The whole tone is set off by being upset that ‘these kids just don’t know their history’ and my first question is: What does history have to do with whether or not a beer is good? It makes the author seem as if they are more concerned with the history than the quality of the beverage in their hands.
And I’m sorry but with beer, it’s always, always, going to be about what’s in your hands right now. So instead of asking why these people don’t appreciate where the roots of the craft beer they’re drinking comes from, why not ask, ‘why aren’t brewers doing a better job promoting what they’re about’ or, just as relevantly, ‘why aren’t other craft beer drinkers doing a better job of putting things in context’?
Because of course a new craft beer drinker, given the chance to drink the Abyss or Pliny the Elder for the first time, is going to be underwhelmed. They’ve spent how many days or weeks or maybe even years, hearing about HOW GREAT this beer is. Nothing can live up to the hype that you build up yourself.
But where they really lose me is where they compare comic book geek knowledge, or film director knowledge, to the knowledge that an average beer drinker has.
Comic book geeks and film directors have specialized. They know more about the art form because that’s what they’ve spent their time investing in.
The better comparison is to brewers, but that comparison never gets made. And I promise you that the younger generation of brewers knows who Sam Koch is (founder of Sam Adams brewing), why Fritz Maytag is important (he rescued Anchor Steam beer from bankruptcy), and why Garrett Oliver matters (chef as brewer bringing new perspective to beer and food, elevating the status of beer).
It isn’t on the person drinking the beer to know this though: the only questions they need to answer are: do I like this? Why?