Monday, 6 April 2015
The Acquired Taste
My story on here is well known. I didn't start drinking beer until I was 24. Generally I was a cheap Chardonnay freak. Beer wasn't to my taste for various reasons. After a few four packs of Staropramen, I managed to get the taste for it, but it took a while.
It happened later to me than for most men of my generation. I was never there, but my guess is that most are invited out drinking by someone who already "has the taste", and drink and continue to drink because they assume it's what you have to do to Be A Man. And after that, they do it simply because they know it's what you do.
Very few people are of the personality that really "get into" beer. To most, it's a means to an end. It's just something you do to get pissed. It takes real effort to acquire a taste for beers like Imperial IPAs, Saison, strong Stouts and the like. Only someone of the "nerdy" persuasion would get the at far.
In fact, the emergence of such "nerd beers" into mainstream is nothing less than a perfect example of the acceptance of "nerd stuff" that there is these days.
Acquiring the taste for normal beer is one thing. It's more about fitting into the prevailing and, dare I say it, masculine drinking culture. The taste for the "interesting stuff" is quite another. I happen to be that kind of person, as likely are you if you're reading this.
The problem in the beer blogosphere is that it's a self-reinforcing feedback loop. Everyone is drinking and looking out for the same kind of beer, and it's easy to convince yourself that the crafty end of the spectrum is what's important and, more perniciously, what everybody should like.
There's no shame in enjoying what you like, but don't forget it may not be other people's experience. Ignore the mainstream at your peril.