Name: Todd HaugHometown: Minneapolis, MinnesotaWorks at: Surly Brewing Co., 4811 Dusharme Dr., Brooklyn Center, MN 55429 and 520 Malcolm Ave. SE, Minneapolis, MN, 55414The Growler: Turn-Ons?Todd Haug: Clean yeast profiles, as far as intended fermentation characteristics. The beer should be as it was intended. That is the biggest thing for me. Good or bad, it doesn’t matter, as long as it was what the brewer wanted to do. It doesn’t mean I like every single beer. It might be a horrible flavor I’m not into. But if the brewer wanted to create that flavor and succeeded, that’s where my palate is at.
I agree with your sentiment that there’s never been a better time to be a beer drinker in America. Certainly if you are interested in flavor and variety.
As for snobbishness, it is often the refuge of those whose knowledge only scratches the surface of a subject. This is certainly true in beer where many enthusiastic but relatively inexperienced consumers cling to the small territory that they think is cool and look down their noses at other spheres of beerdom. Yeah, I’m talking about you, Mr. I-only-drink-double-IPAs.
A love of variety in beer and specifically in beer flavors is what created this industry. It has been a defining element of the industry ever since. “Flavor and variety” was the mantra I used to define craft beer as an industry spokesperson before there was an official BA definition.
New Glarus Brewing Company is, in some respects, the country’s most enigmatic brewery—not because they conduct business behind some veil of secrecy or proprietary technique, but because their steadfast shunning of world domination is so out of whack with their potential to do just that. Their beers, masterminded by Diploma Master Brewer Dan Carey, are highly sought-after by collectors around the world, but are so plentiful in their native Wisconsin that you can find them on the shelf at the local supermarket. And that’s as true of Spotted Cow, the brewery’s flagship farmhouse/cream ale, as it is for their more boutique-level fruit beers like Serendipity and Strawberry Rhubarb…
7. Avoid the second cheapest bottle on a wine list as, in most restaurants, this is the one the restaurateur pays the least for. Safe in the knowledge that customers don’t want to appear tight, owners tend to put the cheapest wine at a price slightly higher than the house wine – thus making the most profit. In most cases, the house wine will be better and cheaper.