The Barrel Aged/Dry Hopped Cop Out

from theweeklybrew.com

liftarn_large_barrelI was just checking the list for the Holiday Ale Festival and it reminded me of something I’ve noticed cropping up at festivals all over the US. When I first noticed it I began calling it the barrel cop out, but I’ve decided dry hop falls under this too.

In Oregons beer market there is an expectation of breweries to constantly bring something new to our festivals. Breweries who bring the “something different” every year recieve more press from bloggers, beer reviewers, and beer magazines then the ones that show up with the same beer every year, regardless of quality. This should theoreticly create a system where brewers are constantly innovating, making one off festival batches, and trying to bring something new to the table. Instead we’re seeing variations on the same beers and hearing them hailed as innovative and new.

Look at some of these beers from the list for this years Holiday Ale Festival.

Dry Hopped Wassail
Bourban Barrel Arrogant Bastard
Papa Noel’s Oak Aged

We’ve somehow collectivly bought into this idea that barrel aging or dry hopping a beer not only makes that beer inffinatly better, but that it also makes a “new” and “unique” beer. I’ve made it no secret that I’m not a fan of the barrel aging craze. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some good barrel aged beers, but I’ve had more average ones. While there’s only 3 listed so far that meet my discription I have no doubt that those special tappings will include alot more.

I guess my gripe is that brewers should treat beer drinkers as more intelligent then a flock of sheep that follow obediantly behind them lapping up their beers. On the flip side beer drinkers need to be more discerning and not act like sheep praising every barrel aged and dry hopped beer that rolls out.

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One Response to “The Barrel Aged/Dry Hopped Cop Out”

  1. happy helles says:

    Are you sure you’re not the new Doc Wort?

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