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Session #63 (The Beer Moment) wrapped up

The SessionPete Brown didn’t waste any time rounding up The Session #63: The Beer Moment. You might waste a little of your own once you start in on the lot; in total, pretty dang thoughtful.

And as this exchange indicates, a topic that begged to be discussed over a beer.

Alan McLeod: “There is no beer moment. There are moments. In life. In your life. Beer does not change the moment even when it is present within it. Don’t let the ad men fool you.”

Pete Brown: “If advertising were as powerful as Alan thinks it is, every last one of you would now be drinking Budweiser and Stella Artois, and nothing else. And you wouldn’t be as happy with beer as you obviously are. Talking about the context, the emotions and the companionship, does NOT mean you don’t care about what you drink – as many commenters have pointed out. It simply means that beer is one part of a healthy, joyful life – unless you’re someone who would just rather sit and analyze and deconstruct beer instead.”

I spent probably too much time at the just completed Craft Brewers Conference in conversations of deconstruction, but the single best one had nothing to do with beer. Just now reading the various Session posts I could only think, Alan’s right because it was simply a moment that would have been no different if I hadn’t had a beer in my hand. And I thought, Pete’s right because I did have a beer in my hand.

Now a James McMurtry lyric is dancing in my head: “I don’t want another drink, I only want that last one again.”

In this case that moment. I couldn’t tell you what I was drinking.

4 Responses to Session #63 (The Beer Moment) wrapped up

  1. Alan May 7, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    I suppose everyone has their off moments and Pete has had his. I don’t care that much but, seeing as he isn’t posting comments at his place… including mine asking for an explanation… I can only point out the weirdness of the statement you quote above “If advertising were as powerful as Alan thinks it is, every last one of you would now be drinking Budweiser and Stella Artois, and nothing else” given we know that is eactly what 93% of beer drinkers are doing. I have never seen a declaration of victory based on a 7% vote but there you are.

    I think the saddest thing is how Pete’s reaction affirms my creeping suspicions about a lot of what might be called beer passion. I can think of as special a moment over a cup of tea as any beer. I can think of most of the most special moments in life being without beer or any alcohol – and I can think of far more than I would like to count where beer has let me down or let down others I know. Frankly, I am thrilled that I in no way share the view of Jay approved by Pete that “…that it is beer that links all the most special moments in life, and has done throughout history, across a broader range, far more than any other drink. These are truly the moments that matter most.”

    When faced with real adversity or sadness, I am too aware of the risk posed by reaching for a beer. When thrilled by joy, I would never think to want it. Beer is the a thing that one can do when other more important things don’t need your attention so you can some fun. Fun is great. That is why it is called fun. But I sure hope people have more important moments in life that fun with beer.

  2. Bill May 8, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    I agree with Alan’s last paragraph, but it’s somewhat of a non sequitur to the topic at hand, isn’t it? What most folks wrote about fell under the “Beer is the a thing that one can do when other more important things don’t need your attention so you can [have?] some fun” category. I don’t think _anybody_ (even Jay, despite the pulled-out quote) wrote about it being on the level of joy corresponding to the birth of a child. Or to the despair and grief of losing a loved one. Of course, I only read a smattering of them.

    It does seem to me that a subset of “fun” experiences (and “not fun, painful” experiences, too) involving beer could be called beer moments. We might choose to categorize the ones involving friends and conversation and other activities as something else… but they’re still experiences involving beer, and why one might hate that they’re called “beer moments” in certain contexts, even the authors should concede that they could be called other things in other contexts. What I’d call a wonderful dining experience in some contexts, I’d call a wonderful date or gathering in others — but both would be a valid description.

    Now, whether some of these folks are romanticizing something that might be posing short- or long-term problems to their well-being… well. I’ve seen true regulars at bars, and I know that’s not an example to emulate. And writing wondrous odes to the glory of a beverage wouldn’t change said example if the authors are consuming as much as often.

  3. Alan May 8, 2012 at 9:16 am #

    Very well put and I really don’t deny any of it other than the common denominator for me is never the presence of beer. Were it to become that, I would leave beer behind. This post I wrote yesterday is also something of a response to all this from another angle.


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