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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Jordan St.John -

Passion. Don't get me freakin' started on passion.

Alan -

I just did. Go, baby, go.

Jordan St.John -

Look, people who feel passion for whatever: This is an instance of a word that was appropriated by corporate and conditioned back into your lives. I was once asked in a job interview if I was passionate about real estate appraisal. I can understand maybe being interested in real estate appraisal, but this was a job where I was meant to sit in a cubicle and schedule appraisers to go look at properties. It was corporate synergy speak, where people want you to blue sky an open window approach while focusing on your core competency with passion!

Just be interested in a damn thing, would ya? Maybe even enthusiastic. I'm sure that the world drywall hanging champion would claim he's got a passion for what he does, but it's more likely he's just got nailgun cramp.

Alan McCormick -

Wait a minute. Isn't taking issue with the use of the word "passion" just picking a fight with an article that would otherwise have gone totally unnoticed? Sure, the article is overstated, but more so is the interest in making fun of it. (Which is certainly justified, but nevertheless overstated.)

What's wrong with trying to sell the population of Pittsburgh on its local craft beer? If you're telling people it is the best ever and nothing else compares and you MUST love it, then I agree, that's out of place. But, if you're "enthusiastic" about beer and want to encourage people to take their own journey into exploring craft beer, that's another thing. The article is short, relatively boring and nothing remarkable, so I'm not about to judge the people behind the beer week based on that alone.

I have a day job. When I get done with it, I write about beer because I am passionate, no, enthusiastic, no interested, no . . . . heck, what's the word? I don't care what you call it, but I do enjoy helping other people get into the fun of craft beer. I do it always with the following principle in mind: you like what you like, I like what I like, and we can both gather around the bar stool, debate what the best beer is, and both be right.

I don't mind being a largely unpaid ambassador for beer. It occasionally gets me a perk or two, but definitely gets me access to the inside where I can learn things I wouldn't otherwise know.

But here's where we both agree. Beer is tasty (usually) and is most definitely fun. It's also a business with major turf wars and unsavory elements. But Beer is tasty, and most definitely fun. As long as we realize it isn't life, death or anything nearly that important, we're good.

Alan McCormick -

Given my comment was nearly as long as your post, does that win me some kind of an award of beer geekery? (Honestly, its all in fun debate.)

Alan -

You win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hear you. All I mean is I have no assumption that my interest should be yours. You enthuse, that is swell. But I don't help other people. I have a hard enough time telling me what is right let alone my 11 year old. When I drink beer, I like to sit around and talk about things other than beer. Journey into craft beer? How about journeying into something of greater good - and not just for that brewer you have an eye on?

Pivní Filosof -

I'm getting tired of all this "religious fervor" around "Craft Beer", as if all of it was good. Some of the worst beers I've had in my life called themselves "craft".

I'm OK with a bunch of people with vested interests promoting their wares as long as they don't insult my intelligence by trying to sell them to me as a path to enlightenment, or something.

Stephen Beaumont -

As I have explained numerous times, I love my wife and I love my family. Beer, I'm very, very fond of.

olllllo -

Did I beat you to the Passion punch?


Warning: Rod not being so mod.

Alan -

Now I am caught in a conundrum. Whose passion is more passionate and proves the point more purely: James T Kirk or Rod Stewart?

Max, does passion make one blind to the reality that some craft beers are poor?

Bailey -

Jordans job interview comment is appposite: some people's blogs are extended job applications.

Pivní Filosof -

"does passion make one blind to the reality that some craft beers are poor?"

Sometimes I get the impression that at least for some people, yes. Or at least, it makes some people deny that reality, try to hide it somewhere. You know, kind of that thing S. Calagione did some time ago when some people in a forum said that certain breweries were overrated.

Alan McCormick -

Alan, I agree with your sentiment that my assumption should not be anyone else's assumption. And by "helping" other people, I simply mean that I have chosen to write in a manner that (hopefully) avoids the pretention that is a bit too common in beer reviews, news articles, blog posts and the like. If people get the sense that beer is fun to explore and each person can comfortably figure out their own tastes without caring what the experts think, all the better. As one commenter noted, it is definitely true that not all craft beer is good. Some of it should simply go away. But that's a reflection of my taste. I have no interest in telling anyone what they should or should not like.


Ron Pattinson -

Like Pivní Filosof I'm very uncom fortable with the vocabulary of evangelism that's used in relation to beer: "coverting" drinkers, etc.

My attitude to beer is easy to describe. It's not passion (another word that has a religious meaning) but obsession. And, to be perfectly honest, I couldn't give a toss what the person next to me is drinking. As long as I can get the beer I want to drink, why on earth should that worry me?

Bailey -

Ron -- we've been guilty of using the word conversion (albeit with a sense of irony). People can be so fixed on being "wine people", or bitter drinkers, or whatever, that changing from one track to another can seem that way.

As to caring about what the person next to you drinks: purely selfish, in most cases. US TO LANDLORD: "Why don't you have any good beer?"; LANDLORD: "There's no demand for it."; US: "So, if we can help generate demand for good beer, you'll sell more of it? Right, then, let's get on it..."

Jeff Alworth -

I think this is all America-bashing. We are excitable. We exude passion about inestimable lame things. (Why do I keep hearing about Kim Kardashian, for the love of god?) But hey, everyone has cultural failings. At least with beer, the object is defensible.

Alan -

What? Hate to be awkward but I had not the slightest association of this and exclusivity to any nation.

Alan -

In fact, not counting you, the conversation has been carried by 3 Canucks, 2 Brits, 2 Yanks and an Argentine.

Steve Gates -

Have you seen the breasts on Kim Kardashian? Enough said!