Monday, November 23, 2009

Why Choose Just One...

...when you don't have to and, ultimately, don't want to.

Ever been asked that inevitable question, the one all beer aficionados dread being asked:
"What is your favorite beer?"

Our answer is usually along the lines of none of them and all of them at the same time. Why? The answer lies in the question which is in and of itself, the dilemma.

Take three standard loaves of white bread. If those were your only bread choices, it would be easy to have a favorite; after all, the only difference is in the brand-name packaging. If the loaves were switched unawares, you would never know. Taste wise, they are all the same.

Enter macro light lager. All the big brewers have fancy names, fancy, packaging, and millions of dollars with which to drown us in their brand-name advertising. The only difference between their beers are the names, packaging, and advertising. If they were switched unawares, you would never know. Taste wise, they are all the same.

On the other hand, a beer aficionado faces a different sort of taste situation: diversity.

The reason we can't choose a favorite is because we don't have to, most importantly, and consequently, don't want to. Whether local, out-of-state, or halfway round the world, our beerverse is truly limitless. This is reflected in the ever growing variety of beer styles, flavors, and the expanding palates who enjoy them. There will always be a few duds in the mix, but otherwise it truly is all good. What we drink and enjoy relies as much on the where, when, why, and how as much as the brewer, the beer, and the drinker. Ultimately, the proof is in the beer itself.

And so the beer aficionado, myself included, resolutely and proudly declare with a long pause, lopsided grin, and thirsty gleam in our eye that we have no favorite because we have no need to differentiate our beer amidst a sea of homogenized sameness. Instead, our beer rides tall and true upon a shimmering sea of adventure, kept company by thousands of other such ships of their own fabulously eclectic design.

(an original work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

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