Generalisations about beer culture

Gut reactions and associations

Beers on a pub table.
Well? If you’re so clever, YOU find a picture to illustrate emotional gut reactions!

If you were sat next to us in a pub and overheard us talking to each other about the beer we’re drinking, you might notice a few of the following statements, before we’ve translated our reactions into la-di-dah blogger speak.

      • We’ve brewed better — a serious criticism: professional brewers ought to make better beer than us (for now, at least).
      • (Face pull) Had worse in Belgium — weird, rough around the edges by British standards, but not necessarily terrible. Interesting.
      • Erm… a bit farty — ‘sulphurous’ in posh beer tasting speak — not necessarily bad!
      • Bad home brew — a harsher criticism than ‘we’ve brewed better’ — it’s reminded us of that first, foul kit we made in a plastic bucket in the garage.
      • It’s got that [Brewery X] thing — with reference to one of two or three breweries whose beers we generally don’t like.
      • Sorry, I can’t drink that — it’s not ‘off’, just so unpleasant it’s no fun to consume. Gets abandoned.
      • By ‘eck, it’s on good form tonight — cask ale, however consistently well made, varies from pub to pub, cask to cask, day to day.
      • Ooh, zingy! — you know — zingy.
      • Mmm, Germany… (sigh) — beer with a certain type of hoppiness that reminds us of drinking very fresh lager in a German beer garden. (Not said only of lager.)
      • Ah, Sheffield… (sigh) — a high accolade bestowed upon the most satisfying very pale, hoppy session ales.
      • Actually, that’s not so bad — getting to like a ‘meh’ pint about halfway down.
      • Actually, I’m not so sure — realising that, once the first pleasant waft of hops have drifted on the wind, the underlying beer is a bit nasty.
      • Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah…. that’s hit the spot (tummy rub) — said of any beer at the end of a long coastal walk, when it is impossible to judge beer quality.
      • (Sulk, harrumph.) Want to swap? — we’re each drinking different beers and one of them is ‘meh’.
      • Better than Guinness/John Smith’s/Peroni — faint praise of a fairly bland ‘real ale’/’craft beer’/Category D Beverage.

We liked the inclusion of ’emotional’ in these tasting notes by Bee; but we’re less impressed by a persistent tendency of beerier-than-thou types to assume that other people’s reactions to beer are faked, insincere or otherwise ‘stupid’.

10 replies on “Gut reactions and associations”

I know the “bad home brew” feeling; happily not too common but occasionally I’ve had a beer and the only way to describe it is that it tastes like my first attempt at homebrewing.

Think I’ve probably said all of the above at one time or another 🙂

I’ve definitely done the Ah, Sheffield… (sigh) several times, usually with a tongue strippingly* hoppy beer.

* Not always a bad thing!

You’ve forgotten the smug grin pint.
It’s a midweek lunchtime, earlyish, with just you, the dog, a packet of old-fashioned pork scratchings and a morning paper, in a pub you’ve never been in before with a pint you’ve never had before.
If there’s a howling gale outside with a crackling fire inside and Radio Four quietly chuntering away in the background all the better.
Naturally the mobile is switched off – ” sorry love, did you try to ring me ? It must have been bad reception. ”
For some reason I imagine the pint to be malty with a decent head and not too bitter.
Inevitably, at some stage, the question of how many you can sink and get away without you family knowing you’ve been on the gargle will cross your mind.
Generally I reckon about four.

Regarding the “Ah, Sheffield” comment, I can think of one brewer who uses that comment as a derogatory comment for beer he considers too hoppy & unbalanced.

The daft thing is, said brewery is in Derbyshire, where much of the output from local brewers tends to be hoppier then that of Sheffield breweries! Buxton, Raw, Thornbridge, Whim Ales and so forth.

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