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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Pivní Filosof -

The "cause" thing, that has tired me too. The other day I read in an pretentiously serious article the phrase "the war against crap beer". What a load of toss! As if the world would suddenly be a better place if everyone started drinking craft beer (or something equivalent for a given region).

Alan -

Good discussion with the artist formerly known as Stonch on this point over at Twitter.

Velky Al -

PF - this kind of reminds me of the night I met my best friend. It was in Prague and we both fancied the same bird, after a bit male feather flourishing a la peacock, my mate said something to the effect of 'fuck it, it's only a girl, let's get drunk'. I feel the same way sometimes when people are spouting off about this, that and the next thing beer related, 'fuck it, it's only beer, let's get drunk'.

Bailey -

I'm not very interested in wine. That's my credibility shot.

Craig -

Frickin' bird nerds. I just tweeted that. Taste the irony.

Gary Gillman -

Alan, I think it is a by-product of wine connoisseurship. (The whole beer culture is, except instead of aping it, it assumed its own form finally). But the dogmatism comes from their way of looking at it, the prescriptive element. Just as wine writers wrote books describing not just what was available, but also what was best, beer writers did the same - Jackson was the first - and finally beer bloggers did and commenters on those blogs. It can go too far, but it's the mark of the enthusiast. Beer became " a subject". It has been happening to whisky for some time too.

Before the Jackson era, people liked beer and ale or they didn't. This was described by an expression, now obsolete in the sense it was originally used, "he is a beer drinker". This implied not that you knew top-fermentation from bottom, but simply that you drank an undifferentiated thing called "beer". You drank what everyone did, a group of brands tasting very similar. The odd person might favour Heineken, or another import, or express eccentricity by drinking a mass market porter, or bock when it came out in the summer, say, but that was it.

It was never sub-divided beyond that. But then Michael wrote to this effect: "why is it felt acceptable to order a 'beer" in a restaurant; would you say, 'give me a plate of food please?'".

Apres Jackson, le deluge.


Gary Gillman -

Sorry Alan, I meant the spring, the old mass market brands usually had a bock, you would remember that I think. I know Molson did. It was a light tawny colour and had a slightly different taste to their regular beers. This was big stuff in the old days. But nobody said, this is better beer than any other, or all beer should taste like Heineken, the campaigning part you identified was absent. (That is why CAMRA's name is so interesting from a historical standpoint).

I do recall though the odd beer-tasting party. People did this in the early 70's. You might have a bock if it was the season, a Labatt-made Guinness, an ale, a lager, a Heineken or Tuborg, and perhaps an American beer someone brought back from a trip. Piels say, or Schaefer. I used to do this college.