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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Thomas Cizauskas -

A truly epic essay, Alan.

Alan McLeod -

It's the monkey head isn't it, Tom.

Stan Hieronymus -

The phrase "objective knowledge" throws me a bit. Do you think we can have shared objective tasting impressions? For instance that a beer is bitter, sour, alcoholic? Or that it may taste of chocolate, cherries, coffee?

II don't think the fact that we may have subjective responses means we aren't also capable of objective tasting.

Alan -

Sorry for the delay, Stan. Spam filter set on manual again. There is a lot there. One of the things I am seeing in the pursuit of histories is that we cannot go back in time and understand taste accurately. It leads me to wonder if we can across space all that well either. So, objectivity is balanced by individuality as much as subjectivity.

There is knowledge verses belief. I think we believe a lot of things about beer because it is a pleasurable taste experience within an intoxicant. I had a fascinating discussion today on basic constitutional principles today and we were talking about the state of mind of those who wrote some key constitutional documents such as the the Royal Proclamation of 1763 as well as the fading of the role of equity coinciding with temperance and the shift away from more generally intoxicated population. It may be that we "knew" far less than we trusted and accepted. We may still do that. Which means belief is under represented. Can you have objective belief? Not sure. But the experience is, for examples, layered in a way that stamp collecting is not.

Maybe we also need to consider that objective knowledge has a far better time when the level of abstraction is coarse. For example, styles will not tell me about the state of beer in my glass. It will tell me something about what isn't in my glass. But is this actually useful "knowledge"? The closer I get in detail to and consumption of a beer I shift from the objective to the subjective set of facts as well as a specific set of contextual elements. I think we can have shared objective knowledge but it sits at a general level. Beer is only experienced personally. And the person comes to the experience with different information and perspectives: drinker, brewer and critical thinker and sometime all three.