Friday, July 9, 2010

On a Quest for the Perfect American Craft Beer (According to Me).

We're about to spend more than six weeks in the States after spending four years abroad. We've been back a few times during that period, but this trip is different for a couple of reasons. For one thing it's longer. For another thing it's wider ranging. We'll be in DC at the beginning and Oregon at the end, with a couple of points in the middle. Including our home state of Missouri.

I've got a few questions to ask of American beer. Not of you, but of the beer. It should be a rather long and personal interview. Parts of it will appear here in various forms along the way. But there is one really important question that I've enjoyed thinking about lately: What is American beer doing for us?

I know that brewers have been getting very creative. I know they've been doing some very wild and innovative things. I also know that sometimes these things have been very alcoholic and expensively done and bottled and priced accordingly. And you know what? We're not interested. That's not for us.

I'll be looking for beer with that winning combination of great drinkability and great character. Sessionability is not strictly required but will receive bonus points. Exorbitant prices will not be punished, but simply avoided. I will be grading everything on a very personal, numbers-free hedonistic scale. Qualitative research, let's call it. The ethnography of craft beer.

Or criticism might be another word for it. Perspective. I've got some, you know. Time to make it useful.

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