Recently a friend on Facebook posted this:
Rewind back to 2011-2012 and [Founder’s Canadian Breakfast Stout] was one of the most coveted stouts around, and sadly I never got my hands on it ('11-'12 was right when my craft beer odyssey began, and Founders wouldn't offer FL distribution for another two years). Very interested to see how this brew will rate in the craft community 6 years later, now that there are roughly 1 billion stouts basically just like this one.
Here’s my take on it.
I expect the same thing that happened to Bell's Hopslam will happen to Founder’s CBS. The beer stays the same but our impression of it changes. People talk about how Hopslam has gone downhill over the last few years and it just isn't the same. I think a lot of people forget that when that beer came out it pushed the boundaries of what an IPA could be. Now everyone does that. The beer hasn’t changed but what we compare it to has.
Thing is, both beers are still amazing. They are still trendsetting. They just aren't new anymore.
The beer becomes a victim of its own hype.
There are several beers the hype has ruined for me. New Belgium Fat Tire was one of them. There wasn’t a week that would go by without someone coming into the bar and trying to order a Fat Tire. Upon learning that we didn’t carry it (because it wasn’t distributed here at the time) we would always hear some version of, “How can you call yourself a craft beer bar and not carry Fat Tire. Don’t you know it’s the best beer in the world?” I heard this so many times and I was dying to get my hands on some Fat Tire. And then one day this magical beer appeared in front of me. I couldn’t wait to experience the choir of singing angels and that tingling feeling down deep that I had been promised. Except…
It’s just an Amber Ale. All of this hype for a damn Amber Ale! Are you kidding me?
It was another two years before I tried Fat Tire again. And you know what? It’s actually a really good beer but the hype that surrounded the beer when I tried it for the first time ruined my impression of it. My expectations had been set so high that it had no hope of impressing me. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what the beer is like, it just can’t live up to the hype.
I encourage you to remember that when you are standing in a 3 hour line at a beer festival for 2 ounces of the newest quintuple barrel aged double imperial stout made with unicorn tears and brewed by a level 10 elvish Paladin on the slopes of the Himalayas. The table right next door, with the brewery you’ve never heard of, serving the beer that doesn’t have any of the latest buzz words in the title is very likely amazing too, maybe even more so…