Monday, July 1, 2013

In Love?

Love is a many faceted, many treasure thing. It makes your day go with a bounce, makes you smile inanely at the slightest thing, makes the world seemer a brighter, more colourful place. Love is, in the words of the dictionary, 'a warm personal attachment' to someone, or something, which one has 'a strong liking for'/ It's fair to say that love is, overall, a good thing.

With this, perhaps naive, view of love, there is something troubling me about the nature of many a 'beer geek' or 'beer snob', and this is purely from anecdotal evidence of working in a brewery tasting room. Where has the joy in a simple, well made, and tasty beer gone? Without fail, in the last few months, we have had many a self-professed 'beer geek' or 'beer snob', including the wearing of the t-shirt to prove their 'passion', sneer their way through the tasting. If this were a phenomenon I had seen only in the Starr Hill tasting room then I would think there was maybe something awry with the beer, but I have seen it in pubs, brewpubs and other brewery tasting rooms of late.

The Beer Sneer is easily recognisable, a sample is placed in front of said 'beer geek/snob' and by the time he (and it is most often a he rather than a she) has finished his few ounces the beer has been de-constructed, pouted over, declared insufficiently 'hoppy', often with a near Gallic sniff, and then rated on websites that advocate such behavior. This hyper-critical, never to be pleased, wannabe expert is very much, in my unhumble opinion, the antithesis of beer. Beer is about good times, with good friends, enjoyed over several pints of something tasty. Sadly, and again this is purely from anecdotal evidence, many of the 'beer geek/snobs' that I see in tasting rooms and bars are the zythophilic equivalent of Anton Ego...

Continuing the Anton Ego theme, perhaps a few people need a ratatouille moment...

1 comment:

  1. As the guy running the tasting at Sedona Taphouse said yesterday, there's a difference between a style of beer not being your thing and a beer being poorly made. His whole goal was to get people to separate their likes and dislikes from just tasting the beer for what it was, which was nice to hear (and is weirdly something us dorks talk a lot about in things like film criticism - favorite movies vs. good/well-made movies).

    I don't think that thinking about beer and learning more about beer, however, takes away from being able to love it; I hope and I think it has made me more appreciative of more varieties. I have been to breweries and had tastings that I have not liked, but it doesn't mean that I don't like beer! (And I'm always polite, I hope.) I think there's room for love and constructive criticism in one person. But the kind of guys that sneer through tastings are the same kinds of people that never like movies, TV, music or beer unless they've been told by some authority figure they trust (AV Club, Pitchfork, Beer Advocate) that they should like it. And of course anyone who just reacts blindly to a beer by saying it should be hoppier should be removed bodily from the facility :)


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