The Session is a monthly event for the beer blogging community where, on the first Friday of each month, all participating bloggers write about a predetermined topic. Each month a different blog is chosen to host The Session, choose the topic, and post a roundup of all the responses received. For more info on The Session, check out the Brookston Beer Bulletin.
This session is hosted by David J Bascombe at Good Morning on the subject of ‘‘Don’t Believe the Hype’’, discussing whether hype is a good thing or a bad thing.
Here are my thoughts – albeit a few days late (I was busy and this month’s session slipped my mind).
As I write this I’m drinking a bottle of Hop Bazooka from Southern Bay Brewing in Victoria, which is without doubt the No1 craft beer state in Australia.
According to the label, the brewers initially planned to make a shoulder-mounted CO2 powered instrument to dry-hop beer. But apparently they couldn’t be bothered and decided to make a Citra, Galaxy and Stella hop-driven IPA.
It’s an Australian IPA, rather than the US style, which is little more than a truckload of hops with a little malt and water thrown in. I prefer the Australian style, because I like the balance.
But what does this have to do with hype? Well, I’m drinking it because of hype.
See, about two months ago, I was seeing a fair amount of hype among my Twitter followers – who are predominantly beer lovers – about Hop Bazooka. Seems everyone was drinking it, or had just drunk it or was about to go buy some so they could drink it.
So of course, I was going to try it myself. See if all the hype had any foundation.
And it does. It’s a pleasant, balanced IPA and it’s a beer I wouldn’t likely have tried were it not for the hype.
La Sirene’s Saison is another beer along the same lines. Another beer from Victoria, it came with a huge amount of hype, so much that I did wonder if it could possibly live up to that. But it did – in fact it surpassed it (and I know I’m adding to the hype by saying that). It’s easily one of the finest saisons I’ve ever had and that includes those from Europe.
But hype does cut both ways. Take, for instance, Rogue’s Voodoo bacon maple ale. In Australia, we don’t see a lot of Rogue, especially not the Voodoo, which had become a great white whale for a number of beer geeks here.
But about a month ago, Twitter was abuzz with news that a few craft beer specialty stores had some in. And we rushed to buy it. And some of us were deeply, deeply disappointed. I wasn’t able to finish the glass I poured from my pink bottle. And the rest of it went down the sink. I wasn’t the worst, I know of one guy who bought two bottles and cracked the first open excitedly, only to find that he couldn’t stomach more than one mouthful. That’s pretty tough given those bottle were retailing for about $25 each here.
So hype’s not a bad thing at all. As long as you can live up to it.