A Good Beer Blog

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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

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Pete Brown -

Great response Alan!

"Project the appearance of credibility" - that's what I was trying to say.

Bang on about beer language. I love 'sparging' and talking about 'brew length' standing by a 'brew house', and when anyone says 'grist case' my toes do a secret curl of delight.

Pete Brown -

Great response Alan!

"Project the appearance of credibility" - that's what I was trying to say.

Bang on about beer language. I love 'sparging' and talking about 'brew length' standing by a 'brew house', and when anyone says 'grist case' my toes do a secret curl of delight.

Pete Brown -

Great response Alan!

"Project the appearance of credibility" - that's what I was trying to say.

Bang on about beer language. I love 'sparging' and talking about 'brew length' standing by a 'brew house', and when anyone says 'grist case' my toes do a secret curl of delight.

Craig -

Alan, your missing the point on this language. What you've got to understand is is the relationship between a specific beer brand's frimas, as juxtaposed, to it's framas. It's pretty basic stuff. Beer marketing has a mission—a critical mission—a mission critical mission, you might say. How else are we expected to get past the gatekeepers?

Martyn Cornell -

"Talk brewery to me, baby …"

"Mash tun!"

"Ooooh …"

"90-minute boil!"

"Uuurrrgh …"

"Underback!"

"Aaaahhhh …"

"Dry-hopping!"

"Oh, baby, baby - you're the best …"

Gary Gillman -

I've noticed since I started working back in the hoary 1970's that jargon interlaces general commercial business speech, not just specialized areas such as marketing, public accounting and now the semi-conductor and other areas of the online revolution. Some matters were put on the back burner, but on others you had to cook with gas. Get on the blower and patch in that client fast, else he may look somewhere else. We had to come to grips with a problem, later, to drill down on it. We had to prioritize, later, put things in the right buckets. It's nothing really new, and enough reading in various 1800's sources (generalist and industry-specific) tells me they had their version of all this then. The problem is when jargon becomes a substitute for original thinking. Sometimes you need to go back to unadorned language to rediscover what is important. I've long felt that in the brewing business, you should explain simply and clearly to people what beer is made of, why it tastes as it does, and what to look for in the various styles.

Gary

Alan -

Pete's apparently got the over caffeinated mouse hand shakes!

Simon Johnson -

If someone whispers "ATP bioluminescence" in my ear, I twitch.

But the word 'sparge' takes me to a special place.

With a few gratuitous photos of stainless, I'm there.

I'm trying to segue out of dumb marketing into smart marketing. Which equates to writing press releases that I don't gag over.

If I can write the beer equivalent of "they're boxy, but they're good", my life will be complete.

dansmallbeer -

Yes and no. Beer words are best for beer. But it seems from Pete's post that the subject of this manglespeak is in fact the market. Markets, like lots of concepts, are abstract and therefore lend themselves to metaphorical representation. It is fine for metaphors to be used for abstract concepts, and this can be done very elegantly. After all, Hegel's Philosophy of Mind would not have worked if he'd stuck to adjectives proper to describing grey matter "spongy", "hemispheric" etc.

The correct mark here is that these words and metaphors are shit. Marketing speak is an exercise in lending credence to the base activity of pushing stuff on people through the bastardization of romantic, scientific and emotive language. We'd have a lot more respect for this if they stuck to the perfectly good language of markets. Allow me to translate the jargon above: "It's difficult to sell beer to people, what with all the competition these days. What we need is some new ideas for getting people to try some beer, like putting lots of it on shelves where people can see it."

Craig -

Martyn said "underback" hee hee....

Jeff Alworth -

I am on Dan's page. The language you hear falling from the lips of marketers is its own dialect, and it has nothing to do with the product at hand. I've spoken with people who use it, and my sense is there are a few things at play. One is poor vocabulary. Business and PR folk are inveterate word inventors, and a lot of it comes from not realizing they're inventing unnecessary words.

A second issue is that jargon is often a dodge--it looks like the user has deep insight into a topic, when in fact s/he is throwing up a jargony ink cloud to hide ignorance. I realized this in grad school when the worst scholars were the quickest to junk up their junky arguments with jargon.

Finally, marketers have the idea that invented words create excitement. They find the prospect of turning a noun into a verb thrilling--as thrilling as they hope you'll find the product they're attempting to hawk. I assume it works. Pedants like Pete and you and me are decidedly NOT the target for their little muddle haikus. The engine of capital trundles along, completely unaware of how profoundly it disrupts our adjacencies. Or something.