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    Friday, 4 April 2008

    The Session #14 - Beer People

    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:



    Whorst said...

    Maeib, I'm trying to understand this whole, blogger, ticker, beer journalist manifesto. I don't understand the need. Your blog, and about three others are about all I can stomach. Taste in beer is subjective, like all things. nitrogenated stouts are consumed by a great many people. They're not my cup of tea, but who am I to tell someone it's shit. Draft Guinness I think is actually quite distinctive. It's made with 3% sour beer for that tang. Some people like Fords, some Chevrolet's, some Triumphs. In the end it's useless to attempt to throw your weight around with beer knowledge. Some people are completely content with drinking with what we consider substandard beer. For me personally, I'd rather drink with someone who's not that knowledgeable, but is open to tasting different things. There are far too many pompous beer pricks, who give beer a bad name. Our job should be to educate people, not give them a ration of shit because they drink shit lager. And if they don't want to become educated, fuck 'em. It's not that important. Now it's your turn.



    maeib said...

    As I was writing that piece I realised I was being harsh on, let's face it, the majority of beer drinkers.

    I was attempting to distinguish a difference between people who drink beer to get drunk and those who are more analytical about what they put in their bodies.

    There is becoming as much snobbery about beer as there is about food, and I am as guilty of that as the next person, but I don't see that as a wholly bad thing.

    I think the pomposity and snobbery doesn't make them bad people and I enjoy the company of beer people immensely.

    I do of course have friends who drink crap beer and they are decent people too, but beer is given a bad name both in the UK and the USA because of those who drink to get drunk.

    I'm glad you like my blog. All too often I write a piece on the hoof, as my spare time is too short. The pieces may then seem a little jumbled. I think I probably agree this is one of them.

    Ron Pattinson said...

    I didn't realise we had met. When was that? I have a terrible memory for everything except beer.

    maeib said...

    Ron - Low Countries RateBeer Meeting in 2006 at The Kulminator. I did come and say hello and compliment you on your website. There was a lot of beer consumed that day - you loved the Zoigl - andI will always remember your stating that you didn't like any of the US stuff on the day which had Cascades.

    Ron Pattinson said...

    Slagging off Cascades? That couldn't have been me.

    The Zoigl Sebastion brought really was outstanding. I thought it the best of the beers I drank that day, with the possible exception of the Gose that was my contribution.

    There were so many beers and so many people that it's all a bit of a blur in my memory.

    Matt said...

    Nice post as always

    I don't see the harm in stating that you like Triumph over Ford and why.

    The Ford types can then chime is as to why your all wet and the Triumph supporters how brilliant you are.

    If we didn't talk about what we liked/believed in conversation would just be about the weather and blogdom would get stale pretty fast.

    I also think beer blogs tend to be preaching to the choir - talking to like minded invdividuals. No harm in that, if the typical bud/carling drinker reads these blogs and has something to add I believe the typical blogger would welcome it even if they potentially disagree dramatically.

    What I do not understand are the people who post comments on blogs and get so bent out of shape about the orginal posters topic choice. If you don't like it move on. If you disagree state your case.

    bob larkin said...

    When I was a kid I quite liked TV in pubs (well colour was new and it was the only place to see it). I also watched (in b and w) Manchester United win the European Cup in 1968.

    Now my attitude is different. I think it is an imposition. I suppose in "sports bar" type pubs at least you know what you are going to get.

    Sport with the sound off is not too bad but even this is distracting in a multi-screen pub. I resent my attention wandering to a screen when I am talking to someone (more likely if it is noisy too).

    A pub I have used most weeks for the past 6 years has always had a TV. It used to be on only for big sporting events. Then (new landlord) it got to the stage when it was on almost permanently as wallpaper, usually with a pop video channel. Not good at all.

    My main gripe is 24 hour news. I loathe going into foyers of offices where this is on, in a pathetic attempt to show how "on the ball" they are I suppose. So in a pub it is a hundred times worse.

    Yet in the Cains brewery tap in Liverpool last week I found just this. There was some excuse perhaps as it was dealing with sport and particularly the troubles of Liverpool FC. But even so, I do not go into a pub to be confronted by a big scrren recycling news from an hour ago and an hour before that.

    Anonymous said...

    Our job should be to educate people, not give them a ration of shit because they drink shit lager. And if they don't want to become educated, fuck 'em. It's not that important. Now it's your turn


    maeib said...

    Anonymous - Thanks for visiting.

    Normally people who post anonymously at least put their name at the bottom. I take it you've not done that?