This may sound odd, but I am intimidated by the craft beer shop near my house.
Beer itself doesn’t frighten me – but the names of the makers and the labels are a dead-set turn off. I freely admit to being old – and old enough to remember a town with two breweries and two beers. They were both good and people could get drunk on them by swallowing. One did not need to do more than choose Swan or Emu – two birds of one alcoholic feather and specify a size.
This. of course, was always local ritual – you did not ask for the fluid by the fluid ounce or ml. You asked for a pony, a middy, or a schooner. All good mystery words that you needed to be initiated to understand. There were rituals in bars and blessings and curses attached to them.
Now I do not need to go to a bar to drink alcohol. I can afford to have it in my home in small containers. These are now labelled with ml. to let me know how much is in the can or bottle and percentage to advise on the strength of the brew. Sense would seem to have entered the picture. Unfortunately, the science that standardised the measurements has been overwhelmed by the twee advertising that tries to find a strange name for every bottle. It has caused me to draw up a list of reflections:
a. I do not wish to purchase 500ml of exotic beer for $ 20. I do not wish to be near people to whom this seems a sensible thing.
b. I do not wish to purchase a beverage that is brewed by someone who prints foul language on the can. It warns me that they may brew foul things inside. If I associate myself with low people, I lower myself.
c. I do not need to read the entire history of the beer. I will be satisfied if it contains alcohol and tastes good.
d. I do not need to get my daily fruit and vegetables in beer. Do not go on about the passionfuit whiffs or the fruity nuances. I can buy fruit at IGA.
e. Your brewery may be the oldest one in Transylvania, but that doesn’t recommend it to me. It actually makes me wonder if you clean the vats regularly, and with what…
f. I am discomfited by the bargain bin and time expired specials on offer. Why were they not bought, and why are they still on sale?
Note: The picture of the middy is a free one that resides in my editing program. Do not ask for a cocktail mat for your beer in the pub. They will sneer at you.