Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Session Versus Extreme and Other Fictional Controversies.

Todd Alstrom says we're "fucking clueless." Lew Bryson says "bite me." What a hoot! Let's all admit straightaway that it would be fun to watch this battle rage between the sessionistas and the dangerous extremophiles.

Except, sadly, there is no battle. Not really. That's a problem, and I have a solution: We pretend that there is an ugly conflict and we all exploit it ruthlessly for fun and marketing.

Let me back up. If you read this blog with any frequency you know how I feel about session beers. Simply put, there ought to be more of them widely available. Find me an extremophile who disagrees with that basic argument.

Meanwhile, I still enjoy a glass of really strong or bitter or otherwise extreme beer now and then. If you could find me a bottle of that stout made with coffee that was shat out by the ferret, I would really like to try it. All in good fun. And guess what? There are very few sessionistas who would disagree.

I hate to get all lovey-dovey-Kumbaya on you, because it's frankly boring, but the fact is that most of us craft beer drinkers like to try all sorts of beers. Regular and irregular. The Allstroms have enjoyed their session beers, even the un-extreme ones. And don't you think Lew enjoys a strong beer from time to time? At best, we might call it a difference of emphasis. So there's no need to stir up trouble.

But we should do it anyway.

Why? Because it would be a hell of a lot more interesting than everyone being on the same rah-rah-craft-beer page. It shows there is a lot more to the "better beer segment" than the Ratebeer Top 100 and Sam Calagione. It shows there are options. And it's probably good for publicity, if that San Francisco Chronicle article offers a glimpse of what's possible.

Here's what I think: Lew and the Alstroms ought to get on the horn and conspire about how to raise the most hell.

I'm thinking cage match: a two-day festival with two completely separate rooms or experiences. On one day, you drink some of the finest session beers from the brewers who brew them best. On the other day, you drink some of the finest extreme beers from the brewers who brew them best. The only rule is you can't visit both areas in the same day... The idea is to keep them separate, or else (I think) the session beers would seem unfairly bland and the extreme ones would seem unfairly undrinkable.

At the end, everyone votes on which day they liked best. And argues about it until next year.

1 comment:

  1. I had a good night of sessions and extremes last night. Few pints of Hawkshead bitter then moved onto Havkshead broadie's triple XSB (8.5%) for my last sipper. Might not have been such a good idea, waking do this mornings dawn, but hey I had fun. I do blog about 'extreme' beers. I could write about session ales, but I don't think as much people would take any notice.