That's a good article. I hope the author is right. There is nothing I hate more than going to the beer store and finding a bunch of extreme this and that and nothing to style.
One of the things, I really like about Yellow Hammer (majorvices brewery) is pretty much everything fits in a style. It's just good beer.
Thanks Tommy! That's a great compliment and exactly what I am trying to do. But I have to admit that extreme sells. I still don't have the urge to make crazy-ass beers. I want to make beers people can just sit down and enjoy. My bock is a little darker than the "guidelines" and my schwarzbier is a little maltier but I hope you will find that the beer we brew are all extremely drinkable. That doesn't mean we don't have high end beers, right now we have a Belgian dark strong that is aged on cherries and then aged in red wine barrels. But it is balanced (and not aged on the barrels for so long that all you taste is wood and oxidation.)
One thing I have noticed about lots of new drinkers is they expect a hell of a lot of flavor, even if that flavor is BAD flavor. They want coffee this, and hoppy that and the darker the better. Especially in Alabama where people are new to the craft beer scene. I know of many people who are so disappointed if you don't have an IPA on draft that they will simply not come to your place. (So, of course now, we always try to keep an IPA on draft). Same with dark beers and stouts. New beer drinkers have it in their heads that super hoppy beers or extra dark stouts are the beers that show off a brewers skill, while we brewers all know differently. Try the lightest kolsch to see a brewers true craft.
The biggest selling 22 oz local beer around here was a beer so bad that it had the lowest review in Malt Advocate (by the magazine, not the public) that I have ever seen. And the beer was truly awful. But it was a "Peanut Butter Porter and of course everyone just had to try that. People still talk about that beer, a year after the brewery shut its doors (not because they couldn't sell the crap load out of PB porter though).
I'm waiting it out and hoping people's taste grow up. We sell plenty of beer but we don't always get people as excited with our beers as I think they deserve. But as a rule I don't brew beer much higher than 10% because I don't really care to drink those beers (except for some rare instances) and while I have a Belgian Chocolate Stout in the works I refuse to make gimmick beers just to sell. If I can't drink it, you won't find it on tap.
I think this is to be expected though. It's like telling a kid at Disney World not to run or get excited.
New craft beer drinkers are used to Bud Select. If they are feeling frisky, maybe they will order a Budweiser or Corona.
When they commit to trying craft beer (after the gateway American wheat, Hefe, real lager, etc), they are left with an explosion of new flavors. Who knew beer could be citrus, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, pumpkin spice, etc flavored. It's a completely new world to them and I'm happy to introduce them to something completely different than what they are used to.
I think there is plenty of time to go back to the dunkels, tripels, California, kolsh, etc later. In fact, they would probably have a better appreciation of them later too.