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Changing tastes

In the late 90s my uncle and I started having beer tastings. Craft beer was just catching hold in Jersey and he had some access to some really esoteric beers. To be honest, though, it mostly was about the drinking. We (for example) included Zima once because we felt as if it were important to know what it tasted like.
Two beers stuck out from that period. Dead Guy Ale, by Rogue was one and the other was a Lambic, maybe raspberry. I was pretty sure both of them had gone bad. I kept the bottle because it was cool (cool labels are a relatively new thing, I think) but resolved never to try the beer again. It took only about a decade for me to revisit Dead Guy Ale. It's probably and even likely that the beer changed over the course of a decade, but it is more likely my taste buds improved. Our beer tastings didn't often include beers that were too out there. If Pete's Wicked or Samuel Adams had something "kooky" out, we'd get it. But a lot of the smaller brews weren't that good, or at least I didn't like them.
As I learned to appreciate beer, and became somewhat familiar with the industry's history, it occurred to me that, in the late 90s, the microbrew fad was coming to an end. Too many people were making to much mediocre beer for the revolution to be sustainable.
Rogue hung on, probably because they mostly worried about making good beer rather than chasing trends. I'd almost forgotten I had this bottle until I heard Jack Joyce died. Reading some of his old press while preparing for the Beer with Strangers podcast, reminded me of the bottle and the story, which I felt like sharing.

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