Saturday, 4 January 2014

Reactionary Attitudes in (fringe) Media

It's Saturday and I'm drinking beer by the fire in my pyjamas so I finally have time to unveil my slightly amused thoughts on a "blog" which is in fact, and I apologise for this, really an article in a huge .pdf of a fanzine which you can read here http://theedgemag.co.uk/blog/pdf/edge_january2014.pdf . If you can't be bothered to read the whole thing you will have heard similar stuff before: "This modern hoppy beer is a load of undrinkable piss water and everyone who thinks it's good is suffereing from Emperor's New Clothes Syndrome." To provide a short summary.

The article in question was posted on Facebook by +Sue Hayward earlier this week and I found the reactionary sentiments within it somewhat familiar. Particularly because, even though, as previously established, I am always right, I used to expound such sentiments myself to anyone who would listen. Famous listeners of the past including none other than Richard Burhouse, now of Magic Rock, then of MBT and Justin from Moor brewery, both in the same sitting. It was pretty much the only time I ever met Justin (For some reason) and the first of many hilarious japes with Richard. 

I explained in detail to both of them why they were mistaken in thinking that Richard's particular favourite USIPA which he'd brought to the SIBA conference was good and that, on the contrary, it was like drinking ear-wax, except that ear wax would have been clearer.

In my defence I will say that I did not lump all hoppy beers together in this. At the time I was already a big fan of and indeed in the early stages of acting on my inspiration by Sierra Nevada IPA and the like, and I still am a fan although my homage is not in such an early stage any more. the thing I've always admired about American beers is the level of flavour and aroma achieved combined with low or moderate bitterness. Hopefully you can taste that in Great Heck Beers. 

Nonetheless I now publicly admit to Richard and my few readers that, in spite of years of leg pulling fun which must probably draw to a close hereafter, I was talking out of my arse.

What it comes down to is the perception of the drinker. Does he or she like what he or she is drinking or not? That's all that matters. 

Some of my readers will be at some point in a journey of acquiring a taste for hoppy beers. I think that's how it works. Luckily for brewers like Richard and Justin that development of a taste for it seems to be a one way street. You're as likely to switch back from drinking Magic Rock to drinking John Smiths as you are to switch back from crack to Vick's vapo-rub. It's a one way street. A one way street with many stops along the way.

My journey started with beers like Landlord. I remember trying it and thinking how amazingly full of flavour it was. It blew my mind. It was and still is a great, iconic beer but I don't drink it or particularly like it any more. It's not Timothy, it's me. I'd probably drink a gallon of that stuff Richard forced on me at SIBA 09, or whenever it was.

So what does this say about our self published journalist's reactionary editorial? Remember when you were a teenager and you had a boyfriend or girlfriend? You thought they were ace right? And they probably were but would you go back to them now? Maybe you would but it probably wouldn't be much fun. Our columnist is, in beer terms, still seeing his first girlfriend. that's fine. Maybe they'll stay together forever and be perfectly happy. It doesn't mean I'm stupid for shacking up with a hot blonde 12 years my junior though does it? 

The difference is, I know what I'm missing and he doesn't. 

Hahahaha! (Loudly)

www.greatheckbrewery.co.uk