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    Tuesday, 4 September 2007

    Excuse My Anger!

    My article yesterday was the third one I've written in the short time I've been writing this blog that has highlighted ridiculous articles in the British press. The others are here and here.

    Judging by the comments I have received, people do on the whole agree with the fact that these articles are unhelpful to the furtherance of beer, but perhaps do not share my passion(or should I say anger) when it comes to slagging off the British press.

    Am I right to be this mad? Let's look at wine. Wine is a beverage which is not made in great quantities on these shores, yet is taken very seriously. I cannot recall ever reading such badly informed articles on wine. The same applies to whisk(e)y which is of course British. Why is this? Is it because wine and whisky are seen as the drinks of the middle and upper classes whereas beer is apparently consumed by working class folk in working class boozers whilst wearing their hob nail boots and overalls? Or even worse, is it felt beer drinkers cannot read and thus won't notice these nauseous mistakes?

    Beer is a drink that Britain should be proud of. We have a thriving brewing industry which employs thousands of people. We have a seriously growing microbrewery scene. We have also produced the World's best ever beer journalist (RIP MJ), but these articles are written by heathens who clearly know nothing and care even less.

    Perhaps I shouldn't allow my blood pressure to rise even higher than it is by getting angry about these things. Maybe I should chill out and have a beer (maybe you should buy me a beer!!). I can't help it. Incompetence is something I find it hard to tolerate, and on a subject which our British press should relish championing they are doing shockingly.


    Stonch said...

    Generally when beer is written about in the mainstream press, they get the wine or food critics to do it, and usually they don't know what they're on about.

    One of my best pals is in journalism, and he has warned me that those who are trying to scratch a living out it are very hostile to newcomers/part-timers/enthusiastic amateurs.

    It seems to me that the only way beer writers can get anywhere near the mainstream is to start writing at the behest of the big brewers. Some people are willing to make that compromise. I don't see the point.

    Of course, the internet provides a soapbox for everyone. Sadly, when we write our blog, we're largely talking among ourselves - preaching to the converted. In the mainstream media, ignorance reigns.

    The Beer Nut said...

    Part of it is the class thing, but the follow-on from having such a wide user-base is that the market for bland mass-market beer is highly competitive and the macrobrewers' advertising budgets reflect this. Mass market wines and whiskies don't have to sell themselves quite as aggressively, so don't garner the same poor reputation.

    Because of beer's wide appeal, I doubt we'll ever see the equivalent of the realisation that Blue Nun is not, in fact, the height of sophistication, but actually rubbish. It's not worth the brewers' while to make better beers.