Death By Hops

Death By Hops

I like beer, I like trying new beers, and I am particularly fond of the whole craft brew movement. It has brought more flavor and justification to my burgeoning alcoholic tendencies. Too many times have I said, “Let’s check out this new bar with 50 beers on tap,” while really thinking, “Let’s go get drunk on a Tuesday night for a socially acceptable reason.” It has also brought craft beer fests, which are a thinly veiled reason to be a drunken degenerate in public all the while being seen as a passionate craft brew enthusiast.

I like it so much that I’m even okay with the beer snobs that have spawned from it who rattle on about IBUs and obscure flavor references like mouthfeel and cheek pucker. Then there’s the beers themselves, rich and flavorful with new iterations coming out every week. But in the attempt to add variety to the bar, brewers have overdone it. They’ve oversaturated the market to the point that there is seldom anything available besides hopped up ales, taking away what they had originally sought to add: variety.

Too many times have I gone to a bar excited because I had been promised 30 beers on tap and shown up to find 27 IPAs, 2 Stouts, and PBR pulling up the rear for the sake of irony. It’s not so much the bar’s fault as much as the craft brewing culture. Bars don’t need to diversify, they know IPAs and the like sell. Consumers have been conditioned to think that these beers are cool, edgy, and anti-establishment. The craft brew scene was born out of rebellion from the big light beer companies, and that meshes well with our generation’s support of local and small businesses at the expense of big companies. It’s easy to see how lighter beers have been stigmatized with the negative stereotypes of big bad corporate America.

Maybe I’m reading into things, but I do know for certain that the entire Lager branch of the beer family has been ignored in this great crusade for flavor. Beer styles such as Bock and Pilsner that have been staples in the ancient art of rocking a solid buzz are being passed over. Meanwhile, breweries focus on pumping out their umpteenth IPA with a special new ingredient: more fucking hops.

With all of the excessive use of hops in beer today, it seems that brewers are so obsessed with seeing how many hops they can cram into each bottle, that they didn’t stop to think if they should. This is all more evident during the summer when hopped up ales are a chore to drink. I’m not trying to feel like I just ate a loaf of Rye bread while lounging poolside. And next time I’m on the tee box, give me something light and refreshing rather than something that’ll slow me down. Despite the fact that I am probably over the legal limit to drive the cart, I’m still out there to win it.

I enjoy drinking IPAs, DIPAs, and whatever other pale ale they can think up, but I can’t drink them forever. There is a time and place for them, but it’s not every single weekend at every single bar. I’m not saying rip everything out and put in taps for all Coors products (although I still haven’t found a Keystone Premium canned or poured). And I’m not asking for them to brew the next Miller Lite. That would be folly; it’s already perfect. But how about you take all that creativity and mastery of beer making that’s been honed over the years and mix it up a little? Maybe brew some Lagers. I’ll be here, ready to drink, and together we can bring beer equality to bars across this great nation. Until then, I’ll enjoy my PBR.

Image via Shutterstock

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