Tweet Thirsty Pilgrim was asking the other day if "tickers" aren't to beer what Robert Parker is to wine, which is somehow related to the shit beer raters do, according to Stephen Beaumont. This reminded me to what I was asking myself a few days ago, if extreme, etc. beers aren't in a way a result of these times of short attention spans.
But what I read in some of the comments that followed Mr. B's blog, together with all the rest, brought another question, whether those beers aren't also a product of, and for, certain festivals where beer is only served in very small portions. In this context, "regular" beers have a big disadvantage, they usually need more than 0.1 or 0.15l to fully tell their tale. The "winners", then are those beers that are able to generate an instant impact, right in the first sip (to this we have to add that there are not few people who after drinking some DIPA or BA Imperial Stout go for a Pils or a Weizen, but that's another story).
"Consistency" is another word that's been going around my head recently. There are people who seem to confuse "consistency" with "always the same", which is a mistake. Stant's Beer Rule #4 makes it very clear, but not as clear, perhaps as what Fuller's head brewer said, as quoted by Jeff Alworth in Alan's blog: "it’s exactly the same as walking into a bar and noticing your friend at the bar has had a haircut. He’s still your friend, he just looks a little bit different today.". Brilliant.
So, variations between batches will happen, are inevitable and, at the same time, welcome. However, I believe that the ideal of every brewer should be to at least try to make batches that will be always be the same, despite knowing and accepting the fact that such thing isn't possible. This should prevent that the above mentioned friend will show up at the bar not only with a new haircut, but also with a full on plastic surgery.
On the other hand, there are some brewers that bring up that "variations" thing to justify huge differences between batches, which to me is proof of their ineptitude, but that's also another story.
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