The question was just asked here http://bit.ly/mLCyCQ on twitter.
So for my 2c’s here goes.
Short answer is.. no we are not. But do we need to be?
There are many brewers who “play it safe”. I recall reading a comment after GABS at the Local Taphouse that Australian Brewers do not take enough risk. I do agree with this sentiment.
But then… Look at the market they are playing in. They are competing with the big corporate might of Kirin, Fosters etc…
They get stung so much in excise on their beers, in what is an unfair system.
They also need to battle with the “<insert mass produced swill here> is real beer, and everything else is for snobs or poofs” mentality that is rife in mainstream Australia.
Producing big beers likes Brewdog like to do, is expensive and cost prohibitive.. And is a massive risk. Your market is small. Those of us willing to indulge in a big big Double IPA are few and far between. There isn’t a lot of money to be made.
While beer is a passion for a lot of us, its just a “beer” to others, not everyone is happy to shell out AUD $200 for a Sink the Bismark.
Another reality of modern life, is that the communication tools available to the modern joe are fairly extensive. Your view, for right or wrong, is too easy to get out there in the mainstream.
I have a reasonably small amount of followers (98) on twitter. That is still 98 people that can read my opinion. They can then retweet that opinion to potentially tens of thousands of people. And how much opinion can you place in 140 characters anyway?
Blogs are a different matter, more can be said but the reach may not be as far.
I think its all good and well to say we are not critical enough, but when that personal critical opinion can be spread so far and wide on a topic where opinions are so varied, it could potentially do unfair damage to a micro breweries reputation that is undeserved, unless they are truly shit.
Haven’t’ found one quite that bad yet :)
If you know me or ever have the misfortune of meeting me, feel free to ask me of my opinion on a certain breweries or brews that I have had, and you will get a blunt and honest opinion and the discussion around it that the beer in question deserves.