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."


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Ethan -

I like your conclusion, Alan. And, I should qualify my own statement by saying that what's true of the blog posts isn't always so true of *comments on* blogs. That comment, for example, I would like to edit some more. What's with all the "+"?

I read Stan's post & comments, and it reminded me of another problem with throwing down Teh Suck: it's not always easy to know who's to blame for it That beer passed through many hands, warehouses, shelves with direct lighting, and car trunks with sun beating down on em (did you check the date? was there one to check?)... before it got to your ever-loving/hatin' palate. So even if you don't like it--or, "it sucks"--it's not certain that the reason is the brewer, or brewery. Ergo, one good reason to be cautious in your assessment until you really know a brand is that generalizing from N=1 is always fraught with danger.

Alan -

[Blame a bug that can reject the "ampersand in the comment" once it gets into the archives, Ethan. This here is a custom built blog platform with all its querks.]

Add to that list the lipsticked dirty glass, a smelly cigarette in the room, the heating outlet near the display. Yet the suck is the experience. And, given the drinking experience is all there is to beer at the end of the day, critical. It takes a few beers for me to label a brewery sucky. But they can. I clearly know of a brewery that "sucks out loud" as the superlative goes.

Which does lead to an interesting observation on the range of utility of suck. "Sucking one back" is high praise.

Gary Gillman -

Alan, your last comment in this post sums it up for me. The best way I can explain it in non-beer terms is to consider coffee. I have a couple of friends who are very particular about it. One is a true connoisseur, grinding his own, very into vintage Italian espresso machines, and so forth. When I drink coffee, each cup even from the same bag (when I made it at home) seems different, especially of course when we buy a new kind from Starbucks or elsewhere. But I take little notice of it. Sometimes it is great and I think, I wish I could have this every day. Sometime it is average or even so-so like this morning (watery, too bitter/roasted), but then I still had my morning coffee. Sometimes coffee is too strong for me or too rich, but I'll still drink it and it's fine, and this is probably what people think who drink a good craft or import beer but normally like Canadian or Coors Light. It depends how much of an interest you want to take in it, and there is only so much time...

Sure you can get dishwater or over-stewed coffee and I won't drink that: that's like getting a seriously oxidized or infected beer. But within the broad range of what's generally very good or decent, it's just coffee - to me.



Gary Gillman -

Just to finish if I may (I was rushed this morning), if someone told me that Tim Horton's coffee sucked, I would have to disagree - for me that is. For him that would be fine, but for me, given how I approach it, no, that coffee suits me just fine. Still, I will suck it up, it's something he has thought about/studied and I have not. Maybe he's right, maybe he's wrong...

By the way in my earlier comment, I wasn't in any way adverting to Trafalgar, whose recent output I find excellent including the Hop Nouveau, Bock and Oatmeal Stout beers. I find the latter two well-made and while more on the refreshing, than the deep rich, side of things, no less valid for that. A stout doesn't always to be huge and rich for example. The Hop Nouveau from Trafalgar this year in particular was one of the best beers I ever had made in Ontario.


Jordan St.John -

I think the coffee analogy is a good one. Tim Horton's is kind of interesting. I find that it's fine if you get it hot and fresh, but if it cools down it gets bitter and nasty. I think it's designed to be a double double. I wouldn't normally drink it, but on balance, if there's nothing else, coffee is better than not coffee.

Gary Gillman -

I absolutely agree regarding freshness, if Tim's hasn't sat and is served at the right temperature it is an excellent coffee especially with milk or in a double-double. But these American guys (nice guys for sure and very beer-aware), said, "we know our coffee out here in the North West, so it's not a fair comparison". Maybe, but beer is enough of a puzzle - I'll leave coffee to a reincarnated life if any. And wine for the next one. :)