Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Keeping up with the Jonses

There seems to be a trend recently in bars across the city. Great microbrews used to be a staple of special bars and taverns (brew houses, even). You traveled to places like Sunset and Publick House because they were the only spots you could get your favorite pours. Or Bauer Wines on Newbury Street if you were spending a quiet evening at home, because they had bottles of your favorite, hard-to-find brews. And it was always worth the trip, right?

Now, I'm finding some of my favorites in a lot of liquor stores and bars all over the city. It seems like a lot of people are catching on, about to turn drinking good beer into some sort of trend, like 80's music or cocaine. I'm not sure if they are enjoying it as much as they want to be seen enjoying it.

So, while I am happy being able to find my beers almost anywhere, I'm also a bit disturbed. Somehow, this trend seems to take away the allure of drinking good beer. It's like I sued to be in some club that has now opened its doors to anyone in the world. Don't get me wrong, I like the taste of the stuff, and that's why I drink it (Well, and my latent alcoholism), but I worry about these newcomers. Will they ruin it by making it too mainstream? Like Nirvana? Will I be forced to find newer, weirder beers just to push the envelope further?

Well, no. But I will say that I used to enjoy beer tastings and beer festivals and events like that. Now, I can't be bothered because they get too crowded. I used to enjoy going because you got to talk to the actual brewers and find out about how the stuff is made (and I once got the full story on those guys from the Smuttynose packaging at a tasting). Now, the lines are too long. The notion of "free beer" has sunk into the drinker's conscious, and so they flock to these things. I even saw some people carrying a baby at the last one. What is that about? The strategy now is to simply camp out near one table and drink all they have because the notion of wading through the crowd is just too daunting. People, it ain't Disneyland.

You may ask why I care, since this trend has made my favorite beers more accessible. I don't know why I care, but it does make a little uncomfortable. Every trend has its poseurs, though and the first guy who kills himself by chugging 90-Minute Dogfish to show off to his buddies won't get much sympathy from me. I guess that's what troubles me.

No comments:

Custom Search