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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Craig -

I don't have a problem with questioning. I think more companies (big and small) should answer to what is in their products) That being said, I think you need to get your facts straight before asking—or in the case of Hari—accusing.

Remember in her initial post, she accused breweries of using Propylene glycol in their beer beer, when in fact it's used in the brewing system, just as many chemicals are employed in the used of commercial refrigeration—chemicals that never come in contact with any potable products. She should have clarified that point. Also, while fish bladders may sound unpleasant, it doesn't mean they are dangerous, nor does any measurable amount really end up in the beer, especially after filtration—but I do agree the ingredient should be disclosed, at least somewhere.

In any case, questions, accusations, motives or intent aside, at least make an attempt to get your ducks in a row before you sensationalize your point—shoddy journalism is still shoddy journalism.

Alan -

If the standard of telling others is an active media that should pursue facts in relation to quacks then the same rule should apply to every part of the overall discourse. The word of "craft" is just as sensationalized except that it Is positive rather than negative in tone,

BTW, I am allergic to a certain chemical which is used but supposedly not remaining in the beer. I get a reaction sometimes.

Craig -

As I said to Ethan on the Beervana FB page, two wrongs don't make a right.

Alan -

I once cautioned Ethan not to take any wooden nickels but, like your comment, that is not really related to my observation. It is excellent to have non-selective critical assessment. The facts in this matter have raised a whirlwind of selective and - therefore useless - response. After all, what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Chris -

To both A) and B), yes and yes, I would hope.

I'm glad people have started to raise questions about what's in their food, and their beer. If that's an indirect effect of the Food Babe's pontificating, wonderful. If a brewery we all like is called into question for legitimate reasons, I have enough faith that we would all want the truth, and then would use the truth accordingly.

But I don't think it's the aspect of raising questions that is, in itself, the cause of why she's so polarizing. She has a very large audience, and has proven herself to be spreading falsehoods, deliberately preying on lack of knowledge to further her own celebrity. That's highly irresponsible. An opportunity to educate and share accurate information is being missed, and in fact, the inverse is happening.

And I agree with the crux of the author's statement, about no one with a national audience seeming to question her claims. There are some things none of us are experts on. If our car won't start, we bring it to an auto repairman. If we're in an accident and the fault is in dispute, we hire a lawyer. Why, when it comes to what we put in our bodies, does a blogger with no credible background in food science get to answer so many of the questions?

I think that's what has people irked more than anything else.

Alan -

I still don't follow this selectivity. If the trade association were to, say, rig definitions related to beer that is as much a falsehood as the (yet not fully disproven - cough, cough...) argument that some production additives are not entirely attractive. Falsehood bad.

I deeply do not care about the FB other than how the situation is not so much polarizing as revealing. It's like people can't accept that two rights make a right.

Dave -

This is interesting as the Food Babe has been promoting chemophobia for quite a while in all areas to promote herself and sell products.

The first I heard of her was a tweet from a prominent craft brewer who was attempting to disparage big breweries. Hopefully the uncritical reading was just due to a lack to time. This supports Alan's point I think.

Overall the Food Babe and others that try to make money off fear and ignorance are dangerous for people's health.

But this is a beer blog, and the greater point that much of the hype around the amazing properties of craft beer are overblown. I guess the question about experts is are there any experts on craft beer or is it like wine tasting?

Alan -

That's a big bit of my point. Beer is literally drowning in made-up messages about its properties pushed not only by brewers but consultants, book writers, magazine publishers and anyone else with a foothold on a soap box. That person I have no interest in says something about macro brewer I don't care about is a nothing. A nada.

The reaction, however, is telling. (1) Did consumers know that "crafted" beers are made in these industrial processes using these chemicals? Struggling beer consultants with no expertise howl "NEVER YOU BOTHER YOUR PRETTY HEAD!" (2) Are consumers made aware that these chemical claims are no different or less distracting to marketplace value than all the collaboration nothing's, the new hop nothings, the faux price hike nothings, the fifth-rate history nothings? Successfully dialogue controlling trade association board heading brewers and their executive staff howl "NEVER YOU BOTHER YOUR PRETTY HEAD!"

It's like fish complaining that they got wet some days.