Before we get started here, this picture has nothing to do with the post. It was just too awesome not to share. Imagine Brian Fellow: “DAT SQUIRREL CAN DRINK A BEER.”
Stan at Appellation Beer has released another beer rule: “Variation is not a flaw.” I think he was speaking directly to us with this one. We have been working lately on improving our consistency from batch to batch. In the early days of MNB I think we went above and beyond variation… we were more along the lines of “drastic change.” Our first stout was weak like rabbit. Our second stout was strong like moose. Though, as we vary recipes to try to really nail the beer we’re going for, we’ll obviously end up with variation.
An interesting note, which Stan points out in his post. Sometimes brewers actively pursue variation. I was listening to an interview with the head brewer at New Belgium on Basic Brewing Radio. He was also a strong advocate of variation. Every year they release a blended cask-conditioned beer, and every year it is different. On purpose. Granted, most of MNB’s variations thus far have been accidental. I attribute it to beer ghosts.