Alan (Edited)

My beer blogging colleague and sometimes foil Alan McLeod over at the aptly named A Good Beer Blog has some questions about the new video, identified to him by the ever-industrious Mr. Jay Brooks, entitled “I Am a Craft Beer Drinker.” It has Alan shaking his head, for reasons he expounds upon here and which, quite frankly, baffle me. Read his points and come back here when you’re finished, please.

So, Alan questions the people on the film, wondering how many of them “are really marketers in their day to day life.” Being fortunate enough to know many, but admittedly not all, of the people in the video, I can assure Mr. McLeod that they are not markers (ed. “marketers,” and well done to Alan for catching me out), although some do earn a living through their craft beer endeavors (much like myself, ‘natch). They really are average Joes and Josies who enjoy quality beer. They may even appreciate music beyond Metallica and Johnny Cash and Nirvana, none of which, BTW, would make my personal first string playlist.

Then there are the issues Alan would really like to see addressed, which he offers in point form. My edited version:

  • I am a craft beer drinker. I am a fan of good quality, flavourful beer rich in character. I buy good imported and domestic craft beer.
  • I earn my money through hard work and expect craft brewers to earn it from me. I also believe in rewarding brewers fairly for their hard work and entrepreneurship.
  • I have no time for the floaters, the makers of dull amber ale, the brewers who are there for the government grants or the poseurs chasing after the newest “hot” brand.
  • Me I and people like me myself reject badly made craft beer, period, at whatever cost. beer stores that pass on soaking costs for trendy unbalanced crap.
  • We have the conviction of our own ability to determine what tastes good. And know a great craft beer goes with a bag of chips or a portion of foie gras, depending on its style and character.
  • We know when it is stinking hot nothing goes down like a Miller High Life and respect our friends who like that stuff major brewery beer just fine, even if we don’t understand the point of drinking something bland and essentially flavourless simply because it is beer.
  • But we also know that when the BBQ smoker in the backyard is pissing off the neighbours, when we are sick and tired another mouthful of steamed corn gak, when there is extra money in the wallet and when our mouths demand something that has extraordinary taste… for every occasion, there is an appropriate beer, and…
  • …that is when we buy good craft beer.

6 Replies to “Alan (Edited)”

  1. I like your version as I think we all need to have our own version of this sort of thing. I, for example, sometimes I don’t want rich flavourful beer. Sometimes I want light, palate cleaning beer. Similarly, I am quite comfortable with “me or people like me” as well as rejecting trendy unbalanced crap.

    The latter is a key point for me. I would not give rein to anyone with my pocketbook. In the last few months I have spent a lot of money on dreadfully confused, functionally explosive or simply poorly made craft beers by well marketed US craft brewers. Trendiness has assisted in the inflation of their prices, lack of balance of one sort or another is their hallmark and crap is their result. Compared to this, Miller High Life offers me nothing other than what it is. As a result, it is good value.

    As to the inclusion of “markers” as you say or people in the trade, I can only defer to Andy Crouch and Jay Brooks who seem to have confirmed my suspicion based on their knowledge of who they are. It is not any sort of “gotcha!” but if one can’t find people on the street to give testimonials it does start to look like a party political broadcast (that is, for the others, a Canadian joke-ette.) It would have been better to have called it “we work in the craft beer industry” or some such thing if that is the reality.

    And I would encourage anyone considering these observations to go back to my post and leave comment. How’s a fella to make any headway otherwise!!!

  2. Sometimes I also want a light, palate-cleaning beer, Alan, but that doesn’t mean it needs to lack flavour, just that its flavour will be lighter and more purely thirst-quenching. A favourite of yours, Beau’s Lug-Tread, springs to mind as an immensely preferable quaff to Miller High Life, IMO.

    I’ve had a goodly amount of highly rated, out of balance craft fare myself, but in my case that’s in the job description. I exist to highlight the best and skewer the worst, which I try to do fairly.

    And finally, Alan, there is a great difference between “marketers” — touché, BTW — and people associated with the trade. Dr. Bill, for example, now ears a modest living by managing the Stone World Bistro, which he does with flair and passion, stocking and recommending a number of non-Stone beers. He’s not a press release writer or Stone talking head; he’s a restaurant manager. And he was a passionate and generous advocate of good beer long before he got his present job.

  3. Yes, I will give you “marketers”. I should have said something more general (not markers) but I will leave it as it is as a source of my punishment. Someone has already offered to lace my drinks with a violent laxative… and she’s a nurse even. Evil nurse Meanie-pants.

  4. The biggest issue I have with this video (besides the quote at the end, what’s wrong with cheap beer?) is that they say they want to “educate”, or whatever, the regular drinker yet I’m left with the impression that they don’t understand the regular drinker.

  5. I was initially struck by the lack of non-beer employed in the video and would have preferred more of a random sampling.

    But I think at this point in craft beer evolution this video does more good than harm. I believe it does educate the “regular” beer drinker (who primarily does not drink ANY craft beer) that there are options.

    And I have no problem with the “cheap beer” line. Just because the beer is expensive does not mean it fails the value test automatically. Furthermore, I think that there is a bias against people or products that are considered “elite”.

    I wonder if these same people would kick Wayne Rooney or Kobe Bryant off teams because they are too good.

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