Beer aficionados' reactions to Goose Island's release of various coveted Bourbon County Brand Stouts (BCBS) tells us a bit about the current state how we view beer, and it's not always pretty.
In short, beer is like music in 1993, full of people complaining about "selling out."
But in 2013 there's very little discussion of selling out in music. Instead, you like what you like. It helps that mainstream music is plenty weird on its own, whereas mainstream beer is not, unless you count Shock Top Midnight Wheat. Craft beer is still young, in its teenage, Holden Caufield stage, railing against "phonies," and while this is happening, maybe the world is passing it by.
Instead, we're having yet another discussion about "craft versus crafty," which is what a certain trade association wants us to talk about. It would be nice if beer in 2013 could be like music in 2013. Because how far do we want to take the "sell out" argument? If someone wearing Nikes wants to complain about Widmer's distribution network, I'm not interested in that conversation. You wear Nikes because you like them, right? They feel good? They look good? Okay. Now, what's wrong with Goose Island's Sofie?