Beer Chat -- 1/15/16

Eno Sarris, January 15, 2016

I didn't do a great job of masking my disdain for fruit-riddled IPAs in yesterday's post about the trend in beer. I'm sorry. I don't feel the same need to remain as bias-free in beer writing, though.

Is that wrong? I mean, the numbers can say one thing. And in this piece, they said there are more fruit beers now, and more coming this summer. That's fine. 

Then the analysis is inevitable. Is this a good thing or bad thing? The problem is, it's not inherently good or bad. It just is.

People like Grapefruit Sculpin, so more people are making it. That's it. There are enough brewers and enough spots on the shelf for us to drink all sorts of things. I just drank the last IPA in my full beer fridge (oh wait, there's a Pliny in there), and the rest is full of all other styles. Life will go on. There will be fruity IPAs that get their fruit from hops and not juice or actual fruit. There will be Mango Sculpin.

To me, it's copy-catting. It seems sort of lazy. It reminds me of Apfelwein and syrup-infused Berliner Weisses of Germany, and those were the First Beers of a teenager, the Not Serious Beer beers. It tastes too sweet often. It's a shandy, sorta.

It's bias. It infiltrated my piece. I suppose I'm sorry. But you can still read that piece and get the information and walk away with it however you like. 

Because I was having a conversation with someone about a detail in the piece on Reddit yesterday, I was online and saw the votes go up and down on the piece. Votes were getting added and subtracted all day.

Those votes, I submit, were not about my writing or the post or even the fact that there are more non-cider fruit beers every day. Those votes came from the readers' own bias towards or against fruit beers. The comments even support this idea: "Yay more crap." 

So I submit this: to write about an industry dependent on personal taste is to write about an industry in which almost nobody is capable of writing without personal bias. I don't even know if it's a prerequisite. I follow enough business of beer writers to say this comfortably too. I think the way forward is merely to own the bias in your analsysis and try to remain unbiased when it comes to the data or the news you're reporting. 

But if y'all feel differently, I'd take the criticism. Because of my day job, I also understand the importance of remaining unbiased in analysis. 

The Week in BeerGraphs

Sante Adairius and Virginia Beers in Last Weekend's Beer. 

Seattle Meetup next Friday! 

winter warmer BEERSPORT

Fruit Beers to Take Over World