This Facebook post from Mikkeller is worth a read. It is a great example of the biggest issue craft beer has. Many consumers simply do not fully understand all the different aspects of what makes something from a brewer like Mikkeller truly craft, and why it’s worth paying more for. To clarify, I do not believe that a beer education is needed to enjoy craft beer, but it prevents issues like these from arising. Even if the customer in this story understood bottle fermentation or filtration, they probably still wouldn’t have liked the beer, but maybe they’d have been less likely to have purchased this particular beer and wouldn’t have shut out purchasing again from a great brewer like Mikkeller.
This is one of the main reasons I started Hooked on Hops. I want everyone to understand, appreciate, and enjoy good quality beer. Part of being able to do this requires creating a culture where you can learn and experience beer from knowledgable individuals. In Las Vegas, I recommend you visit any of the local breweries (like Tenaya Creek or Big Dog’s) or a craft beer retailer (like Khoury’s Fine Wine or Aces & Ales). These are places that have a culture of craft beer and have knowledgable employees who can guide you to the best decision.
Mikkeller’s response is perfect. I like that they are honest enough to share this letter publicly to try to do something to change consumer perception.