I love craft beers, but enough with the IPAs!

Warning: very lame, “first-world problems” rant.

I love the craft beer explosion, but hate the trends within. Lately all I’ve seen is IPA, IPA, PIA up and down the beer aisles. And of course there’s double IPA, session IPA, raspberry IPA, horse-poop IPA…

I like IPAs as much as the next person, but I like other styles, too. Lately I’ve had a craving for wheat beer. It’s next to impossible to find wheat beers! Drove down to Dayton after work yesterday evening just to get some.

And I remember stouts were real big a few years ago. They’re almost as rare as the wheat beers now.

Of course, right now, the shelves are stocked with Octoberfest (is that even a real style?) and pumpkin beers.

Me wants true variety! :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m partial to West Coast style, kinda hoppy IPAs but agree that there’s an explosion of them lately. I wish there were more choices of stouts and porters.

IPA is a nice simple warning label. :smiley:

Our local brewery makes one. I drink the copper alt and kölsch they put out.

First of all, I totally agree with you and what bugs me even more (and doubly as someone that sells beer) are breweries that ONLY make IPAs or all IPAs and one token non-IPA. I’m curious what they’ll do when the IPA fad crashes someday.

Personally, on the one hand, I’d love to see some other ‘lost’ style (like bock) take off, but in general, lets just re balance everything. This pissing match about who can act the toughest while drinking the worst tasting beer get old about 3 weeks after Hopslam came out. Just like it did after Warheards showed up in the candy aisle when we were in 3rd grade.

Yes, it’s a märzen style (brewed in March) beer. Technically it’s a ‘style’ of beer just like any other style of beer (and one of my favorite styles), as opposed to something like, say, a pumpkin beer or some other novelty beers.

ETA, since I forget to mention it for full disclosure, I loath IPAs. Can’t drink’em. They taste horrible to me. Like bad to the point that I don’t understand how other people can drink them. If it’s called IPA or even Pale Ale, I won’t even bother with it, and that was why I made the comment above about breweries that make all IPAs and one token non-IPA. IME, if they make all IPAs, more often than not, they’re one non-IPA tends not to me that good since they don’t focus on it, they just put it out for people like me.

I too am sick of IPAs. I like them occasionally, but not the super-bitter mega-hoppy bombs.

My favorite style is Marzen (Oktoberfest) and I wish there were as many Marzen varieties as IPA.

The liquor store near me is small, but still has a nice selection of stouts and wheat beers. He’s got lots of IPAs too, thank the beer gods. I think your displeasure should be directed more toward your Beer Service Provider.

While there is a fad aspect, another factor is that supercritical carbon dioxide extraction became practical and cost effective. It avoided the use of solvents like hexane to produce hop oils and also allows for the collection of that beta acids and virtually all of the essential bittering and aroma components and not just alpha acids. The “craft” industry now has a shelf stable ingredient that provides a more efficient and easier to duplicate process.

Even Pliny the Younger uses hop extract in conjunction with dry hops.

Basically an expensive, difficult to reproduce process was reduced to a less expensive reproducible model that is simple as scooping out some marmite.

Personally, I love IPAs and cannot get enough of them, especially now that pumpkin beers are all you’ll be seeing for a bit.

In addition to the economics of the situation, there’s also the fact that IPA bitterness will mask other weaknesses in the beer’s taste.

Most craft brews taste worse than any number of existing beers you could already have had. IPAs are cheap and tend to all taste pretty similar, e.g. “really bitter.”

A lot of things called “IPAs” are also, well, not IPAs. “IPA” is just a trendy way to say “Beer.” I’ve actually seen, on at least two occasions, a dark beer sold as a something-something IPA.

I like IPAs and don’t mind all the different IPA varieties, but I understand how you feel. Something I’ve noticed in general with the explosion of microbrew varieties in the last 20 years or so-- as great as it is to have the American Microbrew varieties, they’ve really crowded out foreign beers. Used to be any moderately well-stocked beer store would have a nice variety of British beer like Young’s various Ales, Fuller ESB or Bishop’s Finger, etc. and on the German side you’d have a wide selection of Hacker-Pschorr, Paulaner, Dortmunder Union, etc. varieties, including plenty of wheat selections. Now it seems to be 90% American microbrews, with a few afterthoughts of Beck’s, St Pauli, Guinness, maybe Bass Ale.

And yes, Oktoberfest style is a thing! Get some Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest if you can find it. Good stuff. It is higher in alcohol and hoppier though, so may be a bit too close to a German-style IPA for your liking.

I’m kind of depressed that there are so many IPAs, too. I don’t feel special any more when I recommend them to people, since everyone has had them now. Actually that goes for all craft brews in general. When I left five years ago, I had to go to a microbrewery if I wanted a craft beer. Upon returning, they’re even present in the dive bars!

No kidding. There’s little in the spectrum of brews I don’t like, at least to the tune of one, once in a while… but between the alien invasion of IPAs of every subtype and the (possibly just northeastern) surfeit of fruit/flavor/spice/crap beers, it’s honestly hard to find a good selection of straight stuff.

Never liked even the milder IPAs, and as brewers try to outdo each other, many of them are approachign straight Listerine in drinkability. Bleah.

Love IPA’s, it is what beer should be, and yes they are getting more prevalent, yet I still encounter many places that don’t sell them, both stores and restaurants. I still get the occasional confused look from waitstaff when I ask if they have any IPA’s - ‘it’s a style of beer, it stands for India Pale Ale, etc.’ And many times I have left the restaurant if they don’t have any. Many restaurants that do have it only have one token IPA, but usually that’s good enough to get through meal with.

I do like the occasional stout, but that does not make it a viable substitute, as it is an occasional desire. I have never been into wheat beer.

The two trends that I hate in the craft beer industry are highly bitter IPAs and high alcohol beers. It seems that there is a contest to see who can make the most bitter IPA, and then dares the consumer to actually drink it. I also don’t need my beer to be 10 to 15% alcohol. If I wanted a strong drink, I’d order something with vodka, rum, or whiskey.

I should note that I think that the uber-bitter IPA is similar to the ghost and other pepper foods. I dare you to try to consume this product that will destroy your taste buds.

I feel like the craft beer scene has been fawning over IPAs for at least ten years. Back when I paid attention to Beer Advocate, most of the top 100 beers were double or triple IPAs. I wonder if this is partially because changes in taste as the average person progresses through the craft beer spectrum. When I started drinking beer, Yuengling had a nice dry taste that I rather enjoyed, and IPAs were dominated by the bitter piney resin. A few years later, Yuengling started tasting like cereal and I hated it, but IPAs had softened to the point where I could detect more complex flavors alongside the bitter pine. I wonder if most beer snobs whack their taste buds so hard that more delicate flavors taste bland and they need to turn to imperial stouts and triple IPAs for a fuller flavor.

Very interesting, thank you for this!

I nice high gravity IPA is a great starter drink, it balances the flavor of the hops and is a pleasure to drink and also appreciate the effort to bring such a beer to tap, however some tend to get a syrupy taste and are harsher the way a cheap wine can be - which is very disappointing for a high end IIPA.

But the ultra bitter IPA’s are standalone drinks - sometimes they are the meal, not meat to consume with food as they will dull the foods taste. One in particular IPA brew ‘Runination’ got it’s name as it does have that ability to rune the taste of food.

I was very disappointed when the brief flirtation with rauschbiers came and went a couple of years ago. We’re back to the German and Belgian imports, which due to low popularity are often less than fresh. I’ll take a decent rausch over just about anything else… but it’s the opposite end of the spectrum from I! P! Fuggin’ A’s!

Yep… Brit checking in, we have a whole aisle of craft beer cans, mostly either imported from the US or brewed in the UK to a US style and they’re almost all IPAs and all taste exactly the same. I don’t understand the appeal, especially when you’re paying twice as much.

It’s quite strange to me - with what we call a ‘real ale’ (cask ale) which is a more traditional (and cheaper) brew, every one is different and enjoying it is an adventure. You could go to a beer festival, try 50 ales, and genuinely notice the differences between them all (some subtle, some not so subtle). But I wouldn’t be able to detect any difference between most ‘craft beers’, especially the US style IPA stuff. Maybe my tastebuds just aren’t tuned to that style, I don’t know.

We do have similar issues with real ale though in that pale and golden are very much “in” at the moment. For good reason as they’re highly enjoyable but it’s refreshing to see a good old classic brown coloured bitter now and again, which is becoming an unfortunately rare sight! No, John Smiths does not count (yuck)

I also really enjoy IPAs but am turned off by the over-hopped variants that have seemed to be the trend for awhile. Also it seems there had been a race to make the beers as high as possible in terms of ABV.

Lately though I’m seeing more local producers create session IPAs and I’m back to a really happy place with IPAs. Not as over-hopped but still having some of that bitterness you want if you like IPAs. It is also an added bonus that the ABV tends to be in the 5-6% range which means I can actually drink more than two without getting smashed.

I also enjoy other styles of beers and for me personally I start to shift to stouts when the weather gets colder. I’m not a stout drinker in the summer, it’s just not refreshing to me to drink that heavy of a beer when it is 90 degrees outside.

But then again, I’m also an uncultured savage who will drink his fair share of Miller Lite when I just want a cold, light beer that I can drink in quantity (not quality). :slight_smile:

Oh, and I hate the pumpkin beers that come out at this time of year and I look forward to those going away soon. Pumpkin spice is the devil. My wife had some of her girl friends over last night and one brought a bottle of red wine that was pumpkin spiced. Good God it was gross.

I do recall Sam Adams had a Bonfire Rausch Bier awhile back - it was in a fall sampler I believe. I loved it but they never made it again.

As for IPA’s - I too am sick of them. Seems like the more bitter, the better. Blech! The only IPA I’ve truly enjoyed is the Lagunitas version.

I’m with OP - I adore a good wheat ale. 312 is my personal favorite at the moment, along with a variety of Three Floyd’s beers.