Categories
opinion

Beer: Punchline to its Own Joke

whitbread_wembley

One of the great frustrations for those involved in ‘beer education’ (writers, ‘sommeliers’, those who run tasting sessions, and so on) is that it just doesn’t get taken seriously. Here’s ‘A. Drinker’, author of 1934’s A Book About Beer, on that subject:

The names of wines are thought to lend a glamour and glitter to the printed page; but put upon the same page the word BEER and it is as if the comedian had entered and sat on a chair that wasn’t there.

Leeds-based CAMRA veteran Barrie Pepper echoed those sentiments when we spoke to him earlier this year: ‘Beer just isn’t taken seriously… Even in the nineties, I found myself being laughed at when I said I wrote about beer for a living.’

This used to bother us — how come wine gets all the respect? All the ‘philosophy‘ and Oscar-worthy films and broadsheet columns and its own big leather-bound menus in restaurants?

Increasingly, though, we’re beginning to wonder if a sense of humour might not be beer’s great strength. Don’t most of us, if given the choice, prefer to hang out with people who can laugh at themselves? Isn’t approachability a great ‘brand value’?

Making beer needs to be a serious business, and people who think, campaign and write about it should take care to get their facts straight. They just shouldn’t take themselves too seriously, and we should all be grateful that beer remains 99% pomposity-free.

Disclaimer: statistic given above represents best-estimate based; we reserve the right to change our minds tomorrow; and we still don’t have much time for rubbish ‘saucy’ pumpclips.