Where Have All the Stouts and Pilsners Gone?
Over the last 10 years I’ve had a lot of craft beer. Too many to count really, and even with the help of Untappd, I’m sure I’ve missed a few or fifty. I’ve never been the guy who only drinks one style. I mean, where’s the fun in that? That’s like only ever eating one kind of taco. It’s disrespectful to the other tacos… or something like that. Don’t worry, this is a conversation about beer not tacos, no matter how delicious they are.
Even though I can’t remember every beer I’ve ever had, there’s always some that stick with you. Especially your first. I can still remember that one and even where I had it. We had gone out for a friend’s 21st birthday to the Grey Lodge Pub in Mayfair (that’s part of Philly for all you West Coasters). That beer was Weyerbacher Slam Dunkel which is no longer in production sadly. I didn’t have a clue what to order. I didn’t even recognize a single beer on the list at the time. So, I did what most 21-year-olds do and I panic-ordered. “I’ll have what that guy’s having please.”
Turns out, Slam Dunkel opened the world of craft beer to me and I haven’t looked back since. There’s almost always some craft beer in the fridge. And some standby Yuengling, Natty Boh and Miller High Life too of course. We all need those refreshing, crushable beers as a quick go-to.
But lately, I’ve got to say, I’ve been disappointed, All I can find is IPAs. IPA, Session, Sour, Tart, New England, West Coast, Double, Triple… I mean soon I’m sure I’ll find an IPA made with deer antlers or some other weird ingredient. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good IPA. Go look at my Untappd @speers41 if you don’t believe me.
But I’m missing those stouts, porters and pilsners that used to be so readily available. I know there’s still some out there, but the world of beer has been skewed towards IPAs and I’m burnt out. Again, its like eating the same style taco and just changing the hot sauce you use. Shrimp tacos will always be shrimp tacos.
We need more breweries to remind us about the classic styles. Bring back stouts like Left Hand Milk Stout and Dogfish Head Chicory Stout. Brink back crisp clean lagers like Union Skipjack and Green Bench Postcard. Bring back beers like Founders Porter or Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald.
Yes, all those beers are still made, even though you’ll only ever find Chicory Stout on tap at Dogfish now, and that’s great. But we need more. Bring me those refreshing crisp lagers in the middle of summer when I want to crush a few. And bring those big malty, roasted stouts and porters for the winter when we need to warm up from the inside out. Maybe I’m the only one who thinks its time we bring back the variation of styles to our beer bars and breweries. And to those who are keeping these styles alive, Thank You! For providing a brief yet refreshing respite from the IPA.