Wednesday, November 19, 2008
New Yorker Beer Article
You know craft beer is getting bigger, when a magazine like the New Yorker has an 11 page article on craft beer. This is an extremely interested article, not only for what it says but for how people have interpreted it (more on that in a bit). The basis of the article is on Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head fame. Now I have made no secret of my love of his beers as I think he's a mad genius so I was happy to see the love he got in this article. Besides going into a lot of detail into two of Sam's latest beers, the already tasted here Palo Santo Marron, and the I can't wait to taste Sahtea it covers some history on extreme beers. From the early days of American Beer we've had beers that some folks would call extreme, however as of late we've taken that to another level. From Dogfish's beers, to Sam Adams Utopia we yearn for bigger and bigger flavors (this is no different than in the wine industry with bigger and bigger Cabs). While I agree with what the article says and for the most part think that its very well written there is one thing that struck a nerve (along with other folks) and that was how it portrayed the great Garret Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery. Again I've made no secret of my admiration of Mr. Oliver as I think he's a fine brewer, but more importantly an advocate for not only great beer, but great beer and food pairings. The article, fairly or unfairly portrays Mr. Oliver as someone who not only doesn't like "extreme" beers, but thinks they are bad for the industry. Now I don't think that's true at all, and sure enough it isn't. This article has created quite the fervor on the Beer Advocate Forums with Mr. Oliver, Mr. Calagione, and the author of the article, clarifying what was said, what was meant, and the context of the quotes. Like I said I thought this article was well written, but at the same time you have to have your doubts if it takes as much as it has to clarify all the issues inside. The lesson here of course is don't believe everything you read. As always make up your own mind and go check out the article, and then go checkout the BA forum (Sam even name drops Houston's own Brock Wagner).