The Session #71: Brewers and Drinkers

The SessionToday being the first Friday of the month (and of 2013) means it’s time again for The Session! This month’s topic is brought to us by John at The Home Brew Manual, and he’s come up with Brewers and Drinkers:

Brewers and Drinkers is about your relationship with beer and how it’s made. Do you brew? If so why? If not, why not? How does that affect your enjoyment of drinking beer?

Here are some things to think about if you’re stuck:

  • Do you need to brew to appreciate beer?
  • Do you enjoy beer more not knowing how it’s made?
  • If you brew, can you still drink a beer just for fun?
  • Can you brew without being an analytical drinker?
  • Do brewers get to the point where they’re more impressed by technical achievements than sensory delight?
  • Does more knowledge increase your awe in front of a truly excellent beer?

Those are all good points to think about, but for me it’s very simple: I do brew, occasionally I brew very well (and at times not so well), and knowing both how easy and how complex brewing can be makes me appreciate beer far more than I would if I didn’t.

Yes, it is as simple as that, and I could stop right there. And if you want to stop there, feel free.

Though of course there’s always more I can elaborate on.

Why do I brew beer?

I’ve been homebrewing for (conservatively) I think about 17 years now, far longer than I’ve been blogging. Actually it’s fair to say that my love of beer, and hence my blogging about beer, is thanks in large part to knowing how to brew beer. I’m sure I wouldn’t know as much about beer if I didn’t have the passion for brewing it; I’m also sure I wouldn’t think less of beer if I didn’t know how it was made—but I do appreciate it more for that knowledge.

Ultimately though, at its root, I brew because I simply have a fascination with how easy it is to create beer—and (elephant in the room!) simply how easy it is to create alcohol.

(You can also stop at this point, if you’ve read this far: no judgment!)

How does that affect your enjoyment of drinking beer?

I can definitely appreciate the finesse a good brewer (whether commercial or home) can bring to a truly good beer.

Do you need to brew to appreciate beer?

No, of course not. It helps, though.

If you brew, can you still drink a beer just for fun?

Of course! Actually except in a very few cases, I almost always drink a beer for fun—otherwise why bother? Similarly, I can be analytical or not as the mood strikes me. If I’m reviewing the beer for the blog, I’m more inclined to be analytical. If I really like the beer, I’ll be more analytical so I can maybe reproduce it myself. Otherwise, I can simply appreciate a damn fine beer.

Do brewers get to the point where they’re more impressed by technical achievements than sensory delight?

I can’t speak for other brewers, but for myself: yes and no. Depends on the situation.

Does more knowledge increase your awe in front of a truly excellent beer?

In this case, I have to say yes: for me, the more knowledge I have makes we aware of the more knowledge I don’t have, so I seek that out; when I seek that out (as it relates to beer), I find beauties like Brett-inoculated beers (for instance) that I may never have experienced otherwise. And I’ve found some truly excellent Brett beers which I wouldn’t have otherwise.

Bottom line: I love beer, and I love brewing beer. Do you?

2 Responses to The Session #71: Brewers and Drinkers

  1. John says:

    That’s one of the things I love about beer as well. It’s incredible that something that’s so easy to produce, from such basic ingredients, can be so satisfying and enjoyable.

    Thanks for taking part!

  2. Pingback: Brewers And Drinkers (Session 71 Round-up) // Home Brew Manual