Thursday morning musing: Take the quiz

One quick link this morning if you want to see just where your priorities lie.

Matt Van Wyk of Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery assembled a quick quiz. A couple of his questions:

4) Did you lose a friend this year because you said SNPA was so yesterday?

5) Do you only drink a beer once and then move on to the next one?

Plenty to read if you follow the link to brewvana that provoked his post and a similar conversation at The Beer Mapping Project (be sure to scroll down to Matt’s comments for another giggle).

Perhaps I’ll have some thoughtful musing about this later, but I’ve already used up my thinking-about-beer time for the morning. Priorities are priorities, right Matt?

12 Responses to Thursday morning musing: Take the quiz

  1. SteveH January 17, 2008 at 7:07 am #

    So where do I stand if the only 2 I answered Yes to were:

    6) Have you considered picketing your local distributer because they won’t carry your favorite craft beer?

    9) Do you read beer websites and blogs before you pick up the daily paper?

    Distros are evil and the only daily I read is Sunday’s (but I do that before I check out any blogs, so maybe I’m 50/50 with that one?) — it’s an internet world Matt, I get my news online!

    I may be disappointed if a beer doesn’t taste the same (anyone else remember the original Wicked Ale from Pete?), but not angry.

  2. Matt January 17, 2008 at 7:42 am #

    Right on Stan. Runnin’ off to pre-school drop off as we speak.

    And SteveH, I think I do two on the list as well-I guess I should have listed a score card for how you rank upon finishing the quiz. I’ll give that some thought.

    Finally, I think I should qualify my “consistency” arguement. For the record, consistency is important, but in both in the beermapping forum and my post I probably sound like a brewer who is trying to cover up for not being real good. What I really mean is that the real discerning beer drinker can spot and should appreciate slight tweaks in a recipe or variations in ingredients while the beer stays relatively the same (or improves)to the craft beer masses (that’s kind of weird to put those two statements together?) Palates change, ingredients change, and recipes change. Variety and diversity=good. Stagnant and stationary=bad.

  3. Ray Langley January 17, 2008 at 8:28 am #

    I remember early in my sojourn to craft beer that I was always disappointed that the local brewpub would only have the same five or six beers on tap. I was challenging myself and I wanted more variety. I did keep this to myself other to compliment the head brewer whenever the specials would come on. After time I setteled in on a few beers and definetly appreciate a bit of consistency in the beer. However, I still love when I walk into a brewpub and see that they have a new treat on tap to try. Then I usually settle back into my IPA. I think the comment “variety and diversity = good” is dead on. It’s also good to remind people: “This is just beer – enjoy it and don’t take it so damn seriously.”

  4. Alan January 17, 2008 at 9:02 am #

    I read this with interest not because of the questions asked but that they were asked and by whom they were bing asked. Is there a bit of irritation being shown here in and in a number of quarters about the growing voice of the consumer or maybe only one part of the consumers of craft beer?

    I think push back is a good think in the sense that it is part of dialogue that is the marketplace and there has been a real issue with some of the strength of language being used in response to much of the work being done by craft brewers. This is not to say that we as beer fans should not be wary of what factors are affecting the market – quite the opposite. But we have to recognize that our own voices can be a very strong factor and misuse of that voice can do more harm than good.

  5. Stonch January 17, 2008 at 9:02 am #

    I didn’t answer yes to a single one of them. Not even close.

    PS. What does CPA mean?

  6. Stonch January 17, 2008 at 9:04 am #

    “I think the comment “variety and diversity = good” is dead on”

    I don’t agree, because you didn’t mention quality – give me quality over variety any day.

  7. SteveH January 17, 2008 at 9:05 am #

    “What I really mean is that the real discerning beer drinker can spot and should appreciate slight tweaks in a recipe or variations in ingredients while the beer stays relatively the same (or improves)

    I understand that concept and appreciate it completely, especially from a brewpub — to me, it makes me realize how fresh and hands-on the beer is.

    From what I’ve heard about Flossmoor these days Matt, I don’t think there’s anything that needs covering up in your beers.

  8. Matt January 17, 2008 at 9:39 am #

    Alan-I don’t think irritation is the right word. The growing voice of the consumer is very important (as my friend says, the public votes with their dollar) and attention should be paid, but rather it is just a comment on certain extremes that are building and perhaps the absurdity that some comments carry.-and yes, maybe just in certain parts of the consumers of craft beer.

    Stonch, CPA means Certified public accountant. I could have inserted any other well paying job (lawyer, IT guy, etc) that someone seems crazy to leave for the brewing world.
    Also, I would agree variety + diversity+ Quality= good, but I disagree in taking quality OVER the other two. To read that literally, I could say I will drink BMC for the rest of my life and nothing else (because those beers are high quality American Light lagers even if you don’t like that style) or more realistically let me pick Sierra Nevada Pale ale, a beer that I think is of high quality. Nothing else. Boring to me. I’d rather crack a few stinkers and enjoy my time beer hunting.

  9. Kyle January 17, 2008 at 11:30 am #

    Interesting take all around. Just one thing to add really quick. I love beer, I love trying beer, I appreciate beer and especially the work that goes into making good beer. But I do wonder why it has to be analyzed so much? If SNPA is good, who cares if it becomes ubiquitous? Why must beer be “rated” the same way, thinking of beer advocate and the like?
    Personally, when I hear of beer growing to be appreciated like wine, that kind of makes me scared for my delicious local brews will become unattainable due to over-demand, over-priced, etc.
    Just realized this is a rant, sorry. Love the comments and this site!

  10. Rick Sellers January 17, 2008 at 11:51 am #

    Don’t forget this piece, telling you how to become a beer geek. From what I can tell, step one is to rate beers… I would have thought learning about beers would be a better starting point – maybe I missed something though.

    http://seattlest.com/2008/01/16/how_to_become_a.php

  11. Stan Hieronymus January 17, 2008 at 12:48 pm #

    Great input all around. I’m back, catching up, and less distracted. Sierra tied for third in the city Spelling Bee – chocolate cake all around tonight!

    Stonch, I wasn’t sure where to comment on the variety/quality issue. Here or thread at your place. I can better discuss the US, where many brewpubs will keep on 4-6 beers they have mastered and rotate specials through the other taps. As you know, freshness alone adds irreplaceable flavors to beer. Won’t make up for a bad beer, but can make a good one a very good one.

    That’s one advantage brewpubs have, another being they are the grass roots of America’s beer revival. Places where pub/community life has been revived. That experience is as important as the quality of the beer. And variety is part of the experience.

    Thanks for starting the conversation, Matt, but you could have mentioned the high-paying job you gave up to brew . . . teaching school.

  12. Ray Langley January 17, 2008 at 1:18 pm #

    Just a quick note to Stonch and Matt’s point. I agree that quality is extremely important. I’ve been to a few brewpubs that have a number of different beers on tap and none of them are exceptional. I usually don’t go back in that case. But I still love variety and I also understand when a brewer may need to tweak something for flavor or supply issues and personally I don’t get worked up over it.

    Stan great point on how the American brewpub is starting revive the pub/community life. No better examples than Il Vicino tap room, Turtle Mountain and even Chama River (although maybe to a lesser extent because it draws a lot more people and therefor can feel a little more impersonal.)