The BAOS Podcast Wonders If Mythical Beers Live Up To The Hype

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A #Versus battle may help shed light.

Like most of us, I’m super easily drawn in to the most hyped beers of the moment. Scrolling through my Instagram feed is like (craft beer) porn to a bloke in jail – the fact I have no easy access to the vast majority of these gorgeous cans, bottles, growlers, crowlers and fresh pours just makes them even more desirable.

I recently got back from Vermont where we were blessed to get to sit down with some of the people behind some of the greatest beers in the U.S., potentially the world, and I asked a lot of them about why and how they think these mythical craft beers—sometimes referred to as white wales—earned their reputation. A lot of them mentioned the fact that the beers are just amazing, straight up. I think that pretty much sums it up, however there are also most certainly some overhyped beers that get more love than they deserve.

My theory is that when they first came out, some of the brews in question were in a league of their own. As brewing techniques, ingredients and palates changed and grew, the beers that folks used to fawn over just didn’t quite live up to the new standard. But the myth had already been created, and it’s not so simple for that to just disappear.

A few examples come to mind. I recently read an article about the decline of Westvleteren XII and how it went from being the highest rated beer in the world to barely scraping in the Top 20. The piece went on to echo similar sentiments to what I mentioned above. Two big DIPAs, Heady Topper and Pliny The Elder, also suffer a bit from their myths. Personally I think Heady lives up to its reputation (though I’m more of a Crusher guy); I’m yet to try Pliny but I hear from those who have tried it that it’s really not that fantastic. Both beers will likely get by for quite a while longer off the back of the myths, and good on ’em. They earned it.

Another theory as to why these myths persist is planned scarcity. Look at the Adidas Yeezy shoes. They’re really not that pretty but they’re damn near impossible to get hold of, so they’re overvalued in the market. Same goes for a ton of these beers. One in particular comes from Massachusetts’ Tree House. They have an impeccable reputation as producing some of the finest hazy, or New England style, IPAs, and they are just as difficult to get your hands on. We were lucky enough to get a Julius and a Haze from a connect out in VT, and we put them up against each other in one of our #Versus videos. Take a look at how it went down below.

I’m still keen to try Pliny, though.

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Aussie Cee and Canuck Scott 'Beer' Cole are just a couple blokes helping you understand and enjoy craft beer, one pour at a time. Together they host BAOS Podcast, a fun podcast and video series aimed at the newcomers to craft beer, interviewing everyone from brewers, brewery owners, DJs, musicians, comedians, entrepreneurs and everyone in between. Based between Toronto and Montreal, they cover beers from around the planet, bringing an educated novice perspective to those newer to beer without all the pretension and beard-stroking. Though they do enjoy stroking their beards from time to time.

2 Comments

  1. Chris McAuliffe

    March 4, 2017 at 10:10 AM

    It’s definitely the scarcity principle. When there is a large group fawning over something it’s totally human nature to want to get in on it. That being said some of the beer deserve some of the hype. As a home brewer myself I can tell a superbly crafted beer when I taste one. Treehouse is one of them and I think they get their myth from the love they put in the can. Probably the same for The Alchemist and Russian river. I haven’t tried either but I will. Though living in Connecticut there are many new craft breweries opening and I have had very good beers so for me the more local and fresh the better!

    • Craig Thorn

      March 4, 2017 at 1:43 PM

      Well said. Great to hear that you feel Tree House is worthy of the hype, we only got our hands on Julius and Haze but we’re amped to try more. Alchemist definitely lives up to the hype – it’s worth the trip to VT for sure!

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