no. 329

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Tradition and progress are typically seen as opposing forces.

At last week's Beavertown Extravaganza, during the GBH Symposium portion, we had an on-stage panel discussion about hazy IPAs that erupted into full-on audience-participating fist-raising debate most reminiscent of some of the parliamentary showiness I've only witnessed on late-night C-SPAN.

I made a few attempts during the raucous forum to wrangle the discussion, which was a divide between the technical deficiencies and cultural import of the opaque style (literally and metaphorically) that so many people have come to love. I wanted to shove the room toward a more useful dialectic. Clear beer is an aesthetic, after all, not a universal truth. And regardless of what analytical deductions any brewer has made, it needs to be employed toward a perfection of the future, not a defense of the past.

All that aside. If you're producing a traditional cask bitter or a fresh craft keg of modern, hazy double IPA, this is the only ramp to the cellar.

At the Marble Arch in Manchester, they all come rocketing down the rails to the makeshift pillows below, rolled into the temperature-controlled cellar, and tapped for the happy faces above.

And up there, removed from the dark, humid, common entrance into the world all beers are forced through, the debate rages on. The beer, perhaps the most important part, remains largely ignorant to the problem.