Preamble for beginners:1 The Session is a long-running monthly collaborative blog-thing wherein diverse people muse over a certain predetermined topic. Despite reading a possibly-unhealthy amount of beer-related writings,2 I’ve never joined in before, but was moved to do so when invited / challenged by James Davidson (of Beer Bar Band), to make a pithy (i.e., short) ‘elevator pitch’ for better beer.
The four word version of my answer came to me immediately, but I’m entitled to a somewhat-roomier 250, so I might as well use them. I’m looking forward to seeing what else people come up with today, but for what it’s worth, here’s me:
Be Your Damn Self
It all comes down to that.3 And it doesn’t matter whether you’re in the elevator talking to a consumer, producer, commentator, or — let’s face it — yourself.
Drink what you like, how you like.4 Be open to new things, but an informed and tested preference is unimpeachable — and you should assert it. Don’t be cowed by fashion or peer pressure or the tragic one-way-street of ‘brand loyalty’. Sensory experiences occur privately in the brain; cherish that, and leave others to their weird decisions while you enjoy yours.
Brew what you like, how you like. If you’re worrying about what “leading breweries” are doing, you aren’t one and likely won’t become one. Doing anything well will steadily stoke demand for exactly that thing. Don’t mislead your customers about who you are or how you operate — there’s nothing inherently wrong with any particular scale or business model, but there’s a lot wrong with bullshit.
Say what you believe, with your own slant. Objectivity’s basically unattainable, and little fun anyway. Be up front about your biases, nail your colours, and speak truth — whether brutal, rhapsodic, ramblingly personal, or partisan. Every unique and genuine voice is valuable signal in the ongoing conversation. Inauthenticity is noise pollution.
Know thyself, as our friend5 Socrates (probably) said. A little more honesty — internally and externally — will get us a long way.
1: Including myself. ↑
2: Seriously, you should see my Feedly. Which is, by the way, proving very handy since the demise of Google Reader. Actually, you probably should see my Feedly. I must do a round-up for Beerpeople I Like To Read, one day. There’s buckets of good stuff out there. ↑
3: In just 1.6% of the allocated time! ↑
4: Just be moderate — in moderation.a ↑
— a: Which apparently isn’t Oscar Wilde — and he’s also wrongly cited for the “Be yourself, everyone else is taken” which could nicely sum up my (unusually brief) ramble, here. (Though he does have a somewhat-similar “Most people are other people” in De Profundis, apparently.) ↑
5: He’s in the Bruces’ Philosophers Song twice; surely he counts as a friend. ↑