January is all about resolutions and Rebecca over at The Bake and Brew has suggested that we all take a long hard look at the reasoning behind our beer preferences.
"How much is our taste or opinion of a craft beer affected by what friends and the craft beer community at large thinks?"
The Session #83
Against the Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grain
Or, why beer reviews are messing with my mind.
I recently did a tasting review of Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien in which I spill one of the world's most talked about Swiss beers all over the floor and compare it to fermenting socks.
No matter what my Ridiculous Co-host said, I was (drunk and) unable to find the redeeming complexity that made that beer so highly rated on the rate sites.
all my beer geek friends say it's the best beer ever...
What we now know, in hindsight of the filming, is that in my headstrong determination to enjoy the beer, even though I was more interested in singing christmas songs, was due to the fact that some where I had got the idea in my head that this beer was, "advanced."
Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien is one of those beers that one does not drink, one must experience.
You don't go springing this baby on a newbie craft beer drinker, oh nooo, waste of your time (and money, lots of money), this beer takes years of palate exercising. When a newbie does insist on sampling a bit, their nose gets all wrinkly and face mushes up, and thats when we are all supposed to lean back in our leather arm chairs and chuckle, "how cute, the new one can't appreciate the complexity of this fine heavenly liquid."
Like Glen from
I learned my lesson:
1. You can have too much of a good thing.
2. You may not be able to recognize said good thing.
3. Just because it's rare, expensive, and all your friends say it's the best thing ever does not mean you should get drunk and make a beertube review.
And some might add
4. A beer made with great attention deserves great attention.
But I haven't tried the beer again since this episode, so I still might think it a big ball of sweet & sour, tangy old socks. In a bad way.
Beer reviewing websites, as others have pointed out this month, are not the end-all word of what is top most in the world of beer. We'd have to first agree on what is the best beer style in the world. Literally impossible, because beer trends change daily, by region (according to google).
Read beer reviews, watch beer tube, get involved in discussions about what you like and why because you are more complex and well aged than any beer out there. No one can taste your taste.
This year's beer resolution: do more beer reviews! For you.