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

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.

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