Didn't know it was beer day yesterday, but I did have some Terrapin Luau Krunkles. It's a Guava, Passion, Orange IPA. Not bad.
Awhile back I did a job in the 21st Amendment brewery and they had an IPA called "Blah, Blah, Blah". The can says it all...
It was a good IPA and it poked fun it the trend to have something different for the sake of differences, taste be dammed. I used to be an adventurous drinker but anymore I don't drink that much and don't want to waste my money and taste buds on some brewers stroke of "genius". I still enjoy a wide variety of beer and it's fine to experiment, but some things shouldn't be foisted on the beer drinking community $10 a 4 pack, 6 pack or 22 oz bomber. For instance, I've tried a lot of beers with chocolate or vanilla in them and it is always the same... Disgusting, nasty, fermented horse piss would be better. The shame is you can brew a very chocolaty beer by using the proper roasted malts and get a wonderful beer (as long as you use the proper hops).
I also, a general rule, don't like fruit extracts to be used in beer. They impart too much flavor and tend to take over the beer, running the balance. On the other hand, brewing with fresh fruit can be very magical, if not messy. Years ago I brewed what started out to be an Imperial Oatmeal Stout, about 8% on the Richter scale. After it got to fermenting I thought, you know, I got some bitter sweet cherries that I picked in the freezer, I wonder how that would be? So, I dumped about 1-1.5 pounds of still frozen cherries into the fermenter. When they kicked off I had a real mess going on. The fermentation lock kept plugging up and building pressure in the fermenter, cherries blowing out the seals on the lid... I was sure it ruined. Finally got it fermented and bottled, I wasn't going to do it but my dad said why not so I did.
After about month I figured I'd better try one... It was the most wonderful beer I ever brewed! For the first couple of months it was all chocolate and cherries, like a Bon Bon baby! The few I had after 8 months had really matured. The flavor was now a very good stout, but at the finish, a rush of cherry flavor tickled your taste buds. It was like, man that's a great stout, WOW, where'd those cherries come from!
Sadly, I only made one batch from them... The we got an early spring the next year, followed by a late, very heavy frost and lost every cherry bush we had. Worst of all... My dad couldn't remember what variety or where he got them.
A couple of years ago I had a Big Eddy Cherry Doppelschwarz from the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company. It was very reminiscent of my cherry stout and very good. I know it can be hard to source the fresh berries, but the fermented pulp adds something special that you will never get from an extract. Some berries, like blue berries, never taste like the extracts anyway. They have a very subtle flavor that gets too intense as an extract. Strawberries are another. The beautiful, delicate flavor would never survive the fermentation process and would have to be in a very light beer to make anything noticeable at all. Anyway, I will relinquish my soapbox... For now.