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Beer, wine, forests, trees

It was pointed out more than once yesterday in the comments to my take on how a famous wine writer sees the world of beer and beer drinkers I missed an important point.

He represents the way most people think.

That was even clearer this morning when Max checked in from the Czech Republic, commenting on an article from an Argentine newspaper headlined, “Five qualities from wine that beer watches and envies”. (His translation; it was in Spanish.)

Another list. Another occasion for deep breaths. And an excellent conclusion.

Before you scream “Bollocks!” you should be aware that this is not the way we see beer, but the way the average consumer does, and that, although the article speaks about Argentina, it could be very well applied to many other countries.

Well put.

9 Responses to Beer, wine, forests, trees

  1. Steve January 28, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    Not the way we see beer, but the way the average consumer sees it — does that make the wine writer an “average consumer?” 😉

  2. Pivní Filosof January 28, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    When it comes to beer, that might be the case.

  3. Steve January 28, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    You’re right Max, but it appears he’s back-pedalling now, “was only joking!” 😀

  4. Mike Kallenberger January 28, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    Yesterday I laid part of the blame at the feet of the big brewers for having dumbed down beer. As Exhibit A, look at the third point in the article Max translated: “Wine is associated with God, the land, tradition, history and even country, as well as variety, knowledge, exploration and prestige, while beer is associated with parties, nightlife, young people (i.e. inexperienced consumer), etc.” Hmm, I wonder where that impression of beer came from? Even the big brewers used to present their beers in a context more similar to the first set of associations than the second, but that changed at some point in the last couple decades of the 20th century. The change to “parties,” et al, worked for them for a time (well, it worked for Bud Light, though all tried to emulate that), but now that American culture is undergoing another of its long, gradual pendulum swings, mainstrem beer is paying a bit of a price.

  5. Steve January 28, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    Mike, there’s also been a pendulum swing in the perception of wine too. Are you “of age” enough to recall the term “wino?” And that really wasn’t that long ago.

    But of course, you’re correct, perception is too often driven by marketing and not reality.

  6. Darren January 28, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    Perhaps a little of track in all this wine v’s beer argy bargy but I think its worth remembering that more often that not wine makers reach for a beer when they knock off. I think I’ll call that a win for beer

  7. Pivní Filosof January 28, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

    I think this all could be a both way “envy”. I’ve just remembered an article I read some time ago in a Spanish magazine that talked about how the winemakers from Rioja were trying to find a way to sell their wines as a “casual drink”, just like beer, because they wanted to catch some of the young market that apparently sees wine as a bit too “formal”.

  8. Steve January 28, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

    Darren — I appreciate your perspective on the winemakers, but I’ve had experience with wine drinkers (self proclaimed aficionados) who look for, and drink, the best wines they can find… and when they reach for a beer it will turn out to be a bland and characterless example.

    To the other side of that, I have friends who know and enjoy wine and turn to me for advice on better beer. We tend to share knowledge and recommendations — and wouldn’t that be the origins of a perfect world! 😉

    The trouble I seem to see is that more beer drinkers respect wine, than wine drinkers respect beer. A shame.

  9. Pivní Filosof January 29, 2011 at 4:43 am #

    “The trouble I seem to see is that more beer drinkers respect wine, than wine drinkers respect beer. A shame.”

    Very well put, Steve.

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