Friday, April 16, 2010

This Post is Perfect for the Climate.

You might have noticed that I'm not so much into beer styles. I'm into beer enjoyment and I don't get the preoccupation with style. To me it looks like a fetish.

OK, when traveling, have you ever shown one of your favorite guidebooks to a local? It sucks when they laugh. Doesn't mean it's not a useful guide. Maybe beer styles are the same way. So I'll try to be sensitive.

I'm in no position to explain why there ought to be a special category for Australasian, Latin American or Tropical-Style Light Lager. Compare guidelines if you want; it won't enlighten you. I suspect it comes from a certain mindset. This happens to be the mindset of most thirsty drinkers in beer-poor, sunny, tropical countries. It goes something like this: Well, it's perfect for the climate. I have heard (or read) normally intelligent, discriminating beer aficionados say ridiculous things like that about beers they wouldn't give to their neighbor's dog. As if the beautiful weather and lack of locally grown hops and barley somehow excuses the near-total absence of flavor.

Well, I don't accept it. I won't. Not in this day and age.

I've been here a week. The weather has been beautiful. And I've had a few Imperials. I've had a couple of Bavaria Darks. Refreshing, yes. Drinkable, sure, especially when cold. And you know what else? Almost totally flavorless. I don't want to hear any euphemisms about how the taste is "delicate" or "soft." No. Flavorless is flavorless.

Here's the thing: It is entirely possible to have a refreshing, drinkable beer that has plenty of good flavor. This is well known. It is no great revelation. The problem is that it usually takes a craft brewer to make that kind of beer. And that kind of artist-engineer is all too rare in this neck of the woods.

But there are a few. They do exist. They need more customers. And they need more attention.

There's the context. Now I've set you up. Coming soon: beer news and current events.

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