2 Beer Guys Blog

Welcome to the 2 Beer Guys Blog! Here, you will be able to read our stories and adventures as we travel through the world of craft beer.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Bigger not always better

OK, time for a quick rant. It seems like we've been seeing a drastic increase in the number of "big beers" out there. Double this, imperial that. Now, some of these beer are fantastic. Some, however, should never have been brewed in the first place. This past weekend was a good example... I tried Maharaja double IPA from Avery brewing for the first time. it weighs in at 9.8% ABV. A strong ale by any estimation. It was amazing, one of the best strong IPAs I've ever had. The hops were so pronounced on the nose and just bitter enough to help hide the alcohol, so that it made a drinkable and incredibly flavorful beer. Then, I tried the Founder's Devil Dancer. Awful, nasty, wretched experience. A triple IPA at 13% ABV, this is a beer that was brewed just because someone wants to try to say they make the strongest IPA out there. They may have succeeded at that, but they failed miserably at making a beer most people can drink. The only thing I could experience in this beer was heat. Alcohol just overwhelmed all else except a little syrupy sweetness. Nothing pleasant about it. Maybe if was just me, I'll have to let Tim, Sean and Ryan speak for themselves, but I didn't even finish my 3 oz sample.

Beer is supposed to be about flavor. Even the strong styles like Imperial Stouts, Barleywines, Belgian dubbel and Trippel's all are first about the overall flavor (and aromas, of course), then about the kick. We seem to be in an era where small breweries are trying to distinguish themselves by how strong a beer they can make, or how many IBU's they can claim. I hope too many of them don't lose sight of the overall package. It still needs to be a pleasant drinking experience.



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