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I don’t often wade in to the* ‘debate’ side of things when it comes to Beer blogging. This may surprise some folk, but the only reason is genuinely because TGS is about discussing Beer and Food in the main, and I’d like to keep it that way. Those that know me will know that when huddled over pints in pubs, I’ll happily throw my opinion around about issues, breweries and people and *- well – talk about things. You know, like we used to before this whole blogging thing kicked off.
However, two posts this week (and one from a little while ago), really put things into perspective for me – hence this post as some kind of a response to that. Plus, no-one wants to read all this in a comment.
‘Choice, I Repeat, Is Good’
Tandleman’s excellent post from today goes some way to smoothing relations between – at times it seems like – CAMRA and everyone else. I think it’s one of the best things Tandleman’s written, as for me it comes across as having a bigger scope in what it’s saying than some previous ones. The key phrase is ‘Choice is Good’ – he’s right, of course he is. After all, that’s all we want, isn’t it? Choice? In everything – setting, dispense, flavour. I understand that CAMRA’s role is not to push Keg. I understand the reasons behind CAMRA’s inception. And it’s really ok with me. I’m a member, and a ‘Noisome Blogger’, too. There are many of us. Maybe changes are afoot – and that’s good to hear. It’s always good to hear. Craft Beer bars are not to be feared. Put the pitchforks down -we can live in harmony.
The Internet Lens Distorts
My biggest bugbear with *- and the internet has a lot to do with this – the disparity in the Cask/Keg debate is that it can often seem too petty. Too much about age, demographic, fear and a lack of info. I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who feels, at times, a little patronized. You write about expensive, ‘faddy’ beers only. Untrue. You only drink £5 – a -pint uber-Keg and imported beers from Botswana. Untrue. Again, those that know me (or us, if you feel the same way) will know that we drink *- gasp – the same as you. You only drink beer to serve alongside Quasi-Gourmet dining. Not true.
Really, bloggers do drink a hell of a lot of beer (some would say too much) ; but *maybe we don’t blog about everything we drink. Well, I don’t *- as I mentioned before, it’s not the aim of blog. And plus – it would be boring. Promotion of Real Ale in Keg, Cask, Bottle and Can is the point. Why? Well, if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it – which is the entire point of CAMRA. This was summed up succinctly and emotively by Zak – a man who has insight from both sides of the till – here. Isn’t that *- supporting independence in business, creativity and rewarding excellence – why we do it? Isn’t trying to get more people the same way why we do it?
If It Makes You Happy
If you want to re-tweet your local’s opening hours every day then do – if one person a week finds that useful, then you’ve done your job. If you don’t like it, turn it off (or, as I have done countless times, unfollow). If someone posts up nothing but pictures of expensive bottles of beer next to £20 Burger platters, then do. If someone wants to simply write up every beer they’ve had for 365 days – no matter what it is – then do.
There’s a hell of a lot of Blogs out there, some good, some bad – but if we could all at least try and remember why we do it – and not reduce ourselves to squabbling amongst each other – then that would be a great start to 2012 for me. Wheat will be sorted from Chaff…eventually. I know ‘discourse’ is not the same as ‘Squabbling’ *- but there’s a fine line between them sometimes.
Finally, Boak and Bailey’s post yesterday about ‘The Thin End of The Wedge‘ was brilliant – light-hearted, sure, but I agree with a lot of it. Maybe I’m making light of things, but I do. Maybe I’m looking at things too simply – I do that, often. I guess I’m only indirectly talking about Cask vs Keg, CAMRA vs Bloggers, Independent Shopping against Convenience. I’m talking about working with each other.
Normal Service will be resumed shortly!