We have a weakness for music analogies when it comes to talking about beer, perhaps because of the similar levels of geekiness and subjectivity involved in appreciating both.
This weekend, with a particularly weird UK Top Ten singles chart, we found ourselves pondering this question: what is the beer equivalent of pop music? Pop music (a lot of which, by the way, we like, in a chin-stroking, over-analysing kind of way) is:
- designed to grab your attention
- to make you want to listen again — it’s ‘catchy’, full of ‘hooks’.
It’s also targeted at the very young and so songs are usually:
- in 4/4 time and
- ‘loud’ (actually compressed, but that’s a technicality).
What the most successful pop tunes are not is bland: they are not Muzak. Their creators would rather they were irritating than have them treated as background music. So, here’s our first nomination for a ‘pop beer’: Fruli. It’s bright red, sickly sweet and strawberry flavoured — bubblegum, if you like.
But maybe the one-off ‘craft beer’ novelties that so offend some conservative (small c) beer geeks — the Chili Black Belgian IPAs and the like — are also a nod in this direction? They’ve got hooks (“Cucumber! White chocolate! Bright purple!) and offer instant gratification.
Even though we sympathise with the conservative point of view on this, we do think they sometimes sound a bit like this: “Bah. I can’t tell if half of them are lads or lasses with all that hair; can’t make head or tail of the bloody lyrics; does no-one has the attention span to listen to one LP all the way through? And loud!? Don’t get me started….”