It seems like nobody respects a brewery anymore for doing the basic stuff. Go big or go home has become the theme for modern craft beer. Double IPA aren’t big enough, so breweries now make Triple IPA’s, and any beer that is made can be put into barrels to age. And there is also this new sour craze which going like this; sour, more sour, and “this beer is gonna make your asshole pucker”.
I here to say, “Fuck. That.”
Seriously. What happened to craft? What happened to quality? Breweries are now making whatever they feel like, knowing they can overcharge the customer for these fancy beers indifferent to the level of quality they have. And people drink them up. Everybody wants to try the new stout with “cherrywood smoked peanut salt” or whatever crazy ingredients that people are trying to get for their beer.
But here is one style, that whenever I see a brewery make gets me excited. I always like it whenever I see a brewery that makes a helles beer. You don’t know what a helles is? I’ll tell you. It’s boring. To use the term from Greg Koch, it’s fizzy yellow beer. It’s not even a pilsner, because it lacks the hop bite. It’s some boring fucking beer, and I love it.
The thing that makes a helles so boring is what makes it so exciting to me. It’s simplicity. It’s the Italian cooking of brewing, a few high quality simple ingredients done really well. And a helles has to be done really well, it’s one of the hardest beers to make. It’s simplicity will bring out any flaws that can happen. The nakedness of the beer will shine in all of it’s glory, or else be like the naked flappy grandfather who just lost his towel.
So keep an eye out for a helles. They are a hard beer to spot, but totally worth it if you find a good one. Oh, you also have to be over IPAs and be looking for a beer to complement the company you keep, instead of a beer that will dominate the conversation.