Just a bit of a rant. Though maybe more of an observation, not quite reaching the level of a rant. And the following is being directed at commercial breweries, not homebrewers. Copy cat, bandwagon, “me too”, trend, whatever you want to call it. But it’s happening over and over again. Here are a few examples. Barrel aging, sours, session beers, wild ales/spontaneous fermentation, yoga classes at the brewery, brewers with beards, kettle souring. It is striking to me how quickly breweries will jump on and pretty much copy what they see another brewery or handful of breweries are doing elsewhere. The majority of breweries can’t seem to come up with any novel ideas on their own. Or dare I say, just brew some solid beer. I mean, what brewery these days DOES NOT have a “barrel program”. What comes first, the beard or the decision to become a brewer? I suspect the latter. I mean, are professional brewers that insecure that they feel they need to conform to what everyone else is doing? “Wow, people really line up at Jester King and Crooked Stave for their wild ales. We need to really start doing that.” Maybe it comes down to trying to run a successful business. They see what other breweries are doing successfully and think that it will help their business if they adopt the same. That probably happens in many other industries. Most popular bottle releases are a barrel aged something or other and release sales of “special” beers provide a great cash injection into the business. But I can’t help but roll my eyes whenever a new brewery posts an FB pic of their first barrels. Isn’t craft beer supposed be less about corporate thinking and more about art and creativity? How do you push boundaries if all you do is what the next guy is doing? And what the hell is the connection between beer and yoga anyway? And don’t get me started on collabs, the meeting of the brewing minds that produce a once in a lifetime (literally) beer that may or may not be any good, but people fucking fall all over themselves to get their hands on it. Ok, maybe that was a little bit of a rant.