“Let the word go forth that the brewery stein has been passed to a new generation of Americans…”
One of the benefits of growing older is to observe the follies of this world, including your own. Which also explains the great pleasure at observing a new generation who look at things from a different angle, and where, if I am being honest, I must admit, I would have never thought of.
Take for example this whole business about whether or not beer should be brewed in aluminum cans. For many of the so-called craft brewers of the late 20th century, this would be heresy. It was glass, or you did not pass. Not any longer. Brewers at 21st Amendment and Oskar Blues among a growing number of others, decided that the recipe of a brew is far more important than the aesthetic desire of a glass container, and besides that, it is deemed more ecologically responsible, since aluminum is 100% recyclable.
But that is only part of the story. A new generation of brewers have developed their own unique takes on recipes, producing bold assertive beers of great character. Take a look at what Patrick Rue is doing in California at The Bruery. An operation dedicated to producing, for the most part, artisanal Belgian-style style variations in 25 ounce bottles, with names like Mischief and Saison Rue.
The truth of the matter is, there is a lot of love going forward in this ancient beverage. The idea of producing a product that is flavor neutral, as was the practice in the 20th century macro-brewing industry, seems distant and strange today.