What I Learned About Beer in 2009, Part I

The thing I truly love about this business is that I never stop learning as I go, even if the new knowledge is sometimes oh so inconvenient. Like…

  1. Almost Everything I Thought I Knew About Beer History Is Wrong: Thanks a lot Ron and Martyn and the rest of you anally retentive lot. Now I have to rewrite a good chunk of my teaching materials.
  2. Beer Style Is Almost Meaningless: Yeah, I knew this before, but this year really brought it to the fore. The sooner we start tearing down the old definitions and rewriting them in an entirely new fashion, the better.
  3. Some People Get Quite Irritated at the Merest Mention of Beer and Food Pairing: For reasons I still can’t quite fathom, even if…
  4. Sometimes I Can Get Quite Irritated by People Who Harp on About How Wonderfully Beer X Goes With Dish Y: As Stan says in Rule #5, it is only beer.
  5. Beer Is Not the New Wine: But wine might just be the new beer! (Think about it; more tomorrow.)

4 Replies to “What I Learned About Beer in 2009, Part I”

  1. A thought-provoking post, Stephen. I was musing on the state of beer styles and definitions myself recently – at one extreme, the BJCP guidelines, at the other, the brewers making beers that defy categorisation (or if the BJCP have their way, define a new style).

    Mark Dorber has an interesting take on the whole thing, saying that you need to understand the idea and foundation of beer styles and how they are defined, before you can talk about anything out of style.

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