Whats wrong with Light Beer?
Having been around these forums for many months now, I have noticed a recurring theme that is really starting to irk me; and I have noticed it both in my local homebrew store as well as on various homebrew sites. No, its not that whole, 'Dude...switch to all grain like real brewers do' thing. Nor is it the equally annoying canned response some users have that tells them to automatically switch to kegging; that the newbie must have an infected beer, or the habit some have that requires them to jump in and make a comment, just for the sake of seeing their own typing skills in action with virtually no point of reference about the topic at hand. True, all of these thing bug the bejesus out of me, but there is one thing that takes the proverbial cake: Light Beer. It can always be successfully argued that BMC is watered down, produced for the masses, slop, sure. But dating back to my first visit to the LHBS, until this afternoon while browsing a forum, there seems to be an unspoken rule dictating that light beer is no good. In actuality, I personally enjoy many varieties of beer, including some of the lighter beers out there. The bothersome thing for me is very simple. Some people just enjoy a light, low abv lawnmower beer. Sadly, however, many more people seem to down on people for expressing an interest in brewing something light. I am lucky enough to have 2 amazingly well run LHBS',1 okay LHBS, and 1 that shouldn't be in business within a 30 minute drive of my home. On my very first ever trip into one of them, I inquired about how to brew a blonde ale, and was told by the proprietor that it really wasn't possible to brew a light, low abv beer at home; that if I wanted cheap beer, just go buy it; and that customers looking to make real beer needed his help. What if that had been the only option I had had available to me in terms of a local brew store? Would I be here over a year later writing to complain about it? NO! I would have likely been turned off to home brewing altogether. Fortunately, I had some other choices and chose to use them. The availability of so many choices is one of the things that makes Philly such a great beer city. One can only wonder how many potentially great home brewers have vanished into another hobby because of this attitude. The thing is, for me, I really find it much more difficult to brew a lighter beer than a stout. The mistakes are much more visible in a lighter beer, and the clarity issues you encounter with lighter beers are non existent in a darker beer. So what if I happen to be that one oddball nutjob who actually drinks his home brew at 3.4% abv. I am drinking it because I enjoy the taste, not because I am looking to get stone cold drunk at a frat party. People , in my view, need to embrace each and every newcomer to this site. You never know, that newcomer just may be the one who will launch the next DFH, Magic Hat, or Yards. It would be a shame for a great brewery never to open because of some overly judgmental strangers turned him off to the hobby.