So far, my favourite review of The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer² had been Stan's in which he asked the very apt question as to who exactly Max and I thought might buy the damn thing. Good point. But has been ever so slightly nudged into second place by this extremely long review which I can only make some sense of through use of the Google Translate's version from the original Swedish. Consider this:
It is no ordinary fiction book, then, but rather an imaginary journey through space and time. A fictional dialogue, mostly between Max and Alan, with literary ambitions. And with juicy box kicks directed at everything from "brainwashed ölnördar" to "CAMRA-Taliban". With beer constantly foaming around loose jaws, they end up in some mysterious ways in different times and places. Or, taverns, pubs, taverns, beer cellar and brew pubs most. They are discussing beer and health, hangovers, samarbetsbrygder, class perspective and eighty memories. They meet with students, doctors, hipsters, PR sliskon, brewer, fuzzy craft beer aficionados and a foul-mouthed Ron Pattinson . Most of all eyes the craft beer culture at the seams. Without mercy. It's damn refreshing to read. The book has received its fair share of proofs miss as misspellings, missed letters, etc., have easily overlook when they are similar to the aroma of a hop bomb with a morning fart, quoting Thomas Hardy and spurting out the quote that "barrel aging is to beer what make-up is to a woman. "
That is pure gold! Don't get me wrong. I understand this is not how the original reads in the original language but there is something so lovely about a review of our headlong romp though time and space that itself is weird. I wish we had discussed eighty memories. Maybe we will next time. You know, it is only our day jobs that keep us from such interesting writing. And I, if we are being honest, err... I have a confession about the typos. I love them. I recall saying "screw it, let's get it out" which, if you think about it is what a lot of... OK, some... craft brewers do all the time. So it works. Or it is a structural representation of our disdain. Or something. But back to the review. Think upon this:
Max and Alan gets called ölgurus and their reaction is almost something of a mission statement: "not so much gurus as observers." And that's exactly what they are. Observers. They may seem judgmental, but it's just a reality they depict. Their reality, certainly, but also a reality that can be difficult to see if you are in the middle of it. Think about it. Turn the gaze inward. Was a little self-critical and, not least, dare to have a critical attitude also such a thing called craft, micro, craft. There is much bullshit in the industry, to use the book's parlance. So clearly. Everything is not black and white. We should not dumb down ourselves or allow ourselves to be exploited "in the name of witchcraft."
Witchcraft? Why not? We ölgurus transcend these sorts of things, don't we. Anyway, if you like the book or you didn't that is not really the point. I love the fact that for a few it was the cause of reflection or even frustration and confusion. Well worth the effort. And if you are typo resistant, go to Lulu and get a paper copy there as I understand that 98% of the typos were removed from that version... for the sensitive amongst you.
²[...cough...] cult classic [...cough...]