QUICK ONE: Hyped/Ignored

Beautiful beer glass.

There have been a few times in the last year or so where we’ve seen a beer referred to as ‘hyped’ when we’ve literally only heard it mentioned once or twice.

Then the oth­er day we saw some­one com­plain­ing that a beer they liked had been ‘ignored’ and some­thing seemed to click: is this all about a hand­ful of promi­nent voic­es on social media?

The per­son we imme­di­ate­ly thought of is Matt Cur­tis who has his own blog at Total Ales and also writes for Good Beer Hunt­ing among oth­er out­lets. He was the first per­son we noticed men­tion­ing Mills Brew­ing, for exam­ple, and lit­er­al­ly with­in an hour or so of him doing so we saw some­one com­plain that they were being hyped.

Two things both­er us about this.

First, what’s Matt meant to do? Taste every beer in the UK and give each brew­ery equal air­time? He likes some beer more than oth­er beer, some brew­eries more than oth­ers, and ought to be allowed to express a pref­er­ence.

Then there’s the abdi­ca­tion of respon­si­bil­i­ty. As we’ve said sev­er­al times now, don’t moan that no-one is blog­ging about a brew­ery you think is inter­est­ing – write about it your­self! If you don’t like how promi­nent a beer or brew­ery is, don’t con­tribute to that promi­nence by going on about it. And if you think a beer is being ignored, let peo­ple know about it.

Hype isn’t some­thing you have to endure – it’s some­thing you can cre­ate too.

12 thoughts on “QUICK ONE: Hyped/Ignored”

  1. Some­thing I’m not sure about hype – does it mean a beer/brewery is talked about too much or is it akin to “over­rat­ed” a beer/brewery is being over­ly and unde­served­ly praised?

    1. Bit of both, I think. Annoy­ing that “every­one” is going on about it; extra annoy­ing if it does­n’t seem to deserve the atten­tion.

  2. Great point made! There is a whole world out there of under­ground brew­eries with some amaz­ing brews, many of which may nev­er see the eerie blue light of a blog­gers lap­top screen. Yet all it takes is one well-writ­ten (and well-read) blog to bring about change, and these days, any­one can be a writer. Thanks for this arti­cle!

    1. Well writ­ten’ is obvi­ous­ly impor­tant but so is ‘Well read’. Cer­tain­ly any­one can be writer, but build­ing an audi­ence is anoth­er thing alto­geth­er. I’m not so sure that hype is some­thing that many of us are in a posi­tion to cre­ate.

  3. It must depend on who you fol­low and how often you check things. At times things do come in clumps. The weird­est one I’ve seen was the back­lash against the back­lash against the hype about Cloud­wa­ter. I’d missed the hype about Cloud­wa­ter, and the back­lash against it, but some­how tuned in for the last act.

  4. Isn’t the prob­lem the mix­ing of the mes­sage and the mes­sen­ger? Matt has quite open­ly described his per­son­al brand­ing efforts which I have no issue with – oth­er than I have a hard time with the result­ing task of deter­min­ing what is the object of the pro­mo­tion, the hyped beer or the hyped per­son. And this is in no way per­son­al to Matt. In the clat­ter­ing of ankles about the tus­sle of the prize of being “an author­i­ty on beer” there is a fair bit of this going on over the last 18–24 months. A nar­row­ing yet rais­ing of the voic­es of just whose word is wor­thy. This might be entire­ly nat­ur­al as more folk seek to make a liv­ing, as I have said, from what I (and many wis­er than me) do as a hob­by. So when I read “hype” I read push back against the per­son accused of hyp­ing, often quite unfair­ly.

  5. The thing that always inter­ests me about this is the num­ber of peo­ple who tend to posi­tion them­selves as lone voic­es speak­ing out against the all-pow­er­ful beer-com­mu­ni­ca­tor fac­tion, but then turn out to be basi­cal­ly talk­ing about Matt. I guess that imply­ing that he’s a one-man con­sen­sus is a com­pli­ment of sorts?

  6. Can I just say I’ve still nev­er had any beer from Wylam – and until two min­utes ago I’d nev­er even heard of Mills. Is it real­ly hype if it does­n’t make it as far as the out­er lay­ers of the bub­ble? (I was going to say ‘as far as the out­side world’, but I’m a mas­sive beer geek by out­side-world stan­dards.)

  7. There’s def­i­nite­ly always going to be cir­cles of hype in which cer­tain brew­eries float around until con­ver­sa­tion moves on, it might not nec­es­sar­i­ly be a bad thing either – they are being spo­ken about in those cir­cles because they are some­thing that cir­cle will be inter­est­ed in!

  8. Only just catch­ing up on my blog feed and am throw­ing vir­tu­al high fives your way this morn­ing.

    Re: the Mills thing. I just hap­pened to be in the right place at the right time. I had gone to vis­it Here­ford Beer House (a: because I am attempt­ing to explore out­side of the Metro bub­ble as much as I can and b: because Jon­ny and Amelie who own it are friends of mine.) I had gone for a cider event (c: I am try­ing to learn/teach myself about cider and this was an oppor­tu­ni­ty to meet Tom Oliv­er and Ryan Burke of Angry Orchard in the US.) The beer hap­pened to be opened for the first time there and it was won­der­ful, so my first reac­tion is to upload my “stream of con­cious­ness” style of think­ing to twit­ter. Peo­ple can do with that what they want, obvi­ous­ly. For what it’s worth I stumped up and bought a whole case of the beer and gave a few away as gifts to friends in the indus­try who I knew would be excit­ed to try it.

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