It can sometimes become a struggle to drink with folks you don’t know. It can also become a joy. It just depends. The group might not get along, everybody might already be in a bad mood, and so on. Or things can go great, and everybody’s happy.
But there’s always the risk you end up sitting next to guys you find insufferable. For me, it was a pair of craft brew queens. So I got to hear them rant viciously (I hate vicious rants, truly) about the beer. So I heard multiple uses of the terms “hop profile”, “style”, “branding”, and so on. In short, they hated the beer.
I sat with my hands in my lap the whole time struggling mightily not to say a word because I was in no mood to start anything at all. For you see, the beer in question was Belhaven’s Twisted Thistle IPA, and it’s one of my favorites. It’s not epic, but it’s just a good decent beer.
Just to determine if I wants nuts (yes, indeed), when I got home I looked it up and I’m apparently not the only one who likes this beer. So I’m not sure what’s up with those guys.
Don’t get me wrong, I kind of wish I had their knowledge level on beer, but I don’t. I can talk all day about beer. But I don’t really know how it’s made, how breweries work, or the science behind it all. In fact, I’ve never been on a single brewery tour, seriously. I’m not sure why, it’s on my list, but I’ve got a long list.
unrelated reference stock photo of beer not mine
But to me, I guess, beer is more of a relaxed thing, not something to take too seriously. This beverage came of age as the normal swill for the planet’s dirt poor. Old style beers were likely low alcohol, and of a differing consistency than what we see today, but it was still beer. They drank it because of the extensive risk of painful-waterborne-disease-death if you consumed straight water.
So to me, beer is like:
Them: “I find the fruity infusion on this saison to work well with the hop profile they acquired from Southeastern England.”
Me: [pops ordinary Yuengling can] [drinks] [enjoys life]
Them: “I’m wondering if that’s blueberry I’m detecting that goes well with the lactose they built in here to give it kind of a milk stout quality.”
Me: “The way to know if you’ve got a good batch of Skullsplitter is if it’s so freaking black you can’t see through the glass. Plus I love to look at that Viking dude as he splits my skull.”
And so on.
By the way, old Skullsplitter label is superior. They tried to go too Lord of the Rings with the new label.
I love the older label more because the Viking dude is staring out into space like a lunatic. It’s a good pose, because you’re like, hmm, what’s he thinking: conquest, a girl, space travel, beer? And so on.
Every human should have a craft they love. That’s what’s part of the great human experience. Find a craft and excel at it: brew beer, surf, write poetry, plot intricate assassinations, and so on. But also make sure to regularly sample like 700 other crafts. Because life’s too short for just one.
But also don’t take your chosen craft too seriously. All of this stuff is for fun anyways. Don’t get too negative (yes I am actually saying this) even if you don’t like it / disagree. Just sit back and enjoy it. Things can go great, and everybody’s happy.
unrelated reference stock photo of additional Scottish beer not mine
unrelated reference stock photo of drinking buddy not mine requesting belly scratch