An acceptable level of lump
Recently during a beer tasting a cracked open a few cans of a beer I had been warned about, and on seeing the contents gush/gunk out like frothy peanut butter I started to wonder if a) the beer itself was drinkable (or edible, such was the lump to liquid ratio) but also b) what exactly is acceptable in beer these days.
Not so long ago, if you ordered a beer and it was hazy you’d have taken it back to the bar; it was the end of the barrel, it was old, had turned and so on. Then came the move towards New England IPAs and the ensuing arms race to make the haziest, thickest beer possible, and what was acceptable, nay desirable in a pale ale, for many, changed. All the while more challenging beers such as sours were beginning to grow in popularity on these shores, and sure enough this too led to an arms race to make the fruitiest, gloopiest beer. So maybe this beer, which looked like small nutty slugs basking in the sea foam on a muddy beach, is just the natural next step. It was a sour, fruit crumble something something (the description alone was exhausting), and it made me wonder if I was just getting old*. Taste wise it was actually not bad, very sour, full of fruit and so on, but the appearance and texture was just so…
Or maybe it’s just me. Something that makes beer so exciting is the fact that it keeps evolving, styles keep being invented, new techniques and ingredients used, and all of this newness can sit side by side with the classics and with tradition, offering beer that can both be the conversation and can be the quiet conversation catalyst. While I wouldn’t dare put a beer out like that, and I definitely won’t be buying it again, in the name of invention and keeping things fresh I think it gets a pass, but it didn’t half make me want a pint of Timothy Taylor’s Landlord.
*I am getting old