Saturday, March 3, 2018

WEEK 124---Talking Bad about Craft Beer

It's been said many times over--craft beer is basically a minority game--if you put it in the BEER consumer market context--and while geeks would rave about all the differences drinking craft would make or perhaps one day saving the world--there's also some opinions out there about the act of craft drinking or what craft beer is in the eyes of non-geeks:-
1) craft drinking is just for hipster/wannabe
to many, beer drinking is a no-brainer--just pick up a bottle/glass of ice-cold beer, gulp it down, that's all---the act of sniffing a beer before drinking--taking "serious" beer bottle pictures before drinking--or talking about changes of beer taste/flavours profile with changing temperature from first serving is weird--what's the fuss? why complicate the perfectly simple act of beer drinking?
For majority non-craft drinkers to have those impressions is quite understandable, the need for appreciation of taste/ flavours/ changes/choices when drinking a beer is what majority BEER drinkers don't understand in the first place--and there's not much the craft loving community can do except to try and influence/ introduce /educate the public whenever the right timing arises, making more non-craft drinkers to become one of the craft loving weirdos would be the best answer....

的确,啤酒市场最多人知道,会自动买来喝的一定是大厂啤酒,除了财力人力堆砌而成的商业运作因素使然,最直接解释是,喝啤酒一向被认为是简单不过,随手拿起就喝的事情,一来到不同类别风格繁多,讲究细味品尝,进而需要一个味蕾鉴赏力训练过程的全新啤酒世界,很多人会觉得陌生,人对不熟悉事物不是好奇就是先有抗拒感,面对这样的消费者心理因素,加上小量酿造,供应有限,甚至有钱买不到等特色因素,注定了Craft 只能是市场上的小众,也意味着懂得喝Craft为什么需要一些讲究的消费者是绝对少数。
2) craft can make you go nuts
This is true, just like anyone who is deeply fascinated with anything--be it photography, mountain climbing, marathon running, scuba diving or say collecting of coins/stamps or whatever--craft beer loving can be a no end in sight black hole, once in,  there's every chances of going nuts(though geeks would gladly add "in a very nice way").
It's true, many can't understand the act of some geeks who would specifically plan trips with certain beer festivals/happenings or specific beer places overseas, or the act of going through the hassle to fly in/mail in beers/mead from overseas .....
Craft 会让人变傻

Craft 的世界,很多不同城市都有超级啤迷,对这些人来说,这意味着无止境的追逐不同类别风格品牌啤酒,会向海外寻求自己所在城市没正式供应的限量难寻啤酒,将旅游计划地点特意跟啤酒庆典或一些心目中渴望到访专卖吧所在地绑在一起,就像所有发烧友一样,超级啤迷对Craft 的热爱不是一般消费者能理解,花钱时间精力就只为了满足味蕾的好奇,这是个一头栽进去就很难回头的无底黑洞,但这些人都傻傻的甘之如饴。
3) that many varieties/different labels is just a gimmick to sell more
Let's get one thing clear first---it is common knowledge MACRO BEER only produce a few core line products--it's very straight forward--it's easy to remember--it's mostly either lager or stouts--no drama no confusion.
But things are very very different in the world of craft beer--there's thousands and thousands of different labeling coming from different breweries--there's all sorts of beer styles to choose from--and yes--it's quite confusing--intimidating even to many non-craft drinkers/newbies.
CHOICES is what makes craft drinking fun--for those who understand beer drinking need choices--and obviously there's 2 side to a coin--the view by some that the seemingly endless varieties/new labels/new brew coming out of some breweries is probably more gimmicky than the others--with the aim of trying to sell more beers or simply trying to grab attentions....
Whatever the intention might be from some breweries--and the fact that more choices don't always equals to more high quality brew--this is still something geeks would not mind--end of the day--breweries can introduce as many varieties of styles OR same style but endless new labels/with new twist as they like--the craft community will response accordingly--basing on quality of the brew---that's what really matters--no amount of gimmick can do more than what it's worth.

Craft 有很多不同酿坊,有很多喜欢玩实验的酿酒师是这个啤酒世界的特色,至于说同一个酿坊出很多不同类别风格/包装啤酒是酿酒师在玩创意还是酿坊有意行之的市场营销手段,说起来还真的有点鸡和鸡蛋,很难断定什么跟什么,不过,可以确定的是,无论是花多眼乱还是只专注酿造几款主力啤酒,啤酒的水准/可饮性,啤迷的认可与否,都跟包装没太大关系,只有啤酒自身的实力展现才是关键。
4) craft beer is just some nasty tasting crappy brew
The most intriguing part of craft drinking is Choices---but looking from the other side of the coin--that would also mean another thing--that NOT all craft beers are of the same standards/quality--meaning the chances of drinkers(regardless newbies or geeks) bumping into a badly brewed/below average beer is always there--it's part and parcel of craft drinking jourmey--bad beer is out there--you just have to find out for yourself what's good and what's bad.

Another scenario where beer can taste awful to some would be a totally different scenario- if we take into consideration that Majority consumers are non-craft drinkers---then its obvious there's a palate/beer styles appreciation level issue--meaning not all drinkers can particularly appreciate a certain style/ a particular beer even though that beer is perfectly brewed/highly regarded--it's true a certain period of time is needed for newbies to venture into the big wide world of craft beer--try out different styles--train up the palate to differentiate awesome brew from awful ones--hence, at times if you think a particular beer is out of the world good or too awful for a second or third sip--that could all be down to individual appreciation level---try revisit the same beer after 18 months or longer(provided you do try out many different styles/breweries beers and most importantly seek out some benchmark beers during this period of time) and see what you think of that same beer.
同样道理,Craft的市场供应中,有一些酿坊酿酒师敢敢拿出来卖的啤酒是低水准不入流的,因为Craft 在啤酒消费市场的认知不高,一般消费者很多时候并不具备分析啤酒水准高低能力,或者说,根本不理或不知道啤酒需要品味这件事,就那样,什么狗屁啤酒也有人拿出来卖,有喝到真正难喝啤酒而觉得原来Craft只是狗屁。不过,话说回来,因为味道层次不同风味选择实在是跟一般人喝惯的大厂啤酒差很多,也有情况是有些新朋友还不能领会一些特定风格啤酒的风味,所以就算喝到真正高水准很好喝的也会觉得难喝得很,这两者之间是有很大差别的,一个是因为啤酒素质很狗屁,另一个则是喝的人本身味蕾鉴赏力还不具备一定水平,因为那样,听人说Craft或某种类型风格啤酒或某一支啤酒只是狗屁的时候,不要照单全收,只有自己喝过/跟啤迷朋友交流过才能知道一二。
听起来点复杂? 其实不会,如果你是有心想继续品尝Craft新朋友,不必在意喝到难喝或不对味啤酒,累积一定程度品饮经验中学习後就会了解什么是好喝,什么是狗屁。

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