A beer drinker’s manifesto

By BeertownNZ Thu, 02 Jun 2016 National

It’s easy to take beer for granted.

It’s easier and easier to find good beer. Brewers are continually experimenting, but also finding it harder to stand out from the crowd. While craft beer is booming it’s easy to forget beer has a long history. Beer is a social drink with a tradition of bringing people together. So here’s a bunch of reasons why we shouldn’t take good beer for granted.

Beer is the original social medium

Discussing an issue face-to-face over a beer is an excellent communication medium. The bandwidth is huge, the response is instant. It is an especially effective tool for discovering common ground and resolving differences. If you have the opportunity, share a beer with someone before criticising their beliefs. If you don’t find common ground and resolve your differences, then at least you’ve had a beer.

Beer is a luxury product

Never complain that beer isn’t cheap. It takes a hell of a lot of effort to fill your beer glass. Malt and hop farmers, maltsters, brewers, transporters, retailers, bar staff, the person who makes the bottle top… That’s a lot of people and labour and skill. You don’t need beer, and if you think it’s too expensive then simply don’t buy it.

Beer is a special occasion

For much of its history, beer’s main role has been to provide hydration and nutrition. When we have easy access to water and food, beer’s been used as an alcohol delivery mechanism. Now, for many of us, it’s a way to deliver flavour and aroma experiences that no other food or beverage can achieve. The alcohol, water and carbonation in beer limit how much we can consume, and limit those flavour experiences. Savour your beer, enjoy the experience, and stop before you make a fool of yourself.

Beer doesn’t care who you are

Beer is made all over the world, and most cuisines include a drink made with fermented grains, even in nations that generally shun alcohol. It’s made by people of all nationalities, by women, by men, in massive factories and in small batches. So the nationality, gender, sexual preferences, eye colour and other personal details of the person making, serving or judging your beer are irrelevant. Beer doesn’t care and neither should you.

Beer will not make you a better person

Good people enjoy good beer. So does everyone else, and that’s why a person’s taste in beer is not a measure of their character. Your beer knowledge, taste and history do not make you a better person. Never think less of someone who doesn’t share your tastes – it’s only beer after all.


Martin Craig

By BeertownNZ Thu, 02 Jun 2016 National