Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Diary of Our Own Jimmy Bracken: "Oh, Mr. Putty tat. Don't you wike me anymore?"

I harbor no illusions when it comes to the give-and-take of discourse. If you hold strong views and have the ability to state them coherently, there'll be disagreements, and you'll make enemies. It's all part of the game. At times, the other guy musters the better argument, and that's just fine.

Then there are those "WTF" times when you're advised to smile and walk away, because the primary thrust of the argument being directed against you is that you're literate.

Don't hold your breath expecting me to apologize for being literate. It won't happen.

Yesterday was one such time for shrugging. To make a long story very short, a frequent critic returned to one of his favorite subjective themes: NABC brews sub-standard and boring beers. His objective evidence? That'd be the fact that ... that ... well, that in his opinion they're sub-standard and boring.

I can't speak to the absence of objectivity now choking beer enthusiasm like so many invasive weeds. We've somehow raised an entire generation that wishes to pose as a priestly caste, although without the first notion of objectivity apart from that of Kolsch being "bad" only because it isn't IPA. The noteworthy aspect of yesterday's discussion was that it was about localism in beer, digressing relatively quickly owing to the usual beer narcissist's knee-jerk objection: BUT YOU CAN'T FORCE ME TO DRINK BAD BEER.

Wouldn't think of it, although it depends on what the meaning of "geek" is. Let's move on to the keynote speaker. He wrote:

I wish NABC would be a force in the local beer community, but it just seems to fall to memory of what it was. Instead of competing with a force such as AtG, it seems Roger just wants to complain about the people in long drawn out sentences as if they are the problem and not what is going into the bottles.

It's an utterly fascinating sentence, this: "Instead of competing with a force such as AtG."

We need to be a force, and they need to be a force. Of course, force isn't defined. As I've noted previously, reducing the better beer world to the rote screenplay of a WWE bout is indicative of something, and perhaps many things ... though not better beer.

It seems to me that we're in the business of competing for consumers, not against each other, and the wonderful thing about consumers is that they come in all sizes, shapes, colors and levels of interest. Accordingly, there are markets for beer of a similarly diverse range in terms of variety.

It's why I like session beers, and why we at NABC are tying to keep four of them tap all of the time. We do it because people are drinking them, and as capitalists, we then are compelled to make more. That's really the purpose of the exercise.

One way to look at this might be that given AtG's customary single (and invariably solid) session beer, we've already "competed" with them and won. Personally, it's nonsense and I don't agree -- because there isn't any competition, between us. We do different things in route to a common purpose. What interests NABC at present is widening the scope of better beer, not just for the self-possessed cognoscenti, but for ordinary people who develop an interest in better beer and are ignored by the likes of my correspondent.

I could go on, but it's futile. Maybe if there is time, I can log in at and hammer the bejesus out of his.

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