Can you write well about beer without drinking it? You certainly can without doing consulting to the trade on the side, doing corporate events. But can you without being in the bars every day, chin wagging? I mean even Rebus goes through the long dry patches yet is still Rebus, right? I have been thinking about this a bit lately because Norm Miller has declared his independence, seeking instead the healthier path. He is sharing his new explorations of weird soy based things. And he is drinking much less beer even if he still makes silly faces.
Good for Norm. And good for us all. I have never been convinced the steady stream from the one multi-flavoured tap was all that helpful. No more helpful than repeating what the brewer says about his or her beer. If you want to explain the fruit notes in an ale, you should be eating a wide range of fruit. Folk will natter over which sort of raisin you are referring to I f you leave them the opening. Few care to be told about chemical composition. It's like telling me about the frequencies the orchestra generated. No one really needs to know about this year's hop harvest.
How far can this be taken? If one were to spend one's life becoming articulate in the ways of the world - exploring its tastes and sensations - and then wrote about the one beer sipped each month would not the effect be rich, honest and insightful? We'd need to set up an experiment to put the question to the test, I suppose. No one pays to support this sort of thing. Unless there is a silent niche out there of this sort of purist. Is there a secret restraint based society of scribblers somewhere?