Last week I posted about the word “craft” – Craft is the Word – and I know I was pretty late to the debate. It’s a topic that has been discussed at length by beer people far more experienced and opinionated than me. I wasn’t really compelled to write on the topic any earlier but since it seemed I was reading articles on the topic on a weekly basis so I found myself thinking about it more and more – hence the blog post.
Since writing the post, what has become far more apparent to me is that the word “craft” is not nearly as dangerous or threatening as the word “snob”. If there is one word that needs to be erased from the beer community, to me, it’s this one.
Beer snobbery is exactly what beer is not about. I could dribble on at length on the topic but another Australian beer writer, Glen Humphries of Beer is Your Friend, has already done it and, quite frankly, it’s spot on. Please read it here.
Seeing beer snobbery in action, like when someone tells someone else their beer choice is shit, and reading misleading mainstream articles that refer to ‘beer snobs’ like they are common place and representative of all craft beer drinking people is harmful.
Ok, so maybe it’s not harmful in the same way that smoking is harmful but the word ‘snob’ doesn’t encourage people to try craft beer, it reinforces a perception of exclusivity and elitism. None of these things are good.
The irrelevance and inaccuracy of the term ‘beer snob’ peaked for me on Sunday.
On Sunday it was International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day and all around the world women in the beer industry came together to brew beer. The style is pre-determined and I think there were hundreds of breweries around the world that participated. For the first time here in WA we did one too, I wrote an article on it for Crafty Pint which will be going up soon so I won’t be going into details of the brew here, but the happy feeling I still have from being part of such a day is wonderful.
It felt great to be a part of a genuine community and the way that Chloe, Charlotte and Leala of Young Henry’s Beer Farm, located in Metricup in our south west, threw open their doors and welcomed everyone in was generous and warm and, in my experience, completely indicative of the attitude of the beer community.
Beers flowed freely, no question was foolish and everyone was encouraged to get involved.
This is the beer world that I live in and its attributes of generosity, shared experience and support are echoed in the bartenders I know, the retailers I met and the people who drink craft beer. Sure, there are some moments when I shake my head, when I hear comments that are needlessly negative or mocking of others, but they are not the majority.
Move along beer snobs, we just want to drink good beer, share it with good people and that’s about it.