First newspaper column post of 2017--went a little retro here--a few Chinese Proverbs/Idioms to look at what's happening with some of the craft scenario--especially with newbies/ curious drinkers...
It basically means someone who endured hardship/bitterness trying to achieve something would eventually taste the fruits of their labour/sweetness of success...
To use such "motivating" phrase for beer tasting is a little playful but it also kinda reflect the very real scenario happening all over any craft beer places in the world when first time drinker/very new newbies trying out beers heavily influenced by use of HOPS.
喝惯普通大厂啤酒的大多数人不会知道啤酒花（HOPS）是什么一回事，第一次接触craftbeer，无论是易喝的Pilsner或Pale Ale 都会感受到啤酒花作用，有人会说“比一般大厂啤酒香”，再来"好像有点苦"，当然，要是喝IPA的话，会第一口就"好苦"。
The truth is --majority of so called beer drinkers/beer lovers who just gulp on their big factory monotonous-lager have NOT A CLUE WHAT HOPS is.
It is so common to hear cries of "bitter" "too bitter" "yakks" when new people have their first sip of "bitter beers"--it can be a American Pale Ale, even a hopped up version of Pilsner--and if it's an IPA--expect all hell to break loose in that poor guy/girl's palate...
But all of us who've been through that initial "palate shake" would know--that so called bitterness is just very initial reaction of the poorly advised palate( first pounded by big beer commercial ad campaign/then dull senseless by the tasteless actual brew)
If you think craft beer is bitter--that's very likely not true--it's only a temporary stage where your palate is still raw/green/uninformed or misled--you will eventually taste the "sweetness" of beers you once considered too bitter to swallow--if you keep trying the right beers and varieties in the WWW of craft beer.
This is quite an ancient story--when a bad guy try to be king himself--to find out which are the guys on his side--he brought a DEER to the palace and showed the young king--pointing to the deer saying its a HORSE....
so what has deer or horse got to do with craft beer?
It's simple--as we live in a quick finger world now--anyone and everyone can just post on social media whatever crap it might be whenever they like--or dislike a certain beer.
“CRAFT BEER 又贵又不好喝，喝啤酒罢了嘛，还是大厂啤酒便宜好喝。”
The point is--it's all right to say anything you like/might among friends--but once comments is on social media--and it's a wrong one or misguided one or simply brainless one--then it affects the craft community, however small it might be.
how many times have we seen/heard these:-
"ohh--so bitter--why people like IPA?"
"stout is like drinking chinese herbs--so thick and bitter"
"craft beer is expensive and weird--i prefer my usual big factory lager"
"mead is brewed with Honey? ohh...cannot--must be sweet til die"
Those words--some came from people who have actually took a few sip or drank a glass--some came from people who NEVER had it but only assuming or from hearsay.
举一个实际发生例子，之前在一个美国啤酒论坛内看到几个人因为对某支啤酒意见不同，在FB对上了，其中一句话是这样的 "当你像我那样喝过超过4万各种不同类别啤酒之後，那时才来讨论吧。" 当然，这句话可能是炫耀，夸大或气话，虽然喝的多不代表一定懂的比较多，不过，肯定会比只粗略或好奇喝过三五瓶就随便下定论的人懂得多。
The problem with these group of newbies/curious drinkers or "opinion leaders" is that--what they are saying or commenting on social media is NOT THE TRUTH--it's almost like pointing to a deer and saying it's a horse.
These people should learn how to calm down--not trigger happy on social media--learn how to appreciate varieties of beers--get to the basic of things--and just enjoy the "palate shake" process--because palate training is needed to better the appreciation level--and that's NOT a process where any amount of reading up on internet or books can replace--you need to drink and taste and feel--that's the best way to train up palate( though reading can help but only so much if you don't actually drink).
Remember--the next time when you "think" a certain beer style is not for you , or a certain beer would taste wrong--don't say it loud on social media--go have a few taste first --then sip it again say a year or two later--see what your palate tell you....
Which bring us to this old saying--"one can always find something new in an old subject matter/otherwise very familiar matter".
Personally i find this quite interesting--the same beer--drink it now and few years ago/ few years later can taste vastly different( not because of brewing changes--strictly about palate matter only)--or it would still taste familiar, with maybe some new nuances to be discovered.
It is quite humbling to find out certain beers taste much better than when first tasted--due to lack of knowledge/appreciation level/ untrained palate or simply being ignorant.
At the same time feeling funny/slightly embarrassed to think so highly of certain beers drank in early days--"ohh--that's the fxxking best IPA i ever had"--and then you discover the level of beers like Focal Banger or Pilny the Elder( just saying)
What would be some of the beers you felt horrible at first but tasting so good now? and some which you thought so highly/heavenly of that it's "down to earth" now( i kinda wanted to say down the drain:)....