Friday, February 19, 2016

2016- A Craft Beer Wish List

Ah, the first blog post of the new year! So much potential, so many great things happening in craft beer.  What to write about....

I've decided to make a "Wish List" of what I'd like to see in the coming year in craft beer.

So I present to you here, in absolutely no particular order- 5 things I'd like to see in the Craft Beer world in 2016.

1More Malt forward beer, (aka less IPA's)

OK, listen, I love IPA's. I really, really do. But let's be honest here folks, the craft beer world is
currently very IPA heavy.

I was recently on twitter, and saw a post from the talented beer scribe Carla Jean Lauter, (@beerbabe), where she was discussing going "IPA free" for January. I loved the concept, and decided to join in the challenge. So, I headed to my favorite local beer shop, and in searching the cooler, I saw (in my opinion) a shocking lack of Non IPA's.

Yes, there were several good, Non-IPA options available, but relative to the huge volume of IPA's in the cooler, it was rather shocking. So I checked the shelves, seeking a malty, Jack D'or type option. And I gotta say, I saw the same ratio of IPA's to Non IPA's, and I was really surprised. Again, yes, there were some, but the inventory volume seemed dramatically skewed toward IPA, I was really surprised. 

Accordingly, I submit that there is a frightening lack of stylistic diversity on some craft beer store shelves. Now look, I worked in retail for 21 years, I understand how inventory works- you stock what sells. IPA sells, I get it. So lets take some responsibility as craft beer drinkers and start broadening our horizons. Less IPA, more malty beers!

A "Crowler" of Devils Purse Brewings excellent "Handline Kolsch"
(yes, its just a big can. Buts its super cool.)
2. More Crowler's

What can I say, I totally dig the crowler. 

A 32 ounce can of awesome craft beer just feels....whats the word....hmm, ah yes- "awesome" in your hand. Hook me up!

3. Fewer attacks on Craft Beer Drinkers by AB-InBev

I suspect this is a pipe dream, but it would really help my blood pressure if the big brewers just stopped with the childish attack ads on craft beer drinkers. It's bad PR, poor advertising, and really demonstrates an ignorance (or refusal to admit) of why they are losing market share so rapidly.  

4. More Session Beer.

Maybe its my age (I turn 42 today! Anybody want to grab a beer? I'm off), but the dearth of low abv brews is starting to be an issue for me. While I enjoy a hearty 10% abv barrel aged brew as much as anyone, I simply don't want it all the time. I want more beer with abvs in the 4 and 5's. So basically, I just need to drink more Notch.

5. Distribution Reform for our Brewers

This is a big one, and especially significant in light of the recent ruling in Boston that found a distributor guilty of paying for tap lines. This is widespread, accepted, and nearly impossible to police. And its costing brewers money. Our alcohol laws are in desperate, desperate need of updating to reflect the 21st century world we live in. As craft beer drinkers, we need to get involved in this fight and create a level, fair playing field for our brewers to get their product to market.