Beware the beer snob who tells you that the beer that you ordered is not really beer. The truth is that: Beer is beer is beer. There are some beers like the industrial monolith really yellow cheap stuff that I just do not like and I think is a hollow imitation of a really great style of beer, there are pastry stouts that have enough sugar in them to ferment again and there are green beers that just didn’t reach take-off velocity.
All are beer, just some of it is better to my palate than others. And that, in a nutshell, is what happens. Enough palates get together and a style becomes popular but that hazy IPA you had a few years ago might not hew to the 2020 palate. The hops might be better or worse or just different. The brewer might be different. The brewery might have invested in a new cold delivery truck and now that IPA that you disliked is suddenly fresher and better and it could be because of all the above reasons combined or just the damn truck being cold.
So, we all need to get better at saying that this current beer is not working for us today and not the alternative of ripping it to shreds or dismissing it. Even though the latter may be more fun. This is not like a finished movie or song that can be objectively and subjectively judged, a beer is a moving target and will continue to change as the years pass by much like we all are. Because not only is there a “drift” in palates, there is a drift in beer styles and a drift in the beer industry and the unthinkable becomes common and then fades away.