This month's session is entitled beer people and thankfully gives us plenty of leeway for thought. I prefer a session to skimp on specifics and boundaries, which is why I don't play every month.
There's a phrase I've been using a lot recently, whether out drinking with friends, on this blog, or in beer forums. It describes how best I feel about beer people. First though I need to consider what is a beer person. Most people drink beer, but most of those do it for a reason other than you and I. They do it because it's there. They drink beer because it's probably the most sociable drink to partake of and get happy, merry, drank, ratarsed or any other point on the inebriation scale. It's a fairly easy thing to drink as the majority of beer sold throughout the World is deliberately brewed not to taste of much. The best selling lagers are actually brewed to have minimum flavour and aftertaste. If, however, lager is not their thing, they will probably be drinking dreadful nitrogenated stouts, or smoothflow beers which to them have a bit more flavour, whereas in actual fact they don't.
These people though are not beer people but people who drink beer.
No. Beer people are people who drink beer for pleasure, for enjoyment, for taste. It's actually their drink of choice because they like to drink it, and can appreciate the effort that has gone into producing it. They like to try different beers too, and compare one against the other. I'm not necessarily talking tickers or raters. Just normal people who treat beer as an experience to savour rather than just part of the whole going-out thing.
I've met a lot of these people over the years. Ordinary local CAMRA members, hardcore scoopers (tickers), RateBeerians, publicans, brewers, and beer journalists. These have all been great people to share a pint or more with. People who you can talk about beer to, but who are also interesting in other areas and who can hold down a conversation for an hour or two. These are people you are happy to call your friend.
I feel the same way about bloggers. The only ones I've met are Ron and Simon, but the beerblogosphere feels like a community with like minded people enjoying the output of their peers. Sure we may disagree with others' opinions, and the odd skirmish may break out, but it's generally all good.
So to get to that phrase and it's one that I could never overuse, and, remember you should probably count yourself as a beer person:
BEER PEOPLE ARE GOOD PEOPLE