Monday, February 28, 2011

"To begin, begin." -Wordsworth

I suppose what I intend to to accomplish could be described as very simple.  However, it is my hope that my ramblings will steer away from some ill-gained stereotypes and toward a legitimacy that is gaining social ground at a rapid pace.

When one says, "I enjoy drinking beer," the listener often has flashes of debaucherous fraternity parties or perhaps something even a bit unrefined or uneducated.  Clearly, this is not an image one can afford to go projecting about professionally or even in good company.  Why?  Simply put, its is not the truth.  It is not you.  It is an easy stereotype that only causes harm to those portrayed in it.  No one would dream of pigeon-holing you in such a way if one were to say, "I enjoy drinking wine."  Wine drinking is viewed as an activity of connoisseurs and those of refined palate.  They can make distinctions of the most minute variations and are able to articulate those rather succinctly.

In the same way, food has also enjoyed a great uprising in social popularity.  Of course, it always been a necessity, but there has been a surge of "foodies."  Its now very popular to make, eat, and enjoy rare, unusual, foods and their combinations.  In times before, this would have been excessive or "conspicuous consumption," to borrow from Veblen (pun intended).  The effort taken to partake in this trend is admired and posted about the various social media we have at our disposal.  However, it is able to do so because, like wine, culinary exoticness enjoys no negative connotations.

I look to do the same for beer.  I do not claim to have the most sophisticated palate.  I do not claim to have the most detailed vocabulary.  I do not claim to know everything about beer.  What I do claim is a genuine enthusiasm for beer, its flavors, and its own uprising.  Beer can be full of complex flavors, mouthfeels, aromas, finishes, and effervescences.  Why can it not be fashionable to enjoy and discuss the complexities of frothy brew?  Does it not also take a refined palate to discover the difference between a stout and a schwartzbier?  A porter and a polish-style?  I feel that it should and that beer-drinkers should be able to enjoy their hobby and craft without shame or social dismissal.

Craft beers and microbreweries are currently enjoying the beginning of their own upswing.  "Gourmet" beers are rising in popularity and in availability.  Home brewing is more and more common and its clubs are growing in numbers.  It is a beautiful time to be a beer drinker.

I hope to add to that.  I hope to post about and review beers that are uncommon.  I hope to promote beers that are deserving and help them thrive.  I hope to describe them accurately and over time develop my own palate.  Let us begin, shall we?  Let's open a bottle.

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