The Definition of Quality Beer
Here on The Brew Enthusiast, we recently did a spiffy little feature on Cape Ann Brewing company out of Gloucester, MA. Go read the feature, and drink their beer, if you haven't yet please.
I mention the feature because of a small, easily overlooked point that the owner of Cape Ann Brewing, Jeremy Goldberg, made about craft beer (he made it specifically about his beer, in this case). He outlined his definition of quality to us, and suffice it to say, his definition of quality beer didn't mince words or ramble on into obscurity. He said it was " a beer that tastes good." It was that simple. We loved hearing that. For the pedants out there, he did go on to say that quality ingredients were important, and we agree. But his point is well taken. Good beer is beer that tastes good. Poetically simple.
We want you to be aware of this as you develop your own palate and preferences. We want you to trust yourself, and your ability to identify good beer, as you venture forth into the expanding craft world. Be aware that within this great industry, the shades of grey around the definition of what a "quality beer" actually is will always be up for interpretation. We agree that almost all quality beer (like good food, and nice cars, etc) is generally composed of thoughtful, crafted, nicely sourced raw ingredients; but that is the end of what can be considered factual information around quality.
Go drink that beer. Go try everything you can. And don't worry, you don't have to like it. Just know it's a decision you're very capable of making yourself. Quality beer is beer that tastes good. Good beer is beer that tastes good.