"In the style listing of the top 50 beers, the word “Imperial” appears 39 times! The word pilsner? Zero times, in the entire 100."Beaumont titles that post "Why Brewers Make So Many Strong Beers." Martyn Cornell, a strong voice for session beers and traditional British beers, takes it a step further, titling his post on the subject "Why extremophiles are a danger to us all," a post that has set off a tiny bit of a firestorm. Both posts point out that this kind of widely-reported excitement -- in what is essentially a niche within a niche -- has an effect on what beers are available for the average craft beer drinker.
It is not my intention to set off a firestorm today. Not my nature, you know. What I do want to say is that this is exactly the reason this blog is here: to draw more attention to session beers, beers "to the left of the dial," that are under the big ABV radar but still have deliciously full flavor. It's working, but maybe we need to deliver a louder statement. You know...set off a firestorm.
Accordingly, I am reading manifestos this week, learning from the masters.
A specter is haunting American craft breweries -- the specter of Session Beer.Or:
All the Powers of extreme craft brewing have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this specter. Where is the beer under 6% that has not been decried as "weak session beer" by its opponents in extremism? Where the extreme brewer who has not charged that session beers take attention from the extreme beers that fire the public imagination?*
Two things result from this fact:
I. Session Beer is already acknowledged by all extreme craft brewers and drinkers to be itself a Movement.
II. It is high time that Session Beer brewers and drinkers should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the Spectre of Session Beer with a Manifesto of the movement itself.
When, in the course of enjoying beer, it becomes necessary for one portion of the family of drinkers to assume among the beer drinkers of the earth a position different from that which they have hitherto occupied, but one to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes that impel them to such a course.Hmmm...who would have thought Elizabeth Cady Stanton's writing would serve as a model for a drinking platform? Will wonders never cease? I am liking the manifesto idea. But I think I'll keep it shorter. Much shorter, it's got to fit on a t-shirt!
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all good beer drinkers are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are beer, variety, and the pursuit of hoppiness; that to supply these rights breweries are instituted, deriving their just powers from the purchases of the drinker. Whenever any form of beer hype becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of those who suffer from it to refuse allegiance to it, and to insist upon the institution of a new movement, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its definition in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their drinking pleasure and happiness.
*Guys...absolutely all in fun. I know that all involved have made or enjoyed session beers. I'm just riffing on Karl Marx here, and his Manifesto is the most famous...and required a bogeyman. The manifesto I write for the SBP will not. Promise you that.