Thursday, November 13, 2014

Beer... and "Beer"

There is a monumental divide between what Americans take and consider to be "Craft Beer" and what that term designates to the rest of the world. Now for a long time I've considered myself to be a beer lover but never a beer snob, someone who appreciates a well crafted brew but will never look down on my less educated bretheren. Australia has changed all that for me. I am now an international beer snob of the worst sort and I don't see it changing anytime soon. I've already written on the way the majority of the beer in this country is watered down lagers but I was keen to at least believe that the "Craft Beer" here would hold at least a small place of reverence next to its watery brothers. So far I have been gravely mistaken. 

I've mentioned to numerous people that Australia is about 10 years behind the craft beer revolution, maybe even less is Westernized cities with free thinking people like Melbourne where I currently reside. After careful consideration I have to ammend this first thought and say Melbourne, Sydney, hell everywhere in Australia is at the infancy of craft beer. This is Sierra Nevada in the early 1980's nothing else around so anything even passing as mediocre is considered world class. The mind boggling thing about this is that people don't seem to realize it. People here LOVE BEER... like a lot, but not enough to realize that they should be expecting so much more from their brews, and with costs so high its impossible to create a competitive import (for example a Founders Imperial Stout at the bar I'm writing this at is $20... for a 12oz bottle).

So what's wrong with this picture? This seems to be the perfect place for Craft Beer to thrive, people here love it, they are passionate about it, but they can't seem to understand the difference between mediocre and exceptional. And this again is not me trying to be a beer snob, I've tried to like it, tried to branch out... not  a single beer here I've tasted would rank in my top 250. But again what boggles my mind is that people here defend it (my bartender just told me she think Oz beer is the best in the world... it took everything I had not to call her fucking crazy and tell her shes obviously only tried Oz beer). I've had conversations here with people from around the world about where has the best beer, usually the argument comes down to Belgium. I had one particularly heated argument with a Dutch guy where I googled "Top Ten Best Beers in the World", a website popped up from Beer Advocate in which 8 of the 10 were American and number one was Belgian. He saw this as a point to say he was right and I came up with an analogy everyone in Australia could understand. 

**If Kelly Slater is the best surfer in the world (he's from the US incase you're retarded) but the other 9 out of 10 best surfers in the world are from Australia, then the best surfer in the world is American, but the best SURFERS (plural) are from Australia.**

I considered this a flawless victory for my argument, he countered with saying that Beer Advocate was obviously an American website so it couldnt be trusted anyway, and then later went on to defend Amstel Light as a great beer (so obviously his argument was null and void). 

Back to Australia. What is the point of all of this? Mostly I hope that Oz gets their shit together. Right now they are basically the Cleveland Browns of the beer industry (die hard fans but put out a product thats subpar to say the least... this is still assuming the Browns suck at their regular level I haven't kept up but I think you get the idea). As a whole Australia could be and probably should be one of the best places to consume beer in the entire world. Let me rephrase... it's definitely one of the best places to consume beer... it should be one of the best places to consume true "Craft Beer" where people are enthusiastic and have something worth bragging about. Until then I'll continue to drink the piss (they say that here though its rather appropriate), to get pissed, and hope for a brighter tomorrow. 

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