Craft Beer Is Dead. Your Favorite Style Killed It. | Westword – Westword

In the past two weeks, two well-respected national beer writers have penned articles foretelling the demise of craft brewing. Neither predicted its death based on competition with big beer or on ingredient shortages or other economic factors, though. Rather, they bemoaned the surging popularity of two different styles, sounding the alarms bells and wringing their hands over the future of beer in America.

The first article, “Boom in Sugary Pastry Stouts Shows Craft Industry Forgetting What Beer Tastes Like,” by Chicago Tribune reporter and author Josh Noel (who is writing a book about Goose Island Beer Company selling out to AB InBev) called out so-called pastry stouts based on the prevalence of these sweet, often barrel-aged beers at a recent festival. “After six hours wandering the aisles of the Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer last weekend, I have concluded that craft beer is betraying itself,” Noel wrote. “It is forgetting what beer should taste like.”

The second piece, “Hazy Days and Brighter Futures: Are New England IPAs More Than a Passing Fad?” written for Beer Advocate by longtime beer journalist Andy Crouch, was even more gloomy as it took hazy, New England-style IPAs to task. “Craft brewing once defined itself by wide-ranging innovation. Brewers pushed past previously defined boundaries to explore the outer edges of what constituted beer,” he wrote. “Today’s focus on IPA, and hazy, juicy New England IPAs specifically, is the opposite of that age of wonder. Our hyper focus on this new style has rendered beer homogenous and even boring.

“This is the death of creativity, the stifling of craft brewing’s spirit,” he added.

Seriously? Give me a break, fellas.

Cerebral Brewing

These articles are just the latest obituaries written by people who don’t like, or are sick of, a particular style,

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