This comment from the fabulous if not entirely peacemaking Boak and Bailey... or rather just Bailey... I think Boak is steering well clear... reminded me of what an old fart I have become. Despite expectations, I just am not that sure I can get all that concerned about people reacting strongly to the self-evident idea that sucker juice is often - but not always - a contrived waste of time and money. Have I spent all my mental energy coauthoring the drafts of a short if (surely) highly entertaining book largely on this topic that is moving towards publication and accompanying social media forums? Maybe.
Yet... I am reminded of the most pompous dim witted blurt that I ever encountered in my decade of writing about beer, the "who should be writing about beer" idiocy of 2009. The idea that any view or any person has nothing to contribute to the discussion of good beer misses a screamingly obvious point: good beer is almost entirely unimportant. It it weren't for the tastiness, the buzz and the history and the economics and all that stuff that make it interesting, writing about good beer would be akin to writing about comfy socks or memories of meat pies past. To borrow from the equally fabulous Mr Rail, why does anyone think beer matters all that much?
It is early here. I got up at 5 am to see if there was an update on a bit of tough real news that happened in our town, that I may be involved with in support as a middling public staff person. Good to see the skills, decisions and bravery of others contained what could have been much worse. It also reminds me how little good beer matter in the sense that it is a sideshow, that it ought to be a sideshow to the actual for most of us. Sure the brewers and business folk in the trade are focused as anyone ought to be whose bread on the table depends on sales. But, as I have mentioned a few times too often to a pal making a go at a beer writing career, some can find themselves try to make a career of what I do largely as a hobby, even if cheques come in my mail from time to time. Doesn't make them smarter or better or purer writers. And I does not mean they are necessarily not smarter, not wittier or that they are compromised ethically either. Good writing when encountered is very good whatever the subject. But all that certainly does not give anyone the place to suggest another voice or view from outside that circle in which I sit of usual suspects, samples and event invites is not worth a moment's pause for consideration. No one's earned that right even if some seemingly assume it from some of the personal denigrating comments being passed around.
Pleasurable subjects ought to be discussed and engaged with a lightness, perspective and patience that respects these things. And a certain objective distance. Which can be difficult with an immersive, intoxicating, profitable, social, tasty distraction from life like good beer.