Monday, August 5, 2013

Time Is On My Side

I've noticed that people seem to enjoy when I take journalists to task for not getting their beery shit straight. Last week's post about William Bostwick's article on Pilsner in GQ's online edition, proves that point. But, it's a two way street. By that, I don't mean I should be held responsible for getting any of my facts straight—that's just crazy talk. What I'm getting at is that sometimes the "mainstream media" gets it right.

The article starts of as you might expect, with a splashy headline, taunting the reader to guess where the U.S best craft beer is made. The meat of the article comes as Tuttle reveals that has released its list of the 25 best breweries in America, and lo and behold, Delaware's Dog Fish Head is at the top of the chart.

Things start to change a bit at this point. Tuttle reports:
While releasing its list, TheDailyMeal admitted “there’s plenty of subjectiveness in picking a craft beer.” But the editors did the best they could, gathering 72 best brewery nominees and putting it to a vote that has hopefully produced a list that lands at the “intersection of best and beloved” craft brewers around the country.
Tuttle continues that while Boston Beer Company, Sierrea Nevada and New Belgium make the list many other's don't, and that out of the three top craft beer producing states—Vermont, Oregon and Montana—only Oregon's Rouge Ales makes the list. The author also goes on to mention that none of the top three winning brews at the U.S Open Beer Championships—held in Atlanta earlier this July—madeTheDailyMeal's list either, and that the first DFH beer on Beer Advocate'sTop 250 Beers, doesn't show up until the #148 spot.

Wait, a minute.
Is someone not just blindly reporting that a a beer/brewery/brewer appearing on randomly conceived listical is the "best" in a randomly conceived category? He sums up, what I think is the most important aspect of the article by saying:
Does this mean Dogfish Head doesn’t make terrific beer? Absolutely not! It’s just that these lists are always problematic, and easy fodder for debate—which is part of the point, of course.
Mr. Tuttle gets it. 

He didn't get a press release in his in-box, and charge ahead making broad statements about how innovative and passionate the crew at Dog Fish Head are. He didn't say that Namaste, or Burton Baton or, 90 minute are the defining beers of our time because an on-line magazine needed to fill space and came up with a list. No. He reported the result, but noted that the very concept of a subjective listical is flawed—and intended to be flawed to create a discussion.

See, truth in journalism. It works. The next time you're considering writing a beer article for Maxim or Men's Health, before saying mothers should replace breast milk with Heady Topper, think WWTD (What Would Tuttle Do) and follow his lead.


  1. Montana is one of the three top craft beer producing states? I always thought it was Colorado (along with VT, and OR). Learn something everyday.

    1. Well, according to Tuttle's article, that is.

    2. Just read the original article... Tuttle states "Of the nation’s top three craft brewing states per capita". The "per capita" bit makes sense.