This week of the summer head cold has led to questions and grumbling. And it's just not only about how pumpkin beers in 2012 can be made with 2011 pumpkin preserved mash if they are supposed to be some sort of harvest celebration. Maybe it's the dog days of summer but there is much head scratching going on:
Jeff points out that women may well not be jumping on any bandwagon waving the good beer banner. Did anyone think we were watching a market shift?
♦ Despite claims that you need to spend money and go to seminars and get certificates, the vast majority are happy with their own understanding of beer. What is the ultimate capacity for this sort of training? And how much of it will go beyond hobby interest?
♦ The making of silly rapidly disintegrating beers attracts more questions than respect... well, from me at least. What is, however, the point at which the newest form of new beer will just be so utterly silly that it flops?
♦ The marketplace has shown that there is no real money in good beer hospitality training. Beer just does not have the mark up to justify it. Or are you willing to pay 15 bucks a glass to have the waiter then tell you how clever you were to choose the beer that cost 15 bucks a glass?
♦ And, most oddly, consider the case of the beer writer who is locked in the 1990s. Makes one wonder what it is like to live without the initiative to engage with the discourse. Or was someone owed a living?
Is there anything up there that you really care about? Or is the Tandyman right? One thing that undercuts my concern is the continuing indications that the trustworthiness of information does not match up to the claims which are made based on that information. Is it a subject matter that is really worth study or is it part of popular culture, a hobby interest, a diversion?
To be honest, with the majority of beer writing I actually have a hard time understanding what is being described. Or why. Does the columnist write to meet the deadline or to explain a new thought? Does the same format of beer book get published by a new author every fall to explain what has been reviewed in a better way or because every publisher figures it should have a good beer book in its line? Was what ever is being discussed all that necessary?
I have optimism. Beer, after all, is good and usually not a rip off. Its actual history has been largely undescribed but good folk are working away at it. And the good stuff is more and more available so that the experience need to be mediated by the few. Does much else really matter enough to complain about?