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Embrace the murk? DO YOU EVEN PUB?

Shouting at Clouds...

Whilst a beer blogger from the outskirts of Manchester routinely grumbles about the quality and hubris of some of the paid beer content out there, a questionable old rag, which is now 50% free content and 50% pleas to stop reading their free content for free, produces beer articles that keep the masses coming back for more.

It would be besmirching to assume that the authors of the Guardian’s beer related articles sometimes write documents filled with mentions to sub-standard beers or even wrongly named beers just for clicks of outrage. Still, the Team Social Beer Media are always more likely to click on a paid beer article full of mistakes and bollocks. But there is a further reason we come back again and again to these free/not free articles; to drown ourselves in the tidal wave of human emotion that is the comments section.

That was never more beautifully presented than in the comments from this piece on the largest bandwagon of Beer’17 - to present beer as Pea Soup rather than, you know, beer. If you don’t get overly defensive about every person who doesn’t revere the marketing term Craft then I suggest you give it a read and enjoy yourself.

The reaction to the comments, rather than the article, amongst the Twitter Craft crowd was surprising because it contained elements of surprise. Some rather enjoyed the stubborn chained stances of some commentators; as the creator of newspaper comment sections always intended it.

Yet some were up-in-arms at the pure pomposity of certain members of the public who dared to print, in the birthplace of the technological troll, statements such as: 

They're for people who don't like beer. Alcopops, for yummy mummies.

A little haze is OK but if it looks like pond water it turns me off, particularly if its got water boatmen and whirligigs gyrating in it.

if this is the case the next day can only be blamed on a bad pie / kebab.

Over-hyped, over-priced tat missold to gullible people who are over-paid.

Get that cloudy rubbish off the bar and outta my face mate, cloudy beers? utter rank.

The clouding adds nothing but a potentially disturbed gut.

I want my real ale (not "craft beer" FFS) served by the pint from a hand powered beer engine, I want it clear unless it is a weissbier style and I want them to stop reducing the strength of all my favourite real ales but leaving the price the same.

More importantly why are craft beers so expensive? I prefer reasonably priced real ale myself.

I've tried dozens of these pretentious "craft beers", where they chuck in everything but the kitchen sink. Still haven't found one to beat a decent pint of draught bitter. 

I marvel at the idea that these comments come as a surprise to anybody who has ever willingly ordered a third of Pea Soup in a Tastemaster 3000. Do those that copy and paste the slogan Embrace the Murk into every internet beer forum think that it actually is universally accepted? Has the craft bubble lost extra soap to the point where those within have forgotten the existence of the regular pub drinker? And what is a Black IPA anyway?

For as long as we live in a progressive society then there are going to always be people who don’t believe in cloudy, hazy, murky or dank beer. If my own mother is still dismissive of the internet then imagine what it’s like telling a “Bitter” drinker that beer presented as supernatural ectoplasm is desirable. 

“They do good bitters.” What sort of bitters do they do?” “The bitters in there are superb.” "'Ere, I thought these bitters were supposed to be cheap." Oh you haven’t come across the throng of pub drinkers that still refer to all cask presented beer as bitter? You want to try a pub, mate.

There isn’t a single comment on that article that hasn’t been heard by any pub regular in the past 24 months, when stood in a traditional pub that has dared present a modern beer on its bar. When first reading the comments I was quite sure that they were written by the regulars in my local.

There’ll be talk of teaching old dogs new tricks. They’ll be anecdotes of those that have converted a drinker of 50 years into the sweeter, juicier and much much murkier side of beer. They’ll revel in these stories as though they are proof that everyone can be converted; that the hope and belief of sudden dramatic faith change will come with a simple knock on your doorstep.

Maybe those who didn’t get the comments only drink beer in the company of their laptop, fridge and a thousand like-minded Instagram followers, heartily laughing above their Teku glasses at the idea that people in public houses have drink preferences.

So far the only progress in my local is that the odd regular will look at a glass of hazy beer and then straight to me – rather than the staff – to ask “Is this okay?” Why? Because, even in a pub they should be able to trust, there is a belief that pubs will tell you anything to flog feculence. Those that don’t ask don’t want to, and just return it instantly. Embrace the murk as much as you want but you might want to spend some time in the bar area of the pub before you state surprise and mockery at those that haven’t yet.

Though, seriously... people who keep going on about "Bad Guts" in reference to non-clear beer need to stop. That's not a beer preference - that's just being a conspiracy theorist. RED HERRING.


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