I love the "jump the shark" idea but only because I was a pre-teen when Happy Days and the Fonze was on TV. It combines my love of taking a adolescent view of things with my habit of taking a adolescent view of things. So it was with interest that I read this from Joe Stange this morning:
It's all a bit... much. It's enough to make a yank want to duck into a cheap dive and quietly suck down shakers of Sierra Nevada. Because frankly I would be content to do so.
My first reaction? If you have lost the overriding desire to duck into a cheap dive and quietly suck down shakers from time to time, well, I think you have lost something or never had it. For example, while I have a wee bit of curiosity about the experience of blind tastings, I seriously doubt its greater defining value. I do like Andy's view that it might be a perfectly acceptable parlour game. Same sometimes even goes for unblinded (sighted?) tasting and, certainly, swanky grog and grub nights, knees uncomfortably lodged beneath linen. Aren't they just variations on the theme of "trend"? The need to justify, to characterize so as to allow oneself the core experience? Are they that much different from the giggle right had at the expense of Stella Black? From the PR spin of the consultant's quack science or the justifying thrill of your hobby now coming to cable TV?
Don't get me wrong. Good beer is good. Very good. But for me there is no better time than mustering gangs of good bottles and interested interesting folk and just pouring - even if only in the company of mere men. Heck, I just love giving away good beer to pals and workmates in order hear their reaction a few days later. The rest is fluff to one degree or another - the sideshow - the consultant's angle and hope of reward.