BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: “With the propagation of ‘creative’ craft, what role, if any, do classic beer styles play?”

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Craig and Whitney are the new “Beer Me!” columnists at LEO, and they’ve done an impeccable job of selecting sources (Scott Hand, Cory Buenning and a burned-out former brewery owner) as well as weaving them into a clear narrative.

Good stuff. With Insider Louisville’s demise, LEO has a chance to notch up its beer coverage. This is a fine beginning.

Come For The Crazy Craft Beer But Please Stay For The Classics, by Craig and Whitney Martin (LEO Weekly)

“May I try that Northeast Lactose Milkshake Hazy Bourbon-Barrel Aged Avocado IPA, please?” New beer styles are trending faster than tweets about Trump. Hey, we’re not knocking it. We had a spicy pickle gose at Urban Artifact in Cincy a few weeks ago that was legit. But, with the propagation of “creative” craft, what role, if any, do classic beer styles play?

What is a “classic” beer style?

Avery Brewing Co. brews an Egyptian beer from a recipe dating to around 1800 BCE as part of its “Ancient Ale” series. Does ancient qualify as classic? The 2019 Zymurgy Best Beers in America survey refers to winners Bell’s Two Hearted Ale and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale as “old school.” Is old school equivalent to classic? I mean, does playing Nirvana on the classic rock station make them classic? We don’t think so, but that’s probably because we’re old school.

Through extensive research, we’ve deduced that the technical definition of a classic beer is “anything that falls between ancient and old school.” Think pilsners, lagers, porters and stouts that were being produced circa 1900 or earlier. To continue the music metaphor, “Hotel California” or “Won’t Get Fooled Again” are considered classics due to “the inescapable element of time and perspective” said Roger Baylor (of New Albanian Brewing Co. fame, now beer director for Pints&union in New Albany). It’s not just about when they were created but also how — the quality.

Classic beers stand the test of time …

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