Craft Beer News: The Beauty of Versatility

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  • By Nic Bradley
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Craft Beer News:  The Beauty of Versatility

We all have our favorites, but too much of anything can make even the best beers tiresome. The answer, of course, is to be adventurous and break out of our ruts.

Too much of a good thing can easily become a bad thing.  If you’re consistently doing the same thing over and over, it’s easy to get burnt out on it.  The same thing goes for beer.  


The hazy IPA has been king for the past few years.  We all know that, and have witnessed the craze continue to prosper.  But lately, I have had more and more customers tell me that they are starting to grow tired of this style and are becoming what I’ve coined as “hazed out”. The same thing can happen for any style.  


Like I said, too much of a good thing can easily be a bad thing.


Most of our beer customers come into the store and are laser focused on one very specific style.  And though that makes my job easy in pointing to where that style lives on the shelf, there is so much more satisfaction in helping someone find something brand new that they'll love!  


One of the great things about being one of the top bottle shops in Long Beach is that we are able to carry amazing beer from a very wide spectrum of styles all over the board. So here is my challenge to you, our customer:


Try something new.  Get out of your comfort zone and pick up something that you aren’t familiar with.  One of the coolest aspects of our store is that everything is sold in singles, so you don’t have to commit to a six-pack of something if you don’t know if you'll like it or not.  So maybe on your next mixed four pack grab your normal three hazy IPAs and throw a wild card in there. 


There are a few different outcomes that can come from adding that wild card into the mix. The best-case scenario is you find a new style that you absolutely adore.  Worst-case is you have to pour that one out, but you have made progress to figuring out exactly how your palate works.  


The most likely scenario is somewhere in the middle, where you like particular aspects of that beer, and others not so much.  But, what this does is allows you to expand your palate become more familiar with other styles and helps to further appreciate all that is beer.


Next time you’re in The Wine Country, find me and we will discuss what you normally drink and we will start a discovery process.  Now, I have always said, “you can’t hit a homerun every time.”  So there will be some swings-and-misses.   But hopefully, we will knock some out of the park more often than not.


Here are some good grabs at The Wine Country that are NOT hazy IPAs:


  • Brouwerij West / Pizza Port colab “Zebra Hotel” West Coast Double IPA $4.79/16oz can
  • Little Beast “Wolf Camp” Hoppy Saison $4.49/16oz Can
  • Perennial “Prodigal” Imperial Stout $6.99/16oz can
  • Devil’s Canyon “Kaleidoscope” Cherry Sour $3.19/16oz Ccn


If you want a great intro to a huge range of styles, sign up for September 18th Beerventure! The theme is “Nic’s Picks” where we will be celebrating not only my 30th birthday, but my one-year anniversary with The Wine Country and will be pouring a plethora of my favorite libations in my section.  


My wife may even bake a cake, who knows?!


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