There is a line in the book “London Fields” where the main character is asked why he only drinks lager when playing darts and not real ale. His answer is (I’m paraphrasing and omitting a lot of swear words — this is Martin Amis after all): “It’s kegged. You know what you are getting every time no matter where you are. It’s kegged!!”
I take pretty much the opposite stance. I like real ale. When I drink beer I like it to be beer that is made of malt, yeast, water and hops (preferably lots of hops), stored lovingly in a nice pub cellar and served fresh. I also like regional variety. If I’m in Yorkshire I want a Yorkshire beer, if I’m in London I want a London beer.
I do not like to drink beer that is spewed out of some vast industrial tank in the middle of… well, who cares really…made from poor ingredients that have already been cycled through the brew process 50 times, riddled with chemical additives, pasteurised to within an inch or its life, and then shot through with gas in some pointless and futile attempt to resuscitate it.
I don’t think there’s anything odd about my stance. I simply apply the same quality standards to the beer I drink as I do the wine. The social difference is that if you talk eloquently about good and bad wines people smile encouragingly and join in. If you do the same with beer, people tend to adopt a glazed, wary look and, if there’s room, take a step or two back (the same effect can be had by telling a woman at a party that you’re a “Physical chemist”, by the way).
I always remember talking to a friend of my wife’s and somehow slipping into a bit of a beer soliloquy. I’d been into my stride for a minute or two when she laughed warmly and said “Gosh, your wife was right. You really are a sad b*stard!” (“when it comes to beer” she added, as a kind afterthought)
I don’t care. It’s too late for me, the die is cast. Tetleys (oh, how the mighty have fallen), Boddingtons (ditto), John Smiths, Budweiser, Miller Lite, Coors, Fosters, XXXX, Peroni….they can keep them all. Worst beer I ever had? Some unutterable bilge that went by the name of “Beamish Red” in a pub in Glasgow. It was several years ago but if I close my eyes I can still taste the sheer evilness of it even now.
OK, I’ll stop there ;). I’ll occasionally blog about beer-related matters on this site. If it’s not your cup of tea, please feel free to take a step or two back (or ignore me altogether). If you’re interested then please join in. I promise it will be occasional and will not detract from the serious business of this site, which is the SQL Server and .NET content. As you can gather from the blog title, I intended to move on to the SQL Server and .NET bits now, and talk a little bit about my technical background, but instead I think I’ll go have a lie down and save that for next time.