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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Extreme Beer in America – Circus Novelty or the New Normal?
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:28 AM   #21
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Everyone wants to make their mark, be different, be the first, etc. I had an "extreme stout" 2 days ago, it. tasted like s$&t and I dumped the 7$ bottle down the sink. 3 years from now how many of those brews will still be brewed? A really competitive market is good for the craft industry, but brings flashes in the pan or should I say pot.
A client and I were talking, she loves the Irish Guinness on draught, the export not so much. To each his own.
I'm all for brewers doing crazy things and experimenting with strange flavors. But you're right, a lot of them are flashes in the pan. There are certainly some beer geeks who keep going for the stuff, but there are many more beer geeks (myself included) who'll try something once out of curiousity, and then go back to something we can drink on a regular basis.

For example, I can't think of a single person who tried the Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Maple Bacon monstrosity and actually enjoyed it. It was awful. But I'll give it to them for trying.

It reminds me of a local restaurant run by an acclaimed chef. By restaurant I mean a bar with a small handful of seats. 30ish course meal, at a fortune prix fixe (~$200). But those 30ish courses are basically single bites of food, with the strangest possible concoctions ever. Some sort of candied solidified olive oil bon bon, some weird cotton candy sushi thing. That kind of stuff. My wife has been dying to go. Because according to reviews, the guy apparently pulls it off. By doing these crazy combinations, he's able to isolate very pure and distinct flavor combinations.

If you're going to do something crazy, it better work, at least.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:31 AM   #22
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If you think American craft breweries are the first to cram a multitude of spices, hops, herbs, etc into their beer that would be a major miscalculation. For example, many of theDogfishHead "extreme" beers are actually based off historical evidence dating from thousands of years ago.

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Old 01-11-2013, 04:36 AM   #23
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If you think American craft breweries are the first to cram a multitude of spices, hops, herbs, etc into their beer that would be a major miscalculation. For example, many of theDogfishHead "extreme" beers are actually based off historical evidence dating from thousands of years ago.
Not to mention the Belgians who brewed up dubbels and triples. I mean if they stuck to their traditional table beer, we'd be all in a worse place.

I think that the best option is for people who like the session beers to have them, there's plenty of places that brew traditional beers, and yes some people prefer the big beers, I'm one of them but I'm also a fan of big flavored food as well. I'm a huge fan of spicy food and hoppy beer because they multiply off each other and go crazy.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:39 AM   #24
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I personally don't typically go for extreme beers, but I did try the Voodoo Doughnut Maple Bacon beer, but only because a friend gave it to me. It wasn't horrible, but it definitely wasn't what I would call good. A question I have for anyone questioning extreme beers is, what's it to you if a brewery brews an extreme beer? No one's forcing it down your throat. If you don't want it don't drink it, but don't try to discourage breweries from brewing them because of your own personal convictions. If there's a market for it, or even if there isn't, a brewery should be able to brew what it wants to brew.

Also, my favorite part of that article was:

Quote:
Have we gotten to the point in the craft beer scene where anything fermented with malted barley sugars as the base can be called beer?
Correct me if I am wrong, but that is the definition of beer, no?
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:42 AM   #25
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There's nothing wrong with a bit of fun.

The Extreme Beer Fest is easily the best festival I've been to.

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Old 01-11-2013, 01:21 PM   #26
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He pretty much pointed it out in the article - it's the American way of doing things. We are fueled by materialism and capitalism in this country which doesn't leave much room for ethics or tradition.

But....

There is a whole new generation that has grown up with a much different view of the world and access to cultures that your folks haven't - they will move beyond 'extreme' beers and hopefully start to throw down & create some more American traditions in beer like the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale-the best beer that hd come out of the US-and it's about a 5% beer loosely based on and English tradition.

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Old 01-11-2013, 01:29 PM   #27
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I am a firm believer in the market. If super hoppy high abv beers sell and someone makes money off them then fine by me. That is why I brew my own beer because I can brew what I like instead of what others think I should like.

To each his own I guess

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Old 01-11-2013, 01:34 PM   #28
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Commercial breweries make what people want to drink. They don't dictate the market; the tail doesn't wag the dog.

Craft beer is 5%, and these "extreme" beers are only a small percentage of that. Not a mainstream movement.

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Old 01-11-2013, 01:51 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by passedpawn
Commercial breweries make what people want to drink. They don't dictate the market; the tail doesn't wag the dog.

Craft beer is 5%, and these "extreme" beers are only a small percentage of that. Not a mainstream movement.
Competition breeds innovation. You rarely notice the short guy in a crowded room.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:42 PM   #30
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I drink and brew the occasional oddball/extreme beer - occasional.

My problem with some aspects of the extreme beer trend is that it can then become the new standard expectation for a style. I first observed this with wheat beers. It became an "arms race" to see who could make the most yeasty flavored hefeweissen. A person couldn't taste the wheat anymore in many of these. Lately it has been hoppy beers.

Then problem then is that if a beer is made according to the "old school" style people think it tastes thin and weak. Just look and the ratings/reviews on the web for a standard European lager. Some of these are quite fine, but because they don't bowl you over with a blast of flavors, they only get an OK rating. Oh and if it is under 7% ABV Fugetaboutit

Eventually this will run their course, but my concern is that it will forever impact what is judged to be a great beer. I find the beers that I really like the best are subtle and nuanced. I fear we may lose to many of these beers

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