Why are these times so desperate all of a sudden? I had hoped to not bother with this twisting of language stuff again but it keeps coming back again and again as this season's new thing in good beer. The whipping up of the crowd in the name of the great cause has gained new levels. So, with a milder tone, we learn quite big is pretty much micro. And we learn at another higher gear that another definition of craft needs declaration. Then we also learn that these words are not meant to have meaning so much as be code or tools. For what? To what end? This?
Quibbling about terminology in an effort to destroy the efforts of small and independent brewers is a no-win proposition for every brewing company and every beer drinker.
Really? "To destroy the efforts of small and independent brewers"? Is that really the dopey thinking that is behind all the twisting and turning, underpinning the bafflegab of "crafty"? For a long time I was thinking this was just shockingly poor marketing combined with the weak writing that dogs too much of what is put out as good beer thinking but I am starting to wonder if there is something more going on. Something culty. Culty or addled maybe. Whatever it is, why does the "being on the winning team" thing get to weigh upon the discussion? Jeff apparently caught a large a large whiff of this before he wrote this over at Martyn's:
I know there are a lot of people who like “craft” as a way of saying “good” and asserting tribal membership, but I would ask them to think a little more deeply about the ways in which folks like BrewDog and Stone are using their customers as unpaid sales reps. It’s a smart move for BrewDog to try to convince everyone to create a special category that says their beer is better than everyone else’s, but consumers should retort: “why should we be co-opted as a part of your business strategy?”
Consumers should retort. Yes, they should. They should react to a lot of things about how they are treated in the good beer marketplace. Patronized. Treated like a cash crop. But they don't. It is the weirdest thing. If cars or computer games or gardening for that matter came with a buzz would car fans or gaming geeks or guerrilla gardeners lock step in this way? This sort of counterpoint is not at all encouraged. I am actually wondering what you couldn't put out as a statement in relation to good beer as a claim, as a catch phrase, as a word alienated from its own meaning. Is there a fear that if we were all to stop playing this role, stop accepting these lines when tossed at us... "it" - whatever "it" is - would all collapse. Would the effort to destroy the efforts of small and independent brewers would succeed?