Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Zymo-Platonism vs. Zymo-Relativism

The New Yorker magazine has published an article about the so-called 'extreme beer' movement of American craft beers.

The author —Burkhard Bilger— cuts and pastes to create the impression of an argument between Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewing and Sam Calagione of Dogfish head. I think it's more of a spirited rivalry.

“The whole idea of extreme beer is bad for craft brewing,” [Garrett] Oliver [of Brooklyn Brewing Company] says. “It doesn’t expand the tent—it shrinks it. If I want someone to taste a beer, and I make it sound outlandish and crazy, there is a certain kind of person who will say, ‘Oh, let me try it.’ But that is a small audience. It’s one that you can build a beer on, but not a movement.”

To which, Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Brewing Company "smirks":
“Garrett and I are good friends, but we definitely disagree on this,” he said. “It’s a purist versus populist position. If all of our palates are subjective, who am I and who is Garrett to decide whether there’s too much hops in a beer, or whether you should be putting lemongrass or rampe leaves in it? As long as it finds an audience, it’s valid.”

A Better Brew
The rise of extreme beer.
by Burkhard Bilger
The New Yorker
24 November 2008

Alerted to this piece by Kasper on Tap.

1 comment:

  1. I am sorry, but does Garrett mean we can only have one car? Some with a few extra bells and whistles, some maybe a different color? I have been on all 3 tiers of this business for the last 16 years between 3 countries and the one thing I love about Sam is that he thinks outside the box. It is about variety and "finding an audience". It's about whats in the bottle, I think it defines the brewerer. I would think Garrett, of all people, would get that. I have seen him on the Food Network and I have attended and Co-Hosted beer dinners with him in the past. His beers have paired with the most incredible ingredients in the foods that he has chosen. Why can't those incredible ingredients help define beer? I would never had thought that statement would have come out of his lips.
    By saying you can not build a movement, you haven't experienced Dogfish and their off-centered people. Hell, I am one of them.

    With repect,

    Jeff LeVine
    Carolina Craft Distributing
    South Carolina & North Carolina


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