Beer Burnout: It's a thing

Beer beer beer beer beer beer beer.

And breathe.

It's not a bad thing to obsess over great beer. I've been known to do it, and I'm sure you have as well. Celebrating stylistic creativity, innovation, cultural impact, and fabulous flavor is (literally) intoxicating. But don't be surprised one day when you randomly experience an odd feeling. You'll be drinking a beer, chatting with your pals, and suddenly the beer you're drinking won't taste very good. You're over it. You won't want any more beer.

Fear not friend, for your beer is still delicious and your heart is still true. You're experiencing beer burnout, and it can happen to even the most hearty of beer drinkers. This terrible affliction can come on at a moments notice, and can last hours, days, or even weeks, god forbid.

Just to's not a reflection of your personality, nor is it the beer gods smiting you for your drinking habits. It's just a thing. 

Beer burnout, while unfortunate, gives oneself a brief respite from the daily rigor of being obsessed with beer. I have been known to go on relatively severe "benders of knowledge", reading random blog posts and historical tidbits about beer that fill my brain with foamy facts and leave room for little else. Suffice it to say that my ability to converse takes a serious nosedive, and remember, the only thing I've been drinking is information.

What else can contribute to Beer Burnout, you ask? While I know this isn't going to be a popular sentiment, the evolution of craft beer in this country has created a culture around big beer that doesn't seem very sustainable to me. Now, hold your hateful emails for a second and hear me out. When I say big beer, I'm mostly referring to high ABV beers and extremely strong IPA's for the sake of my argument. There are others out there, but these are the main suspects. I love how these beers taste, and I love that American craft beer is pioneering their evolution on a global scale. I just don't totally love their high ABV and destructively bitter taste. There is a time and a place for them, but we all know that these beers can be brutal. You cannot session on them, but of course people still try. They drink 3 or 4 Stone Double Bastards (which are delicious, for the record), and then they see the result. If everyone knew their limits, then it wouldn't be a problem, but since this isn't the case, it's causing some pretty serious burnout amongst the community of great beer drinkers. I know this is weak argument, but it's a contributing factor.

At the end of the day, this is part of a natural cycle. Your palate needs a break. Your body needs a break. You can't drink 9% DIPAs for two weeks straight without annihilating your palate, and you'll understand what I'm saying if you've recently done this. When the time comes, you will want more great beer. Keep this in mind when the burnout hits, because you might feel like you'll never be interested in good beer again.

Have a fruit juice, go for a jog, and call me in the morning. You're going to be back in the beer saddle before you can say "IBU". 

- Chris




Chris McClellan