...I don't care so much how close to a given style guide it is. Everybody can and perhaps should have his own interpretation and design as long as I can somehow figure out what it might taste like before I order it.
That's how it should be. Commercial brewing is not and never has been bound to strict style guidelines, only broad common sense ones (ie., no "Golden Stout"). The only regretful thing about Dave's interview was his invocation of the dreaded "true to style" phrase. It probably would have made more sense for him to say that Climax does tradition
. And they actually do that fairly well for the most part. The fact that they aren't particularly 'adventurous' may be the key to their significant local success...they found a 'sweet spot' in their range in that they brew beers to satisfy a more mainstream thirst as well as
beers that cater to a more developed palate. In my view, the small breweries that do that
have the best shot at expanding their operations to new levels.
As mentioned, the only cringe in the interview was the mention of 'brewing to style'; I can only guess that he may have been referring to the amateur judging guidelines (which have no real place outside of that arena).