Yesterday, I was going through a closet when I stumbled on a book, “The Great Beers of Belgium” by Michael Jackson. It kind of hit me then that 2008 is going to be the first year that we won’t have any hopes of a new book by MJ, or a new article in All About Beer Magazine or Ale Street News, or even an appearance on Conan.
I know it’s been several months now since Jackson’s passing, but it’s still hard to get used to. Anyone who really loves craft beer, and especially those who make it a dedicated passion and write about it, owe a huge debt to Michael.
Yeah, 2008 is really going to be a tough year indeed.
The other day, I was discussing via e-mail the recent trend towards upward-spiraling prices on specially beers in the American craft beer market. Not just any beers. mind you, but the cream of the crop: oak-aged Tripels and stouts, smoked doppelbocks, bottle conditioned rye-bock. I don’t mind paying a premium for quality beer, and compared to what wine lovers pay for top-notch stuff, beer enthusiasts still usually are lucky by comparison.
But tonight I drank a bottle of Left Hand Goosinator, a nice enough smoked doppelbock that I paid about $12 for. It was a 750ML bottle mind you, a little more than two twelve ounce bottles. And though I enjoyed it, I would not buy it again. Why? Because for about the same price I could buy four bottles (2 L total) of Schlerkerla Ur-Bock, an original German smoked bock that I like better and that really this is a copy of.
Beware, craft brewers. Beer geeks will pay for quality, but we’re savvy enough to know when we can get a better deal elsewhere, too.