Last year at Beau's Oktoberfest, I got to share in a discussion during a Beer School panel led by Mr. B. I described how I thought that Beau's had created a scene more than a community, comparing it to the Halifax music scene of the late '80s and early '90s. This video posted by TAPS magazine of the Beau's folk apparently practicing their farm equipment modelling skills reminds me that this is one of the questions I am going to be asking myself at this year's fest - is this about culture, community, scene or brand? Broad to specific.
Does it matter? One of the most interesting things in beer writing these days are Boak and Bailey's explorations of the early days of CAMRA and their discovery that the whole thing was a wee bit more about being pickled than any sort of holy creation story we may have been served in more recent times. Is it possible that something can easily be about two or more things at once? Easily. So just because it is about brand is it necessarily not also about scene? Are we so concerned with labels that was prefer the toggle switchiness of dichotomies and tipping points to the detriment of more realistic concurrence? I think its that complexity which makes both scene and brand all the richer. But if I put that to those at the fest would they care? Doubt it.