This Beer is Your Beer: In Search of a New American Beer
All About Beer Magazine - Volume 26, Issue 2May 1, 2005
We in this country are boastful to the point of annoyance about our technological prowess, but we have long nurtured an inferiority complex about the artistic merit of our aesthetic creations. Since the days when small-town opera houses staged crude pastiches compared to the glittering spectacles staged in Europe, our insecurity has festered, encompassing a wide range of aesthetic endeavors. One of them is beer. How else to explain the survival of green-bottle imports other than snobbery based solely on their European origin? We in the homebrew community are not immune. We look to Britain and Germany, those great brewing traditions with taproots going back to the Bronze Age, for a sense of order and righteousness. And Belgium, that jewel of artistic fervor, which provides inspiration and authority. These are profoundly good places to start, but in my belief, they are not an end in themselves. A meticulous recreation of the grand old styles of Europe is a necessary step in the learning process. Picasso spent a lot of time copying the old masters of his day. And of course we’ve always had our adventurous side, with some brewers leaping into the unknown, looking to make something new and different.