I was scratching my head a little over two lists that floated by upon the beer-o-sphere ether this week. Jeff was mildly curious about one spammy PR list that popped into his inbox and extracted out the beer people. Ashley, on the other hand, created her own list of "very important women who have already and continue to make a huge impact on the beautiful world of craft beer..." What got me scratching my head was the thought that I would never imagine writing about such a thing, put together a list like that. But then I wondered why... and scratched my head again.
Here is the thing. I like beer people just fine. But I like most people. In the proper proportion and the proper time. But should that be the measure of all things? There are a few folk in beer that I like a lot and what I have noticed they tend not necessarily to be the person running the show, not the face of the operation. It might be the beer rep who shares the quite word, the smart beer store clerk, the patient bouncer or the well spoken well read bar fly. People who don't push themselves forward but often have the killer line about those that do. Maybe I am just an old gossip. Write a list with those names on it? My fun dries up.
Of those two lists above, clearly Ashley's is the more welcome because it declares the bias that drew it together? The PR spammers list? Pretty much useless, perhaps only smacking of some vaguely depressing thing that those listed may have in common. But that is the thing about lists of people. They reflect the lister as much or more than the listed. As I wrote in a comment at Jeff's, I think it is more interesting how beer creates few or no people of any real influence or even recognition. Which may be one of its charms.