Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Rants, bar fights and strip clubs. Maybe it's time to become a wine drinker.

Thanks to RC for the link to the piece in Thrillist, a site I seldom acknowledge, except that in this instance, a writer is agreeing with most of what I've been saying for five or more years.

Consequently, I'm perfectly happy to cop some major vindication. If I can't make any money in this job, the least I can do is establish a legacy for calling the occasional shot.

Earlier this week, Stan Hieronymus couldn't find many feel-good beer links, and at least part of the reason was another round of wonderment at "craft" beer's failure to appreciate why "craft" beer events at strip clubs bear the potential to alienate women. Stan already had considered the topic on April 20:

This is a discussion about awareness. There’s been an ongoing conversation about sexism in beer and it needs to continue. In the midst of all those tweets somebody suggested “someone will still find a reason to be upset” and that is true. But some things should be obvious. “I sell beer. I want more women to buy it. I’d like more women to feel comfortable working in my industry.” The next thought should not be “Benjamin Braddock got the girl in the end, so I’ll ask these women to join me at a strip club.”

For a while now, I've heard a variation of this: "Just relax, Rog. Get back to it being about the beer, and stop trying to fight all these other battles. People want to get away from those battles when they're having a beer."

Problem is, this is remarkably similar to what I used to hear before I ever campaigned for better beer. I'm a straight white male American, and as such privileged without just cause. Because of this, why don't I kick back and enjoy the national eclipse? Why be upset? What can I do? Why try to change things?

But you see, that just isn't me. I'm almost 55 years old, and this weird ethos of mine -- the zeal to educate, the contrarian tendencies, the frustration and exhilaration, the logic, passion and anger -- always defies explanation, although I tried to fathom at least part of it last week, and naturally only managed to skirt the edge.

Better beer held out the promise for a very long time that it might help me understand myself. Often it did, and now it's slipping away amid the predicted absorption into being just another business.

Really? Being a business person is the last reason I became involved in business. My point was to make a point, and it always seemed a necessary evil to me. These days it seems more evil, and less necessary. If someone in New Albany within stumbling distance of my house would brew a hand-pulled Ordinary Bitter of about 3.8%, and serve it every day alongside a decent plate of curry, I'd be there every day, and forego the craziness. A gently smoked lager would work, too. Maybe there'd be time to read that way.

And don't even ask, "But Rog, you own a brewery -- just brew one of those."

So what do I do?

Run for mayor.

Rage against the machine used to be a band. Now it's my daily existence. Here's the article: Bar Fight: Why craft brewing is about to go to war with itself, by Dave Infante (Thrillist)

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