Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bad Beers - Paging Bartles & Jaymes

Here is an article from The Atlantic's food blog discussing Sam Adams' Infinium, the collaboration between Boston Beer Company and Germany's Weihenstephen.  The review is negative, and here is the takeaway zinger:
Infinium is no doubt a well-made beer; the finished product is neither traditional American nor German, nor even French or Belgian, but sui generis, unlike anything I've ever tried before. It just doesn't taste very good. It's effervescent, like champagne, but not sweet; it tastes flinty and bitter. It opens with some apple and persimmon, but those drop off quickly, leaving behind yeast and malt as the dominant flavors. It may be a technical achievement, but so was Frankenstein's monster—and he wasn't winning any beauty pageants.
Reading the article, I couldn't help but think that author could have substituted Stone's Vertical Epic 10.10.10  for Infinium.  Infinium tried to mimic champagne and 10.10.10, made with three varieties of grapes, tried to mimic wine.  The most recent BeerAdvocate magazine had a full page ad for Infinium on its back page, with the beer poured into a champagne flute.  I have not tried Infinium, but Vertical Epic 10.10.10 was tough to like, way too winey and confused. 

I am a huge proponent of collaborations, experimentation and extreme beers.  But brewers need to stop trying to make beer into wine.  The apparent wine-envy is unsettling.  If a brewer wants to make wine, make it, but don't concoct strange, beer-wine hybirds.  There is no sense in creating a glorified wine cooler, that's already been done.

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