Franconian Beer Message Board

The Future of good German bier in the US
Posted by Fred Waltman on 2003-02-02 21:12:47
OK, I am back from my trip and back to a reasonable internet connection :) My last couple of comments were sort of disjoint so some of this is a re-statement. 1) Perkeo, I do think think that craft brewed lagers will never challange ales for dominance here is the US. A couple of factors come into play -- most craft breweries don't have the equipment, space, capitalization (or for that matter skill) to produce lagers on par with those of Franconia. Some do and produce good beers, but not your local corner brewpub. The other side has to do with consumer tastes and a little bit of "fashion" (or "trendiness"). Part of it is these beers (well made lagers) are too close to mass produced beers (in looks)-- if the trendiness factor comes into play I will want to be seen drinking something obviously different. I think there is a bit of snobbery too -- lagers can be (and are) appreciated by ordinary folks (ie. non beer geeks). You see that alot with wine (and with lambics for that matter). Also lower gravity beers take a more delicate and discerning palette. Finally there is that American characteristic of wanting to make things bigger, stronger, more over the top than the last guy. Don't get me wrong -- I like a lot of those beers, just not all the time. 2) As for why there are so few German "cult" beers -- part of that is the beers we are talking about (Kellerbiers and such) do not travel well at all. The Belgian beers that are popular with us "beer geeks" tend to all be fairly high gravity and seem to travel well. The German beers that approach that are also the stronger ones -- Aventinus, Salvator, Optimator, etc. I think if Andechser Dopplebock was as readily available as Chimay I think it would have a cult following as well. This doesn't just go for German beers. How many good British Ordinary Bitters or Dark Milds do you see in states? A few years back every West Coast brewery tried to brew a beer with a big Cascade nose. It got so bad that I couldn't stand Cascade hops anymore. Now it is "Double IPA's" -- I think that like with everything, a few of the good ones will survive and the rest will move on to whatever the next fad is. And I will try to support locally made (good) lagers when I can. (Budweiser and Miller are made here in LA so I had to qualify that!)
     The Future of good German bier in the US by Perkeo on  2003-02-06 20:33:54
       The Future of good German bier in the US by Fred Waltman on  2003-02-06 21:29:41
         The Future of good German bier in the US by Guy on  2003-02-07 05:36:11