I have noticed some changes in my palate recently.
A couple of years ago I was predominately seeking out strange or extreme beers. I was enticed by beers with weird ingredients, even better if I didn’t know what said ingredient was or even how to pronounce it. If it was hops I was after, I was looking for the biggest, bad-ass mother-hopping beer I could find. At a guess my beer purchasing would be 70/30 split between international and local.
These days I am more interested in the local beers, ones that are equally interesting and drinkable that I’d drink time and time again, beers that I would recommend to friends whether they were beer geeks, wine nerds or neither.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love to geek out with something a little weird, beers like BrewCult’s Pepper Steak Porter, a beer you can probably guess is inspired by a damn good steak, and Rogue Beard Beer, a beer made with the brewers beard yeast. Then there are times when a beer is so irresistible that you physically cannot leave the shop without it, examples are below –
Two of my most recent international beer gee purchases – LEFT Mikkeller George vs Brian, an imperial stout aged in tequila barrels RIGHT To Ol Sur Maelk, a sour imperial milk stout. Incidentally both were freaking sensational.
As a general observation my beer buying habits are now more around beers like Eagle Bay Pale Ale, Colonial Kolsch, Bootleg Speakeasy or Nail Red Ale. These are beers that are available all year around, beers that are balanced, drinkable and well crafted and brewed in a brewhouse that I can drive to in less than 3 hours. These are the beers that will bring more people into the craft beer world, these are the beers that entice someone down the rabbit hole of the hoppy, the imperial, the barrel aged, the wild fermented, the sour and the insane. Extreme beers are passionate flirtations, everlasting love affairs are made with fresh, local, balanced beers.