I wouldn’t say I’ve developed any kind of coherent philosophy about beer. If I do have something to say to the world at large on the topic, it’s something that might be controversial and not all that well supported. And that is that a lot of microbrews stink, and nobody’s willing to say it.
The microbrew movement, after all, emerged in reaction to the commercialism and consolidation of the beer industry. Thus, it was primarily about style; it was a pose. Just like when hipsters started drinking cans of Pabst, it wasn’t about the taste of the beer.
Now, this is a gross generalization, and I don’t really intend to defend it. People enjoy drinking their microbrews, and I am not about to tell them they shouldn’t. A bunch of people across the country got excited about the idea of making beer and producing something different than people were used to, and we all benefit from that tremendous variety. Their motives are pure, and the level of interest in good beer has increased immensely in the last couple of decades.
But now we have got to stop and take a look at the product. We’re not trying to be overly critical, just a bit discerning.