Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Over Analysis Syndrome
Over at Brewvana (what, you haven't seen this blog yet?-you should put it on your regular beer reading agenda-it's insightful, perceptive and aimed in the right direction), J. Wilson taps into a HUGE theme which I see running rampant in the craft beer community, that of over analyzing beer, breweries, and the craft beer world. His post was prompted by one of his past posts entitled, Arm Chair brewer (make sure you read to the bottom where you are supposed to contact a brewer and tell them thanks ;) )and also a thread on beermapping.com roughly about the same thing. I certainly can't state it as eloquently as he, but I will touch on a few points.
First of all, we, the craft beer community, have started this crazy snowball rolling and it's hard to slow it down. (So don't get all crazy thinkin' I'm hatin' on all those we lovingly refer to as beer geeks-I'm one too! and I just blamed myself here). What I mean is that craft beer makers and fans alike have asked new converts to the wonders of beer to actually taste the beer, and smell the beer, and experience the beer. And then asked them to talk about the beer and discuss the beer. This is a major juxtaposition to normal behavior found in most swill beer drinking people. No, in many a beer drinking circle, people aren't ASKED what they THINK of the beer. They just ask about the funny commercial where the horse farts right at the crusty proper people in the buggy (that was funny though). So, going back to those who we DO ask their opinions on the beer, just talking got boring and beer websites with ratings and forums started popping up and what began as a little critiques, discussions, ratings and rants turned in to a whole new monster of it's own(BTW, IMO this monster of a beer rating sites is great in many ways-free marketing for one and a great exchange of thoughts ideas and experiences.) Suddenly, with the help of the exploding craft beer thing, people want more, expect more, and seem to be getting more. But the question is, are we over analyzing it all? Are we taking beer drinking, which is supposed to be a release and and relaxed pastime, too seriously. In the end, will it lead to stress, anxiety, and a possible deep seeded hatred of all things beer? Well, maybe not that far, but here's your little quiz that might help you diagnose your own symptoms:
1) Do you get angry if a beer tastes different than the first time you had it? (remember,it's diversity that turned you on to craft beer in the first place)
2) Do you exceed the speed limit to get home to rate the beer you drank at a pub because your laptop battery died?
3) Do you stay up late at night agonizing over how to make a homebrew clone the latest Award Winning small craft brewery X's beer?
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?
6) Have you considered picketing your local distributer because they won't carry your favorite craft beer?
7) Did you consider boycotting that brewer who won't make the Imperial Double Mocha Triple Stout a year round offering?
8) Did you spend more money traveling this year for beer than with your family?
9) Do you read beer websites and blogs before you pick up the daily paper? (whoops, guilty)
10) Do you REALLY fantasize about dropping that CPA from your name and becoming a brewer? (ok, that one's not SO bad)
If you said yes to most of these questions, I'll bet you are suffering from what J. Wilson has light heartedly dubbed "Over Analysis Syndrome". And the cure, in which we've learned so long ago from Charlie P.-Don't worry and relax and have a beer. It is just beer you know. I'm lucky I get to make it for you, but I make it to help enhance your life, not turn you into a twisted mess.
Relax and raise a glass. Now, do you feel any better?