This Twit by El Jardín del Lúpulo got me thinking about a couple of things that have been discussed more than once in blogs and forums, but which are always worth getting back to.
Me encanta la cerveza. Siempre bebo Cruzcampo Glacial a -2ºC. Es lo mejor. #TuiteaComoSiTuvierasParálisisCerebral(I love beer. I always drink Cruzcampo Glacial at -2ºC. It's the best. #TwitLikeYouHadBrainParalysis)
— El Jardín del Lúpulo (@Jardindellupulo) April 5, 2013
Before carrying on, I'd like to make clear that I believe that that hashtag is nothing but a joke. Unfortunately, though, there are not few craftophiles who actually believe that those who drink Cruzcampo Glacial, or another similar beer, are morons.
This attitude (that I must confessed to having shared in the past) is something that is bothering more and more in the beer world. By themselves, beer tastes don't make anyone more sophisticated, ethic, let alone more intelligent. In fact, if we are speaking about morons, it's not a moron that who drinks something they like and tell it to the world, but that who believes that a person who drinks something they like and tells it to the world is a moron.
Much to the chagrin of the craftophiles and the marketing discourse of some brewers, people drink what they drink because they like it, because they consider that a given beer (Cruzcampo Glacial, Braník, Quilmes Cristal, Corona, Foster's, Bud Light or however it is that it's called in your neck of the woods) meets their expectations or satisfies a need sufficiently so that the consumer is willing to pay for it.
The fact that you, I or my neighbour agree that that beer is Shit, does not mean that the person who drinks it is any way wrong because they drink it and tell the world they love it. In fact, that person, their friend or their neighbour could very easily say that one of those beers that are able to induce a boner to the "Expert Drinkers" (I wish I was making that up) are Shit.
But of course, one of the members of those Expert Drinkers will belittle that opinion because it comes from someone who doesn't really drink beer and therefore, wouldn't know how to appreciate that boner inducing brew, or is not able to enjoy it because they don't understand it.
And I wonder: could it be that the Expert Drinkers do not understand the Cruzcampos Glaciales of this world?
Perhaps it exists, though I doubt it, but I would love to see an independent survey on the demographics of the consumers of alternative beers. I'm convinced that the bulk of that market is made by people who buy alternative beers more or less often, but not exlusively. Meaning that perhaps when they get back from work on a Tuesday, they open a DIPA and drink it at the right temperature from the proper gralls, while on Friday or Saturday, when they with friends or watch sports at home, they open a macrolager and drink it straight from the bottle or ice cold without feeling any internal conflicts about it, because after all, it's just beer.
And while I write all the bollocks above, I'm reminded of something that's been going around my head ever since I had that duff Rauchweizenbock. If what determines "good beer" is taste, then there is no such thing as "bar beer". There are well made beers, and there are badly made beers, but that's something technical, I'm talking about the quality perceived by the consumer. As long as there are people willing to pay for a beer because they like it, that beer, to those people, at that moment, won't be "bad". You, I and my neighbour might believe it is, but will be just our opinion.
This, and several other topics, are what the book I'm writing with Alan is about. It's over 30,000 words long already, and we haven't finished the first draft yet. But well, I guess that won't be a surprise to anyone.