This morning, as I was perusing the beer news to find the choicest bits to bring you on the Ale Evangelist Show Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/AleEvangelistShow), I was slapped with the following headline:
“Give me cheap beer or give me sobriety. Just stop this craft beer ‘revolution’.”
A couple of notes about this article from The Guardian. First off, I recognize that the author is writing from Australia, and that her beer scene is not likely my beer scene. That said, Australia has really benefited from the homebrew revolution in the States from the mid-80’s. If the land down under is anything like the good ol’ U.S. of A., homebrewers there drove the craft beer revolution. Secondly, I fully admit I have never had an Australian Craft Beer, and know nothing about how they taste.
What is truly frustrating about this article is the author’s assumption that “compost heap flavored” craft beer is the only beer out there. A quick search on good ol’ American Google, turns up this article from a couple years ago: Forget Foster’s; These Are Australia’s Most Popular Beers.
That author is complaining about the lack of flavor in Australia’s most popular beers. The problem with the craft beer hater’s article is that she has a choice. Don’t like ultra-flavored craft beer, don’t drink it. If Australia is anything like the U.S., there are light lagers aplenty. I certainly can’t swing a dead Clydesdale without hitting taps for 13 or 14 of them here.
Listen, craft beer may not be for everyone. (GASP!) Yeah, I said it, not everyone is going to have a craft beer epiphany. See, for craft beer to take hold in someone’s heart, they have to be open to it, and not everyone is. In some cases, one might have to acquire a taste for an aspect of beer they don’t particularly like at first, and many aren’t open to that. That’s fine too. But in that case, don’t knock craft beer, and claim that the “revolution”, (and in the U.S., said revolution is about 36 years old…) needs to end. Those who enjoy the beers you say “taste bad”, are “mouth-puckering, overly flavoursome”, and “taste like licking a compost-heap” disagree, and strongly!
Her other point is that craft beer is too expensive. I’ll agree wholeheartedly here, and this is one reason I’m more likely to buy bottles and enjoy at home rather than go out: $6 or more for a pint is kind of ridiculous when I can get a 6-pack of the same beer for a couple bucks more. Yeah, I said it…craft beer is too expensive. I just shelled out $20 for a bottle of Barrel-Aged Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada. That hurt the ol’ beer budget. I understand why the Barrel Aged Narwhal is more expensive than other bottles on the shelf, sure, but should it be $20? Clearly the market will bear it, but especially when drinking out, craft beer is way too expensive.
Having said all of this, the author’s complaint is that the craft beer culture is taking over all the pubs where she likes to go. Guess what, no one is forcing those pubs to serve those types of beer except market pressure. Which means that her attitude is clearly not the majority. Change pubs or stay at home, but don’t call for an end to a culture that is the only growing segment of the beer market. That’s just petty.