A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


Comments are locked. No additional comments may be posted.

Stan Hieronymus -


I've noted this in the discussion at Lew Bryon's blog and too many times at Appellation Beer, but I have a problem with this:

"Extreme beer is one of those terms with a temporally sliding meaning. Extreme beer today is tomorrow's normal beer."

To me a sliding meaning has little meaning. It has been suggested that Sierra Nevada Pale Ale was once extreme. Trying to sell it -- an all-malt, bottle-conditioned beer was well as one with hop character -- was certainly a radical idea, but the beer wasn't extreme.

If you ski Silverton Mountain (north of Durango) it will be extreme everytime. You might get to know it better and you may learn to be a better skiier, so the thought of tackling it will seem less radical, but it's still going to be extreme.

But thanks for sticking up for experimentation.

Alan -

I don't know if that analogy works, Stan. My sport of skill is/was soccer and after enough playing I can do somethings in terms of playing a long cross onto someone's hairline or threading a pass that I would have thought impossible when I was, say, trying to get into shape at the outset of a season. I think Donavan's point could be reframed as aclimatization. We have out point of comfort shifted naturally by our experiences. <p>That makes the problem of "extreme" as a definition plain - it is a relative term, both to the alternatives and the individual's experience. Unlike defining fine beer as such, a superlative, extreme beer will always be contextual and framed by what is available and not as extreme.

Donavan -

I appreciate Alan's defense of my take on the term "extreme beer". And I think Alan has it pretty much right. Not sure why a sliding meaning would cause Stan to scratch his head, since dynamical systems (including social constructs and personal preference) must have a time variable. If anything, what I said was banal, even trite. But most breakthroughs in personal understanding seem banal in hindsight. The Night of the Barrels was an experiential breakthrough for me since it changed my whole concept of what people mean when they say extreme beer. And that my friends is the subject of my next post.