The Session is a monthly event for the beer blogging community, started by Stan Hieronymus at Appellation Beer. On the first Friday of each month, all participating bloggers write about a predetermined topic. Each month a different blog is chosen to host The Session, choose the topic, and post a roundup of all the responses received. For more info on The Session, check out the Brookston Beer Bulletin.
This session is hosted by Jorge at Brew Beer and Drink It (a website name that is a motto to live by) on the subject of ‘‘The Perfect Beer World’’.
Here’s a six-pack of things that I think would make the beer world a perfect place. I probably could have come up with enough to make a case of things (ie 24 of them) but I figured that would be just stupid. And no-one would read them all anyway. And I’d only remembered about this month’s session this morning so had to put something down quick-smart.
So here we go.
1) More people would stop buying crap beer: In Australia we have a chain of big alcohol shops called Dan Murphy’s. They’ve got lots of everything – and there’s one just up the road from my place. That’s good because the chain tends to stock a pretty decent range of craft beer – certainly better than your suburban bottle shop (some beer geeks pour scorn on Dan Murphy’s but the reality is, for many regional centres, they are the best source of craft beer).
But so often when I go there, my heart is broken. Broken because I see guys walking to the counter with a slab of some bland mainstream beer. It’s so sad – they’re in a shop with a good range of tasty beers and they’ve chosen to buy a case of tasteless beer instead. Were I not such a shy type, I’d go up to these people, shake them and say ‘‘ye Gods, man. Don’t you realise the beer you drink is crap? For the love of God go and buy something better!’’.
2) I stop being snobbish about people buying crap beer: I do try and make an effort not to look down at people who like crappy mainstream beer. Sometimes, I succeed. Sometimes, I don’t. The latter especially seems to happen whenever I visit Dan Murphys. But at the end of the day, it hardly matters that they like crap beer. And maybe they truly do like it. Maybe they have tried beers with flavour and thought ‘‘nah, that’s not for me’’ (see, I’m being a little snobby again). I can bet they don’t care what sort of beer I’m drinking, so why should it bother me so much to see their choices. In a perfect beer world, it wouldn’t.
3) The city council in my home town is nicer to craft beer venues: Where I live, the city council has a blanket rule about pubs and bars. It’s a rule that doesn’t distinguish between craft beer bars and standard pubs that serve mainstream beers. And they really should. Your standard pub attracts people keen to get boozed up as quickly as possible. So they’ll pour beer after beer down their throat, maybe pick a fight or two and get thrown out by the bouncers.
Whereas a craft beer pub has a completely different clientele. People aren’t there to get smashed, they’re there to try some new beer. Chances are, the most violence that happens in a craft beer pub is two geeks arguing over what sort of hops went into the beer they’re tasting. Hell, I know of some craft beer pubs who don’t even hire bouncers because they’ve never had a fight.
The city council in my town doesn’t seem to get this distinction. If they did they’d work hard to create a new set of craft-beer friendly planning rules. And I’d have more craft beer pubs to go to.
4) Brewers would learn the fallacy of the equation ‘‘more hops = better beer’’: Look, I’ll always try one of those insanely hopped beers, just for the novelty value. Just to say I’ve tried it. But that’s it. These beers are statement beers, ‘‘look at me!’’ beers. And beers that aren’t especially hard at all to make. I’ve only been homebrewing for a year and I reckon I could make a stupidly over-hopped beer. And if I can make it, then that means it’s pretty bloody easy.
Far more of a challenge would be to create a well-balanced beer. One where every ingredient works in harmony and creates something much, much greater than the sum of its parts. For me a good beer is one I’d like to drink more than once. And those uber-hopped beers? Only ever want to drink them once.
5) Someone would make a low-fat beer that doesn’t taste disgusting: I tend to watch how much beer I drink, because I don’t want to end up huge and fat (anyone who tells you beer doesn’t make you fat is an idiot. Too much of anything makes you fat). So I’ll end up having several dry days for reasons of unfatness.
It’s a far better choice than opting for any of the low-fat, low-carb or no-carb beers on the market – because they all taste utterly diabolical. But if someone were to create a beer that tasted like a craft beer but you could drink heaps of them without making your belly stick out further than your chest, then I’d be suggesting that man should be nominated for a Nobel prize.
6) I’d like to be less stupid at beer festivals: Here’s what happens to me at a beer festival. I look around and see a lot of beer and I rush around trying to sample all of it, as though it’s all going to disappear in an hour or two. As a consequence, I get drunk far too quickly, lose the ability to taste everything that’s not stupidly hopped and I have to stop drinking because I feel sick.
The main problem with that is, obviously, the feeling sick part. But having to finish up early usually means I’ll end up missing out on some beers that I really wanted to try. In a perfect beer world, I’d be a model of restraint, soberness and would be able to remember stuff about the beers the next day.