Craft Beer Trends That Need to Stop in 2017
As much as we love and appreciate craft beer, there's a lot about it that really gets our goat (not literally... we haven't owned a goat since Gertie wandered off). For all its positives (and there are many!), there are just some things about the whole scene that are supremely annoying.
We polled some of our favorite beer writers and industry insiders about the most annoying things going on with craft beer at the moment. We think you'll probably agree with these folks, especially if you've tried to order a beer at an airport or tasted a milkshake IPA lately. This is the dumbest shit in craft beer right now.
Poorly made hazy IPAs"It's like people are making these beers for people who don't like hops -- any bitterness or malt balance is completely rejected. It's like drinking (slightly) hop-infused orange juice. Or just orange juice. I like Northeast-style IPAs as much as the next beer geek, and there are some amazing examples I've been lucky enough to try, but things are going way too far." -- Nora McGunnigle, writer, NOLA Beer Blog
Using "crushable" as an adjective to describe beer"We need to get rid of 'crushable' as a catch-all term to describe a tasty beer. There's a wide array of linguistic possibilities waiting to be unleashed in its place. 'Crushable' is not far off from 'smooth,' its soulless cousin in wordplay, which makes it sound like the beer should be consumed for the sake of it being a non-life-threatening liquid. I love it when we have the opportunity to get more inventive and descriptive, and 'crushable' is too much of an easy way out." -- Bryan Roth, writer, This Is Why I'm Drunk
The obsession with new/weird brews"I was recently at a new brewery with great beer and a solid, varied list -- a helles, a Pils, a few IPAs, a rye pale, a nitro milk stout, and a Russian imperial stout seemed to be the flagships. A friend stared up at the chalkboard menu and said with seeming disappointment, 'Wow, they don't change up the list here much, do they?'
"The brewery in question does, in fact, often have small-batch runs, but on this weekday before Christmas they were down to their more-than-basics regular beers. I was dismayed. Why is only the latest and greatest of interest anymore? New and weird is fun, for sure, but we have to remember to appreciate good beer where it is." -- Sara Bozich, writer, SaraBozich.com
Tap lists that haven't been updated"Why can't some breweries and beer bars be bothered to keep their tap lists up to date? I get that kegs occasionally blow and selections change, but it doesn't take that much effort to change your reader boards or print a new beer menu. It's frustrating to search a menu for a beer and wait for your server to return, only to be told, 'Sorry, we're out of that.' Sadly, it's not uncommon to ask for another beer, only to be told that too is no longer on tap. Is that really the first experience you want customers to have in your establishment?" -- Ben Brausen, writer, Craft Beer Time
"Multiple" beers"I wish our love affair with multiples would come to an end. First, we were presented with double bock beers. Then, triple Belgian beers were the rage. Not to be outdone, some breweries created quadruple beers, and I've even seen a quintuple or two. Why doesn't someone just brew a double centuple Belgian ale and be done with it? Because if they did, you just know another brewer would still try to top it. It's getting out of hand!" -- Bryan Carey, writer, Great Beer Now
Pedal bars"There's an epidemic plaguing our beloved craft beer industry. It's an infestation overwhelming brewery tasting rooms across the country. Not kettle sours or hazy IPAs or overhyped beers or triple mocha almond vanilla red velvet cinnamon porters. It's the unrelenting waves of assholes rolling from brewery to brewery on soulless ghost ships known as pedal hoppers. These vessels of douchery are not here to awaken its passengers to the marvels of your cities' and neighborhoods' budding craft beer scenes. Their sole purpose is to deliver as much debauchery to these interlopers under the guise of sightseeing.
"It has gotten so most breweries have banned entry to these pedicab 'tours.' There are the obvious issues of safety and over-serving that staffs deal with. There are also the 'pull-your-hair-out' questions flung at them like, 'You have Fireball?' 'Got any normal beer?' 'Lite beer?' ''Merican beer?' To anyone reading this who finds themselves roped into a bachelor/ette weekend through no fault of their own, remember that breweries are not dive bars or college nightclubs. Act like a grown-up and respect the love that goes into every drop of craft beer!" -- Jensen Cummings, Certified Cicerone, Brewed Food
Wax-dipped beer bottles"As John Oliver would say, how is this still a thing? Actually, how was this ever a thing? OK, I sort of get the argument for wax dipping. Aesthetically, it looks cool. It implies that the beer is special, it's probably rare, and it's important to the brewer and brewery -- perhaps an anniversary beer or something barrel-aged or sour. Wax dipping might help reduce or slow down oxidation. Yeah, yeah I get it.
"But ya know what? Wax-dipped bottles are a fucking bitch to open. Maybe I'm lazy, maybe I don't have the proper wax-dipped-bottle opening devices, or maybe I've cut myself way too many times trying to open one of these suckers. And maybe, just maybe, I'm tired of having to drink the wax because I can never seem to open them correctly. But, either way, wax-dipped beer bottles? I'm over it." -- Ashley Routson, writer, Drink With The Wench
IPAs with garbage added to them"I politely ask many of the aspiring brewers to stop adding shit to IPAs who don't know how to pimp it right. Let's get back to the basics and make a gangster one without all the extra bullshit. Besides that, let a mastery of balancing hops rightfully regain the spotlight of this style, ya dig?" -- Ale Sharpton, writer, Cruisin' For A Brewsin'
Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.