I am a little concerned with the apparent desire, even among self admitted beer geeks, for computer like consistancy from year to year or batch to batch.
When dealing with high end, small batch, 'craft' wine one not only expects variations but hopes for them. obviously you hope to avoid nasty undrinkable batches, which should be pretty easy to do with beer as there are so many more variables than with wine but If I always got the same old think when I picked up some bigfoot if it tasted exactly like last years it wouldn't be nearly so much fun. I think that this is part of why Fullers changes up the recipe for the vintage ale every year.
The big boys have consistancy all wrapped up and no craft/micro/nano brewery is ever going to compete with them on that front. What the industry needs (If it really NEEDS anything given it's level of growth) is to abandon this idea of consistancy and aim, every year or every batch, at perfection. One may never acheive it but by aiming at that instead of consistancy more better beer will be made.
Just my .02. And I recognize the desirability of being able to buy a sixer of SNPA and have it taste more or less the same as the last sixer. But when I drop 30-40 bucks on a bottle of three year old burbon barrel stout from 50/50 I don't want the same beer I already have in my cellar (yeah right like I have a cellar... or that bottle of 50/50 heaven hill I bought last year. Damn that was a tasty stout)