Craft beer consumers are addicted to trends. Beer styles, serving types, and packaging come and go with the mood of the consumer and the passion of a few influential brewers. But some trends have passed their prime (and others should never have made it in the first place).
As the people setting the trends and following the trends, brewers have some of the strongest opinions on what’s considered popular in the world of craft beer. So we asked them, what’s the beer trend that you wish would end?
“Anything using ‘peanut butter.’” — Chris Davison, head brewer at Wolf’s Ridge Brewing.
“This might be a little inside baseball, but for a time there was almost a sense of pride among a select few breweries in their ability to produce popular beer with a minimal or no laboratory. This has started to die down a little bit, as most brewers recognize the need for stringent quality control in producing quality beers. I’d like to continue to see this move away from beer production by ‘feel’ towards a greater focus on quality controls.” — Alan Windhausen, head brewer at Pikes Peak Brewing Company.
“Beer flights. Beer is meant to be drunk by the pint, not by the shot. There are a lot of flavors and aromas that are lost in small tasting glasses, as well as switching back and forth between tasters wrecks your palate. I also wish people would stop naming sub-genre’s of IPA, particularly with colors. Black IPA, Red IPA. Its India PALE ale. If a beer is black, it isn’t pale.” — Patrick Byrnes, head brewer at Islamorada Beer Company.
“Cloudy beers.” — Eric Meyer, brewmaster at Cahaba Brewing.
“People rating every beer they drink on apps and social media is getting a little overdone. Someone new to craft beer may have little to no idea of styles outside of their personal preference, so anything outside of their comfort zone gets a low rating for all to see. Being critical of such a complex beverage simply because you can download a free app demeans the craft of brewing great beer.” — Pete Anderson, co-owner of Pareidolia Brewing Company.
“I hope I don’t offend my fellow brewers out there, but I’ve never been a fan of fruit beers.” — Chris Riphenburg, co-owner and head brewer of Ale Asylum.
“Filling growlers to go from the tap. The lack of a counter pressure CO2 fill does serious damage to the beer.” — Larry Chase, brewer at Standing Stone Brewing Company.
“Beers with meat. No, I don’t hate meat, I just don’t want to drink it.” — John Falco, head brewer at Lincoln’s Beard Brewing Company.
“Beers that look like milkshakes and taste like yeast or flour. Don’t get me wrong, New England IPAs done well are delicious – juicy, just the right amount of haze, bursting with citrus. Done wrong, they are really not enjoyable to drink, and they give craft beer a bad name.” — Nicole Carrier, co-founder and president of Throwback Brewery.
“The Growler. Inefficient, a poor serving vessel, doesn’t hold well. Once we pour it and cap it, we have no idea how long it’s going to be until it’s drunk, if it’s going to be stored cold or rolling around in a car. All hail the Crowler.” — Jon Mansfield, brewery operations manager at Warhorse Brewing Company.
“Pumpkin/spice beers.” — Ian Smith, co-owner of Three Rings Brewery.
“That if you can buy a beer on the shelf it must not be as good as a limited release. It’s such a backward way of thinking. You think a brewer is not going to put out great beer every day and only save it for their rare and limited stuff? It’s just crazy.” — Kevin Blodger, co-founder and director of brewing operations at Union Craft Brewing.