What did I miss? (Other than the spiffy paint job at and new address for A Good Beer Blog?)
As promised, there was no blogging here in October after the 3rd. Daria and I traveled to and around Australia. It was not a beerless trip — I went at the invitation of the Australian homebrewers (meaning they paid my way) to speak at their biannual conference — but it was not a beer trip. No visiting hop fields, no taking notes in and around stainless steel tanks. We were in Sydney for a portion of Sydney Craft Beer Week, but we didn’t attend a single event. In fact, we saw a Time Out “Hop-Up Craft Beer Bar” (a pop-up, obviously) and did not sample a beer.
But a couple of observations. First, for those who would like to get rid of the term “craft beer.” Sorry, ain’t happening. That boat has sailed. Second, because discussion about Carlos Brito’s suggestion that consumers “get a bit tired of choice” has cluttered my Twitter feed I got to thinking about this blackboard I saw at Mrs. Parma’s in Melbourne. The place specializes in parmas and serves only beers brewed in Victoria; highly recommended.
As you can see, this board lists what’s coming on tap. It feels as if we’ve been looking at blackboards like it for more than 25 years. We went from zero small, local breweries in America to more than 4,000 because drinkers want something different.
I remember talking with the late Greg Noonan about the first years after he opened Vermont Pub & Brewery in 1988. “The styles were amber, golden, porter and stout,” he said. That’s changed. The interest in the new has not.