like this.
  38. donspublic

    donspublic Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Society Trader

    I guess I am just lucky, I find I don't mind the hazy if it is done well, but having access to some WC IPA's hasn't been that big of a deal. Most of these brewers are just cranking out what is selling and I can understand that. Hopefully there will still be love for some of the other styles and they will continue to filter down to the shelves. The hazy's that I have found I truly like are those that are somewhere between a NEIPA and WC. They have that great juicy profile with a firm bitterness that encourages drinkability. And most of these roll into that 5.5 to 6.5 ABV spot which is where I like to stay.
    Reidrover likes this.
  39. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    That describes some of my favorite hoppy beers from the breweries of Hill Farmstead, The Alchemist, Lawson's,...

    I once suggested in a past thread (somewhat tongue in cheek) that we need another IPA substyle to describe these beers. I posted "Vermont IPA" as a name.

  40. Beer_Stan

    Beer_Stan Mar 15, 2014 California

    Is Silversmith not open? They seem to have a solid line up or are they bad?
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