20 May 2012

Beer: The Democratic Drink

I was prepared to disagree quite strongly with Brian Palmer's Slate article "Pliny the Younger: Can there really be a “best” beer?". Turns out, I don't.

I've mentioned before that rating rare, hard to find beers so highly on BeerAdvocate and Rate Beer does a disservice to the beers and to people looking for beer to try. If you don't like hoppy beers, then would you be more likely to order a Pliney the Younger, even assuming you could get close to a bar that had it, because it is the best beer in the world according to BeerAdvocate? Probably not. You'd probably stick to something you like.

Palmer's article finishes the best beer in the world thought early in the piece, and then goes on the talk about how democratic beer is. And he gets off a few good lines.

If you don’t agree with their decisions, you can just email the seven ordinary beer-swillers currently in charge. Good luck airing your grievances to the folks who make the AOC rules that govern winemaking in Bordeaux.
and
Professional brewers show up at home brew competitions to learn new ideas and techniques, and they read Internet reviews to learn what people are saying about their latest release. (I assure you the good folks at Château Latour do not care what some guy in Kansas thinks about the 2010 vintage.) 

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posted by Jeff Holt at 11:32

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