What’s That They Say About Opinions and a Body Part?

24 Oct

Hi there blog.  Remember me?  I don’t blame you if you’ve moved on, I’ve been pretty shitty to you over the past year or so.  And I make no promises that I have changed.  I might bounce in and out of your life like that one ex that we all hate.  You always accept them back with open arms but they are just going to continue to always do what they do to you.  At least I’m being honest right?  Well, now that we have that awkward moment out of the way let’s get down to business.

I have never been one to shy away from calling people out for things that I just don’t agree with.  If it’s shady business practices or self entitled attitudes I do it.  They won’t learn unless people lay it out for them right?  Well there is something that I am seeing more and more and it is really getting on my nerves.  So I am here to bitch about it.  You folks have some time for this long lost beer blogger?

Let me start by saying that I know craft beer is subjective.  People’s tastes are going to be different from one person to another.  I also am aware of the saying that you can’t please all of the people all of the time.  Again we aren’t cookie cutter molds of one and other, we are each different.  But what I hate is when someone tries to force their opinion on another without that secondary person having any knowledge and/or experience of the subject.

All too often in the craft beer community I see people saying something like the following:

You haven’t tried X breweries beers?  I don’t like them, so don’t bother.

Now I don’t want to feel insulting but a lot of people are impressionable.  A statement like that can really alter one’s perception of said brewery without them even having a first hand experience.  Makes it even worse sometimes is when the first person follows up a statement like that with this gem.

But beer is subjective, so….

So….you are just being a dick?  When you do this you are just being mean for no reason other than you want your opinion known.  I see this way too often in forum threads on beer sites where out-of-towners are asking for recommendations as to where they should visit when in town.

Things will start off fine with people throwing out breweries and bars and stores.  Then there is always someone that will chime in with nothing of substance to add.  It will usually be something like this.

I agree with X and Y but Z is nothing special.  Don’t bother.

You had absolutely no place in the conversation.  You added nothing new to it, you simply agreed with what someone else already stated.  And then you are just being a dick by then disagreeing with someone else just because your tastes.

Yes I have experienced this with people referring to Due South and yes it really bugs me.  I’ve had to once have a discussion with one person that did something very similar.  Even stranger was that they guy comes into the brewery and is a member of our customer club.  But I explained that statements like that have the potential to really prevent a person from having an experience that they may wholeheartedly enjoy.  You don’t know that person’s taste (because it’s subjective) and they may love some of our beers.  Just because something we make doesn’t tickle your fancy doesn’t mean it doesn’t others.  And shame on you for trying to take away that experience from a person when they have no point of reference in the matter.

Secondly is we and most likely 99% of breweries that get these sort of statements hurled at them don’t make bad beers.  We may make beers that some people won’t like but we certainly don’t make bad ones.  If we mad bad beers we probably wouldn’t be in business.  Our tasting rooms would be empty and no accounts would be buying kegs if our product was crap.

Which lastly brings me to this sort of things is just mean as fuck.  If I didn’t know any better I would think that a lot of these people are trolling and doing it on purpose just to get a negative response.  But I don’t think that most beer geeks are trolls.  It’s as if people don’t take that statement that most parents taught kids when they were little.  If you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all.

You want to talk about the places you like and enjoy, awesome, preach to the mountain tops (or in Florida to the landfill tops).  But just jumping in and saying something negative about a brewery, just because your taste buds don’t care for some of their products is egotistical.  Unless someone from that brewery knocked on your door, kicked you and every male in your household in the coin purse and then proceeded to urinate on your lawn I don’t think you really have any reason to be so negative towards a brewery.

If you don’t like their products that’s fine, you don’t have to support them.  But you don’t have to go out of your way to let people know that.  Just keep it to yourself.  Again your negativity may rub off on someone else and prevent them from going somewhere or trying something that they may very much have enjoyed.

And look I’m not claiming to be a saint either.  You can look back at a number of my old reviews and find little quips that I wrote that may look like something I am bashing now.  But working in this industry has certainly humbled me to that extent and I figured why not pass along some good knowledge.  I don’t like being a Scrooge that is always complaining about what grinds my gears.  Shit, it’s not like I make a living off of that.  I complain because I want people to be nicer and just enjoy life, let alone craft beer.  I really believe we only have one life, and it’s a ridiculously short one at that, so why waste your time being mean and being a dick and just enjoy.

How to Get a Job in Craft Beer in 201 Not So Easy Steps

26 Jun

It’s not uncommon to have a bunch of things on your mind.  Some are just so powerful and so bothersome that they just seem to consume your life.  They drag you down and always let you know they are there.  Even when things go right they just seem to keep coming at you.  But I’m persistent or maybe just stubborn.  I keep powering through.  Eventually you do make it past and you can get out of the funk.  And for me I am finally out of it.

For what feels like months I have just not been myself.  I lost my concentration with this site and just couldn’t think of things to write about.  I lost the desire to even do simple things with my friends that I used to love doing.  Work began affecting my personal life in ways that it never should.  I needed change.

So I stopped writing and just thought, not putting anything really down.  I took time off from work but at the same time kept working.  I worked on myself and my situation.  I went into Due South Brewing, where I bar tend one day a week, and started just helping with whatever I could.  I stirred a mash.  I cleaned kegs.  I filled kegs.  I moved them all over a building.  I sanitized fermenters and brites.

I felt two things after those days.  One was a soreness in my body that I haven’t felt in years and the other was pride of a hard, honest days work.  I felt like I contributed towards something.  I contributed towards a product I believe in.  I have felt pride towards my work before but something about this was different.  It felt new and quite good.

That brings me to this past Sunday, sitting at a bar after over lunch.  I find that the hard work, the determination and the never give up attitude finally paid off.  I was offered a job, full time, at Due South Brewing.  Just like that my bummed feelings were gone faster than Penn Jillette on Dancing with the Stars (sorry Penn I do love you).

I thank all of my family, friends and readers for their continued support of me.  You all helped me keep fighting to achieve this goal in my life.  And thanks to Mike and Jodi at Due South for seeing the potential in me.

So what does this all mean for MikeLovesBeer.com?  To be honest, I don’t know.  And I’m okay with that.  I probably will never get as active as I once was but I won’t give this up just yet.  I will try my best to keep bringing you the going ons in South Florida craft beer along with the occasional rant.  I know you love those.

So again thanks all and on to another new chapter in my life.

4 Years of Doing This

8 Jun

I just realized late last week that I was coming up on 4 years of doing this blog.  June 3rd is the official anniversary date as it dates the first actual post.  What a 4 years it has been.

The blog has evolved greatly over this time from mostly beer reviews to including bar reviews.  Then it changed even more with the change in beer scene in South Florida.  I began telling you all about local beer events coming up that I thought you should attend.  I even let my opinion be known very much in depth on a few occasions.

This whole thing has been an experience that I cherish in my life.  As a kid I really enjoyed writing and never in my wildest dreams would I think that I would write on a regular basis and have people read me.  I’ve compiled 793 posts (this being the 794th) in this time.  I’ve been published in a magazine.  I’ve been recognized by other publications.  Again, things I never thought would happen and honestly never really cared.  This was fun to me, as I think the beer community should be.  Those that take things way too seriously need to take a step back and look at exactly what we are doing.  We are drinking beer.

Yes there are those that work in the industry and you might say that you should take your job seriously.  I can agree to a certain point but when the topic is fun you need to be a little more relaxed in those views.  Look at sports figures.  That is their jobs and they play games.  Games that are supposed to be fun.  Once you lose sight of the fact that your job is fun I believe people need to take serious considerations if they are in the right field.

So with that some thanks are in store.  Thank you to my parents for not thinking I was a raging, alcoholic redneck when I started this thing.  I was bringing plenty of beers home, snapping pictures and taking notes on these things as if I were a scientist looking for a cure for cancer.

Thanks to my friend Chris with whom I was doing a good amount of reviews with at the start of this thing.  I still remember a number that we tried and thought were awful that I can now say that I have enjoyed on numerous occasions.

Thanks to Chung and Melinda from Coffee District in Delray Beach as they were the first beer bar that I discovered.  When I searched the internet for places that served these enchanting beverages CD was one of the first to pop up.  While it didn’t look like the typical dingy dive bar I like to patron I quickly grew to love it and still call it my favorite watering hole.

Thanks to Phil for helping me take my obsession with these vices even further into a podcast.  His beer blog helped me really tune into the fun in this community.

Thanks to all my friends and family whom I just can’t list here.  You drive me.  I can’t say whether you drive me towards insanity or towards inspiration sometimes but you all certainly drive me.

Thank you to all the breweries and brewpubs in South Florida for making beers that I can consume to make me forget that I am in South Florida.  Funky Buddha, Due South, Tequesta, Brewzzi, Big Bear, Native, Inlet, Holy Mackerel, Kelly’s — you all are incredible for what you do.

And lastly thank you to you, the readers.  Sometimes I try my best to not care but honestly it brings a smile to my face to know that someone actually reads this blog outside of those that I know personally and finds it helpful.

So here’s to all of you for helping making these 4 years special.  Here’s to a few more.  I know I’ve been taking a break lately but I promise to be back soon.  I’m even thinking about starting to pen something a little longer.  Oh, hints?  With that, thank you again and I leave you with a few of my favorite quotes that I always think of when it comes to beer.

It has been my experience that folks with no vices have few virtues.
- Abraham Lincoln

Cheap booze is a false economy.
- Christopher Hitchens

I feel sorry for those who don’t drink.  When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.
- Frank Sinatra

People say that drunkenness leads to bad ideas. I sometimes think my soberness hinders my great ideas.
- Me (had to throw that in there)