Friday, April 16, 2010
THE 5 MOST BORING TOPICS IN BEER JOURNALISM
I understand there’s yet another new beer-themed glossy magazine called BEER CONNOISSEUR hitting the stands these days, and it’s one I’ve yet to pick up. Let’s hope they don’t run these hideously boring, overflogged beer stories into the ground the way the others have. Here they are for your groaning pleasure, The 5 Most Boring Topics in all of Beer Journalism:
1. “A tribute to craft brewing’s pioneers”. This is the most trite and stale of all beer magazine perennials. Everyone, but everyone, has penned their snore-inducing salute to Fritz Maytag or Jack McAuliffe or Jim Koch or that Sierra Nevada guy or the guy who started the Horse Brass Tavern or……OUCH. That was my head hitting the table. I swear I saw three of these articles just this month.
2. “Women brew beer, too”. Oh wow, that’s amazing. And some wear pink boots instead of black ones? Wow, that’s just like a girl, isn’t it? How can women brew beer when they can’t even vote? Oh wait, they’re allowed to vote now? Wait, you’re telling me they let them into the military these days? Well, shut my mouth. Maybe some of them even brew beer, too? Let’s write a 5-page piece on this phenomenon, just like every other magazine has!
3. “Cooking with beer”. Beer Advocate wastes four or more of their thin, scant pages every issue on recipes that no one ever cooks; recipes whose only unifying theme is that someone thinks they’ll be improved by mixing in a few ounces of beer into the kettle or pan. And it’s not just any beer – no, most specify that you need “1 bottle of Victory Hop Wallop” or “6 ounces of Lost Abbey Avant-Garde” in order to make the recipe a success - which I highly doubt. Other magazines have this as a running feature as well. Can we admit that no one except for gastronome alcoholics follow these?
4. “Budweiser, Miller and Coors are faceless corporations who don’t make beer that I like”. This is less an article/topic as it is an overplayed trope, one that shows up in countless articles and whinging about “Michelob Wheat” or “Budweiser Amber Bock” or anything that even remotely encroaches on craft beer’s precious territory. It just makes some people so……angry that the Bad Guys might try to mass-produce their swill in a form that might open up new markets – you know, like a profit-driven company might do. Honestly, why people pay any attention to these companies is beyond me.
5. “Beer is to be shared with friends”. This is a misty-eyed, maudlin staple of the columnists, who probably write these identical snoozer columns while drunk & alone at home. I can usually spot the retch-inducing, watery-eyed sentimentality in the column headline, but sometimes I’m fooled and my eyes travel down the page to a gagging pack of clichés about beer’s amazing ability to act as a social lubricant, how beer drinkers are the best damn group of humans on the planet, and honestly, if we’d all just grab a pint with our buddies more often, the planet would cool, war would end, and communities would be reborn. “Just as in Ireland, where the pub is actually the hub of social life in many towns”.
I recognize that I’m probably guilty of more than my share of hackneyed, clichéd writing – there’s no doubt that penning beer reviews can get a little, uh, samey after a while – yet I call upon the “beer journalists” of America and indeed the world to please retire each of these 5 topics, forthwith and immediately. Doing so will instantly elevate craft beer into Valhalla, and kill off the big evil beer corporations once and for all, upon whose grave you may dance while celebrating Fritz Maytag’s historic achievements.
Posted by Jay H. at 5:12 PM