One read, two listens. My recommendations for this weekend.
Evan Rail writes, “If a big part of craft brewing is innovation, its flip side is tradition, at least part of which has meant the revival of extinct, historical styles. And to be honest, we’re starting to run out of those.”
He adds, in an essay titled “The Last Beer Style,” that, “If we keep resuscitating these previously extinct historic beer styles, we will run out of them—unless, of course, some contemporary beer styles also disappear along the way. It’s not hard to foresee the extinction of Amber Ale, Brown Ale or even Black IPA.”
That provides context for something Mike Karnowski told Jamie Bogner on the Craft Beer & Brewing Podcast. “How many of the BJCP styles are actually brewed commercially by brewers? It’s almost nostalgic to think of an Amber Ale.”
During the hour-plus conversation, Karnowski goes into considerable detail about brewing some of the beers from the past that Rail mentions. He’s not interested in brewing styles named after colors. “As I see what craft beer is turning into, I’m turning around and running back to the 1800s,” he said.
Tomme Arthur has plenty to say about the future, as well as the present, on John Holl’s Drink Beer, Think Beer podcast.
Holl asks him: “When do you just grab the while and jerk right or jerk right and just start to drive off the road?”
Arthur answers he thinks he is reaching the point “where I’m, like man, all we’re making is the same kinds of beers that a lot of other people are. . . . I want to keep doing this but I don’t want to keep doing the same thing. So we’re going to have to find new ways to get off the path to go back to beating down trees in the jungle and clearing the forest.”
In addition, he tasted an NA hazy IPA during GABF judging (a pretty crazy sounding experience overall), and he lived to talk about it.
Pair with Live Oak Grodziskie if at all possible. I see it will be in the upper 90s in Austin (about the only place you can get it) this weekend, which calls for a low alcohol, hop-insistent wheat beer. It is totally relevant to much these guys are writing or talking about.