There are some people who will tell you that saying that a beer is "simple" is to put it down. That's not true, "simple" doesn't mean "boring", it just means the opposite to "complex". To me, there are few things more satisfactory than a "simple and tasty" pint. Unfortunately, there are many out there who believe that if a beer isn't "complex, intense or challenging" it's almost not worth the bother, and that is why extreme, etc. beers receive such a disproportionate attention.
A couple of weeks ago, a fellow Spanish beer blogger commented that a new Imperial Stout from a local micro was a "risky bet" by its brewer. No way! Actually, for an already well reputed micro brewery an Imperial Stout is a very safe bet:
- It's strong and for many people the quality of a beer is proportional to its ABV %. This also can help to "justify" a relatively high price.
- It's not something for the masses. If I'm not wrong, only a couple of hl were brewed. It targets a niche where most people are already familiar with the Imperial Stout style and will sure want to taste a locally brewed version.
- If it doesn't sell quickly it's not such a big deal, under the right conditions, a beer of this kind can be kept for a relatively long time without compromising its quality, and it could even improve with age!
- And last, but not least. It might seem a paradox to some of you, but this kind of beers are actually easier to brew. Their complexity and intensity of flavours will help mask, or even integrate, defects that would ruin others.
In other words, a truly risky bet would be to brew a výčepní, a mild or any other classic style of rather low alcohol, brewed with just one or two kinds of malt and little known out of their countries of origin. As I said the other day these beers are not easy to brew and deserve more praise and recognition than they actually get.
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