One of the silliest things I have ever come across in all these years of yapping about good beer was last year's infomercial made by US craft brewers titled "I am a Craft Brewer." It included many mutual back pats and self-pinned blue ribbon statements including the pledges that they do not put corn in their beer, they do not put rice in their beer. One year later, such "honouring and holding true to their craft" - as the infomercial claimed - is seemingly not so important to New Jersey's Flying Fish Brewing as they have decided to put rice in their beer... or at least one, their not yet released Exit 16 Wild Rice Double IPA:
Although no longer home to forests of giant cedars and salt hay marshes teeming with aquatic life, the Meadowlands is still an amazingly diverse ecosystem providing vital animal and plant habitat. In a nod to a once common food plant here, we’ve brewed this beer with wild rice. We also used brown and white rice, as well as two malts. Rice helps the beer ferment dry to better showcase the five different hops we’ve added. Lots and lots of them. We then dry-hopped this Double IPA with even more-generous additions of Chinook and Citra hops to create a nose that hints at tangerine, mango, papaya and pine.
Wow! Sounds really interesting. Who knew that rice would help showcase the hops in a craft beer? Who knew that trying three different rices would be interesting? Maybe someone who actually tried?
Look, there is no reason to get all freaked out finger pointy, screaming hypocrisy or go over the top some other way. We just need to thank our stars that human invention knows no such bounds. And, like Wisconsin's New Glarus and its corn beer Spotted Cow, good rice beer has already been done before as Michigan's Kuhnhenn Brewing Company has made a Double Rice IPA (DRIPA) according to the BAers.
Promising never to make beer with corn or rice? It's like promising to never make beer in casks or to only make beer in casks. Make beer from turnips for all I care. As long as you make it tasty and sell it to me at a fair price, what does it matter to me?