Trend in beers is unfortunately GO BIG or GO HOME in 2010!
Here I was thinking ‘Sour/Barrel Aged/ Imperial Anything / Limited Edition’ was all the rage for the year but hell no. The year started out in February with the rare Pliny the Younger both appearing and then disappearing within minutes at locations across the US. That beer is an 11% trippel IPA that is the older brother of Pliny the Elder.
So now most of America let along Canada have not tasted this beer that was no so much hyped as much as released once a year at the brewery, became instantly the most popular beer anywhere around the world for a few weeks anyway. Due to lack of supplies and the beer being sold by dickheads online in Growlers in 2011 there are no-growler fills allowed. I can agree with this but at the same time penalizes those that use growlers for their intended purpose to drink at home with friends.
So the other big story this year has been the war between ‘Brewdog‘ in Scotland and Schorschbräu in Germany. Prior to this battle it was the American brewer Sam Adams with whom had the Utopia beer that is 27% as the biggest, but not anymore as that is now less than half the big boys now. Dogfish Head 120 minute IPA was the highest I had tried and actually enjoyed, but dare say none of my non-beer nerd friends would like it. This week we learn of a new brewer to the Mix in the battle of the ages T Koelschip has come up with a 60% beer.
The only way to reasonably get a handle on the current big boys right now is to put up all the big offending beers that are the talk across the US beer scene right now. Without doubt it would be a mighty week long hangover had you all these bottles in your house at one time, but you could definitely have a great blind tasting with these beers.
As someone joked on twitter yesterday they are working on the 100% beer, and I’m sure this post will be outdated by the time this becomes live online. The other question that was asked by a blogger Hoptopia was do we need to create new names/categories for beer? This is probably the time for a consortium to agree on new names, or sectional styles of beer. I am a huge fan of massive Imperial IPA’s, Stouts, Barley wines but know many who aren’t that still enjoy in what they think beer is (light brand named).
In the Wine industry there are different categories so that we have ‘table wines’ (7-17%) that encapsulates all grape varieties (Riesling, Shiraz, Zinfindel etc) then there are ‘Fortified’ Wines that start at the 18% range upwards. These wines are still considered wine except served after dinner or before dinner in the case of sherry.
We can laugh and joke all we want at this race of who’s got bigger balls? and who these beers are aimed at? but has the time come for a category of ball busting beers that can be called something else all together. The one thing this race is doing is making news papers and media which is positive for the craft brewing scene.