Blah, blah, blah- new year....blah, blah, blah....
So- hey kids! My 2009 didn't end as well as I hoped, but it did see my beer consumption drop by 95 percent, facilitated a weight loss of 30 lbs. and welcomed a sober holiday season.
(I know- I can't believe that shit either- but it's true)
My beer resolutions are simple and I think I'll keep them to myself for now, but here are the resolutions you folks should be taking on for 2010.
Don't be a beer douche bag-
Instead if name dropping beer names/brands on people who have no idea what you're talking about, try to relate to them and wedge beer style education into the mix.
I am not impressed with a person that talks of Racer Five IPA.
I am impressed with a person that knows Racer X IPA, and has an ability to differentiate between the two. (never head of Racer X have you?)
Education is paramount and conversations should always be geared with you either having walked away with more beer knowledge or having educated (to any extent)someone with less experience. This keeps the beer world moving round and round. I can get into beer conversations anywhere- and although I usually do the bulk of the teaching it is equally satisfying to have learned something new myself. And anybody that can talk about beer can be a friend of mine. It's just good social politics.
The best thing you can do for yourself from a drinking standpoint is to understand why these beer products even exist.
Beer is a proven anthropological propellant. it is a social lubricant as well. It is artistry in a bottle.
Wine making has the concept of "Terroir"- don't make me explain it, just google it. It pretty much means serendipity for vinters.
Brewing has a much more complex profile simply because it is not made by serendipity, but by the hand of man- with intention and purposefulness. The vinter is much like a cook heating up a can of soup. The brewer is an artist drawing upon an almost innumerable amount of variables to create an ideal beverage.
There are more beer styles than wine styles. (this is very true)
While there may be wine blending- beer constantly berths new styles and experiments with rules and even goes "retro" more often than not.
This isn't a liquid meant for slurping- it is something to be taken seriously and enjoyed just as life should be fully enjoyed. Also, much in the same way breasts should also be enjoyed. (this is especially true)
Shop for good beer at good small businesses. There are tons of mom and pop stores that offer a variety of craft brews. Please spend your money there and keep the cash local. Be wary of elitist small businesses that may only offer beer to supplement sagging wine sales. (this does not help good people- but instead fuels opportunists that more than likely are gouging prices anyhow) A good rule of thumb is an ability to ask questions about the craft beer and have them answered thoroughly by the retailer.
Anything else is a travesty of the three tier system and merely a good ol' fashioned conservative wallet rape!!!!
DO NOT TRUST ELITIST ESTABLISHMENTS THAT OFFER NO EDUCATION OR ASSISTANCE WITH THE PURCHASE OF CRAFT BEER PRODUCTS OTHER THAN THE POINT OF SALE ASSISTANCE IN TAKING YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY!!!!!
Brewers are passionate people and it would be wrong of me to recommend that you take all that hard work into account without also requiring that the place you obtain the products from is also in line with the same ideals/ethics as previously described in the process of making/drinking good beer.
These are some pretty decent resolutions anyone can make at any level.
Just remember to drink well and be well.