Saturday, February 5, 2011

This is: Getting It.

Jason Wilson wrote a piece on session beers for the San Francisco Chronicle (which is just now starting a beer column? WTF?!) that definitely gets it. And not just because he quoted me extensively. Really. No, he clearly gets the whole thing, to the point where he recognizes that he has to up his session beer ABV ceiling to BeerAdvocate's 5% ceiling to come up with some beers to talk about...because there just aren't that many sub-4.5% beers out there.

Using BeerAdvocate's 5% is no real surprise: he quoted Todd Alström (and Sam Calagione, too) about the Extreme Session Beer Project. Which, by the way, is fine by me, great idea...except for the 5% top end and the totally misplaced anger. (And it's not new anger, either.) Check this out!
As you might imagine, the editors of Beer Advocate, Todd and Jason Allstrom [sic] - who run the annual Extreme Beer Fest in Boston - take the opposing view. In December, Todd Allstrom announced the launch of an Extreme Session Beer Project. "For too many years the mainstream press and haters have attempted to pigeonhole extreme beer as being just about high-alcohol and unbalanced beers," Todd Allstrom says. "Let's be honest, they're f- clueless."
Todd Allstrom's project co-creator is Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head in Milton, Del., a renowned extreme beer producer. Calagione sought a more evenhanded tone. "I totally agree and find it really destructive when beer folk say session beer needs to supersede extreme beer. Or vice versa. Like they're mutually exclusive."
Who the hell's saying that?! I know damned well I never have. I've made fun of some extreme beers; hell, why not, some of them deserve it. I've poked at people who only want extreme beers, who only want brewers to make extreme beers, but it's because this whole thing is about variety, dammit. If all the brewers made session beers, I'd be bitching about that. I have not heard anyone say extreme beers have to go away so session beers can thrive. Period.

But you know, extreme beers, big beers? They don't need a lot of help right now. They don't need me saying "Come on, people, open up your minds a little and try this stuff, it's frickin' awesome!!" Which I would be, if they were being ignored. However, they ain't, and the extreme defensiveness of some people about them puzzles me. In fact, as Wilson quoted me:
Bryson remains perplexed by the defensiveness. "It's like session beer is a threat of some kind to the extreme beer guys," he says. "Well, bite me. I want my choice, too."
And I do! Happily, articles like

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments welcome: please stay on topic. Spam will not be posted; don't bother.