Here's how it happened. Greg asked a very good question about buying a rhubarb lambic upon which I jibed to which Mr. Beaumont commented and then posted in full. I, of course, couldn't keep out of it myself when I added this:
I entirely agree with you on that… for the most part. It’s just that I find many other things including many other things of relatively more value for the price. [This seems to be your sticking point on this and if you have any chance of being Curmudgeo Numero Uno you may have to work through that. Once you have that down we can work on your lightening speed difficulties.] It is not that it is “just beer” so much as running after the increasing parade of the highly priced precious few dulls the true experience of the actually wonderful. And, just for the record, I would likely have been very tempted to buy the same beer at the same moment in the same wonderful place but, still, passed on other experiences you use as comparators. That doesn’t speak to you, just to me. As it can only be “my” relative valuation of things that matters to me as you must be guided by yours.
I think that sums it up very well. There is no absolute concept of "craft beer" that somehow sits as a holy standard against which our experiences as beer fans are measured. It is, in fact, not enough to say "respect beer" - it should be "respect good beer" with the fight sitting only within the meaning of "good" with each glass making its own case in the overall debate. The discussion of value as personal experience central to the understanding of overall market value as you and I have to figure out the greater context of the relative value of our relatives values to explain what one brew means to each of us. We do that through where we place our dollars as well as though the lingering impression each popped cap leaves with us.
To avoid or dismiss that discussion is to fall into some dream-like state where vendors can be seen as rock stars, we beer hounds are mere ticket holders and our only role is to do what we are told. No artisan, unless maybe he's your cousin, deserves that sort of free ride. You know, it is no wonder that it was brewing's "potentiality of growing rich beyond the dreams of avarice" that caught the attention of Dr Johnson. It couldn't have been the challenge of dealing with a complex and knowledgeable chattering clientele which might have its own idea of what was and what was not worthy.