It's been on of the most gratifying things since I took up the task of dealing with my malty dipsomania in the internet that the scourge of snobbery has been kept at bay. One of the funniest attempts lately is the oddly modestly priced Spanish fluid dubbed Inedit which has received this sort of response from Long Island NY's Newsday.com, apparently impressed by the beer's connection to some sort of swell fine diner as opposed to what is actually in the bottle:
Expect to pay about $10 for a 750 ml bottle of Inedit, which is available at Whole Foods. The yeasty, cloudy, lightly carbonated concoction definitely is versatile. You could enjoy it with hard-to-match foods, including artichokes and asparagus, sardines and herring, orange beef and seviche. There are floral notes and hints of fruit. You could serve it in a wine glass, slightly chilled. After all, the producers do consider it an alternative to wine.
Just ten bucks! Wow - swank don't pay like it used to. But I am little wary of all that "could" stuff. I "could" serve shoe polish with hard-to-match foods, too. Frankly, if your beer is going to be 5/6th of the beginning if the word "inedible" I would really like to know that what you could do with it includes drinking and enjoying it. Fortunately The Beer Nut of Ireland, eyeing the bottle with suspicion above, is on the job as today's post shows:
It presents as a cloudy yellow witbier, and the tag promises all the usual witbier things -- coriander, orange peel -- plus some extra bonus liquorice. The latter does add an interesting kind of herby flavour, but it adds it to something that is otherwise a really really dull, thin Belgian-style wit. More than any of the interesting ingredients, it's the suspended yeast which stands out as the most notable element in the flavour profile, making the whole experience amount to little more than yeast-infused fizzy water with slight herbal overtones. Maybe the methods of production are supremely artisan and the pinnacle of the gastrozymurgist's art, but it still comes out like diluted Hoegaarden at the end.
Mmmm... sardines and diluted Hoegaarden. That's what I'm talking about - that's what I'm having on Father's Day, baby!
The point? Sooner or later there is going to be someone reading the stuff that people like The Beer Nut write and they'll just say no to snobby packaging and marketing wrapped around the dull. Products will fail because of an informed marketplace and the good will overcome the branded. Mr. Beaumont made a similar point this week about journals finding journalists who actually know something about the beer stories but I think the same is equally or more important when applied to the marketers and branders who walk among us foisting the faux swank upon us as they go. If your beer can't be sold for what it is, don't jack up the price to sell it to me for what it isn't.