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Perspective Check

It can be odd but good for us to spend time with people who aren’t obsessive about beer.

Our guest this weekend speaks her mind and knows a lot about books, music, history, theology, food and, yes, wine… but nothing whatsoever about beer.

She was keen to taste every beer we drank, finding most of them ‘interesting’ or ‘nice’. Anything dark she thought was like Guinness. And that was the extent of her ‘engagement’ with the stuff in the glass.

How could she not be blown away by Westmalle Triple? Or Fuller’s Vintage Ale? Nice but boozy. Nice!? With her enquiring mind, how could she not at least be intrigued by the flavours, the hints of this and aromas of that? Well, she wasn’t, and our bafflement is our problem, not hers.

We ought to understand it. We’re exactly the same about wine — we’ll drink it, but with a shrug, and without passing comment or judgement. It just does nothing for us. We’re as interested in wine as in, say, envelopes.

Some people are beer geeks; others are beer drinkers; but, for a large number of people, beer might as well not exist. It’s important for us to occasionally emerge from our cave, blinking and smelling of hops, to be reminded of that.

We went for a run from Penzance to Mousehole in a gale yesterday. No bottle of Fuller’s Vintage has never tasted better, nor any fire felt warmer, than those we enjoyed on our return.

8 replies on “Perspective Check”

I say well done for sharing your beer, despite your suspicions that your friend may not be that bothered. I have a bad habit of deciding on behalf of my guests(s) as to whether they will be appreciative of the flavours and aromas a beer has to offer. I don’t like that this is what I have become, but can’t stand it when a sip of something I enjoy is wasted on someone who remarks “don’t like it” or “it’s ok”. I know I am wrong, please help.

I’m a recent graduate from being “blasé beer drinker”. I never appreciated what I was drinking, in fact only drank beer when I had little other choice.

To me it’s like cricket. I don’t get it, I get confused about the rules and find it a bit boring. But explain it to me, slowly, and bit by bit, I start to understand more. And when I understand, I can appreciate it and begin to enjoy it.

I made a decision to venture into beer drinking a bit more a couple of years ago, because of the deep love my other half holds for it! Taking the time to try different beers, consider their flavours, read their labels and talk about them, made me realise what it was all about.

Now, I am still a beginner, lacking in sophistication and knowledge, but I get it.

Thanks for dropping by. Just had a read of your blog — nicely written and an evocative reminder of what it’s like to be just starting out!

(Are you on Twitter?)

Sometimes I think it’s good to step back and just judge a beer on whether or not you like it at that point. I’ve had a few times where I’ve been so caught up with trying to figure out what aromas or flavours a beer has that by the time I’ve figured it out the beer has gone, and I find I’ve effectively wasted it.

I think this is why I tend to lean towards the experiences surrounding the beers I drink, rather than the beers themselves.

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