Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Four Magic Words from the LA Times

I recently read an article from the LA Times, "Four magic words that will make you sound like a craft beer expert".  Here they are to save you the time: Dry Hopped, Cask, Mosiac (as in the hop), and Gueuze.

Besides being terms useless to a neophyte not drinking on the edge (cask, gueuze), posting this article to Beerit, the beer section of Reddit, most of the responses were in the same general direction as my initial thought: these out of context words will make you sound like a pompous beer jerk. Reading this article will set you up for an epic fail, especially since no guide is given on how to pronounce the last in the list, which I still stumble over in spite of getting it clarified for me in Brussels last summer.

While the article is less than enlightening (and, no, I'm not going to try to substitute my own list of four words), I think the existence of the article is more important than the actual content. I like the idea that the Los Angeles Times thinks that there is a need for an outsider to know something about beer. In a sense, we have arrived.

In 2006 at a Superbowl party, I opened a bottle of Anheuser Busch Brew Master's Private Reserve that came in a box and a fully flourished bottle. The beer was adequate at best but better than most AB beers.  I held the bottle for those around me and ask what they saw. My response to blank stares: The beginning of the end. AB's marketing department has conceded that better beer is the future and this is why this bottle exists. I drank the beer as a death knell to macro beer, which has pretty much come true recently.

So, this article seems to me to be another canary in the coal mine.  However, the impact of someone thinking beer knowledge is necessary to be cool is a good sign, maybe even a sign of respect.  But with the changes coming with the booming of the craft beer industry, the lack of clarity of the future makes me far less giddy than drinking my completely mediocre bottle of AB.

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