Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Good luck with that

A. Look at these poor oppressed Germans suffering under the Purity Law. The poor things have never tasted a Vanilla IPA or a Pumpkin Ale.

B. Despair not! Beer geeks are here to show you the way to the brave new world. Don't all rush at once. Join us in a gloomy tent and sip soapy beer from plastic cups. This could be your future, if you dare. Come on then, what are you waiting for?


  1. Meh!

    You've taken a (pretty bad!) photo out of context. As these things go, I think this was a nice little piss-up arranged by a small brewery that seems to make interesting beers, along with a handful of other small breweries that are doing something outside the norm for German beers (as well as a few who were completely in line with the other couple of thousand breweries). I had a grand auld time with the locals! More power to them!

  2. Oh, I meant to take it out of context. I don't want to pick on Festival der Bierkulturen (or I would have linked to your post), as you have assured us it was great and mostly free from twattery. I do want to have a go at beer geekery in general; it's very damaging to the renaissance of American beer culture and I don't think it has anything positive to offer in Germany.

    In an odd mirror-image of the hollow pledging of allegiance to the Reinheitsgebot practised by (the marketing departments of) major breweries, there seems to be a school of thought developing who have also made a fetish of violating the Reinheitsgebot and think that weird experimental beers are the way to break the stranglehold of the mass-market "TV-Beers". I think they are deeply mistaken and the Reinheitsgebot is actually a massive red herring. Localism, ecology, taste are what will get people drinking better beer.

    If I am tilting at windmills and there is actually nobody who really thinks like this, so much the better.

  3. You have point when it comes to extreme geekery. I'm not sure there's some sort of movement developing here in Germany that purposely sets out to violate the gebot though. I get the sense there's a handful who are, but not as the primary goal, rather they're doing something a little different because of the taste. Sometimes this breaks the holy law, but in stupidly subtle ways, like using spelt in a bottom fermenting beer, which breaks it, when if it was top fermenting it'd be ok. WTF? Not exactly weirdly experimental, so why do it? I guess they thought it might taste nice.

    Anyway, That these happen to be small breweries with a limited sphere of influence, mostly brewing for the local area fits nicely in with your model. I like that too, and most of what I drink when not being geeky about it is local (Pinkus Müller). Actually, some of the guys I was talking to said that's what's important to most Germans. Not sure I see that playing out in reality, but I like the sentiment.