In October, I ran across and admittedly was fascinated by three instances of people slamming beer people for various “crimes”.
A famous chef expressing his disdain for beer snobs in a way straight out of a beer snob handbook for dissing. A noted blogger and new author with a Facebook screed against haters that read more as a cover letter for a wine industry job and another blogger who couldn’t even bear to read a few blog posts without falling into a pit of swear words and despair.
Those who know me, know that I am the opposite of confrontational. When worked up, I get snarky and sarcastic. Technically termed as passive – aggressive. So, I really have a hard time grasping why people would publicly vent in the first place. In what appears, to me, in these three cases blatant appeals for confirmation of their views from Internet strangers.
But that isn’t what fascinated me. What did was the throwing up of hands and giving up by this trio. I am playing armchair psychiatrist here but these people seem normally undaunted by hurdles in their path. You don’t become a famous chef or an author or a confrontational blogger without having to face rejection and armoring yourself with a thick skin. And yet, beer snobs, Stupid reviews and non cuss laden blog posts laid these people low.
It made me think of what would disenchant myself from craft beer. Right now, if a brewer dissed me for what I perceived as a poor reason, I would simply and without Twittering, not buy that beer or write about it. Then I would move on. I have choice now. 20 breweries can call me an illiterate hick with shitty grammar and I would still have a ‘fridge full of beer options.
Same goes with bloggers. If one were to slam me for being to booster-ish in a way that I disagreed with, I would just point my browser to another blog. Same scenario for any bar or beer snobs. I have choice where, with who and how I spend my time and money and I use it.
I have a gut feeling that this group refuse to do that and that they want people to change to more closely mirror their attitudes and ideas. I want you and everyone to not be snobby about beer. I want you and everyone to jump to my assistance over Internet trolls. I want you and everyone to write a beer blog the way I do.
It is easier to become angry and defensive if that is the mindset. It is a lot harder to stay true to yourself when beset on all sides by people who don’t agree with you. But I don’t bemoan those who watch Two and a Half Men and say all TV is bad. I search out the good stuff. Find my people, my tribe. And the great thing is, those people are out there.
If your restaurant is attracting beer snobs, make it a haven for people like me who enjoy craft beer unpretentiously. If your book is getting unfairly reviewed, get it into the hands of the people who can give you fair reviews. If you think beer blogging is insipid, then either only follow those you can stomach or help others become more critical and well rounded bloggers. Or you can just scorch the earth behind you via Social Media. (There’s the sarcasm).
I urge David Chang, Ashley Routson and the Hipster Brewfus to take a step back and see the problems they are embroiled in as a chance to CREATE. It may sound too Oprah-esque but what is disenchanting you, might be an opportunity to improve yourself and the world around you. And if you are in LA, look me up and I will buy you a round and we can discuss it further.
Peel the Label is an occasionally appearing post about the world of craft beer with no links, photos or graphics. Just opinion.