Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Negativity and not much else

The first topic I'm going to be tackling in this new blog space of mine is, as the post title would indicate, negativity among certain folk in the Beerosphere. I'm going to be slightly careful with what I say, because I really don't want to find myself embroiled in a blog or Twitter war, nor do I want to make life unnecessarily difficult for myself or those I work with, and indeed, work for. I will be sounding off on this topic in general, however, there was something in particular that riled me this weekend enough to make this post (and in fact, finally start this blog, although I had been planning it for a while).

If you have worked out who I am (and let's face it, you don't need to be Sherlock fucking Holmes to do so), you will be aware that I was involved in organising and running an event this weekend just gone. I thought it went fairly well (Friday aside, when the Royal Wedding was on and NO ONE was doing well), but if I'm being honest with myself, I know it wasn't perfect. It was my first time doing anything like this, so it was very much a learning curve for me; there are a hell of a lot of things I would do differently next time around (and I hope that there is a next time) from start to finish, mostly to do with planning and advertising. Having said that, I'm still proud of what I and the others who were heavily involved in this, who will know who they are, managed to put together. Most of the beer enthusiasts (tickers, if you will, though I'm not entirely sure whether they love or loathe that term) told me it was the best selection of beers they'd had at a festival at the venue at which it was held, and I know that wasn't just to blow smoke up my arse, as they all came back each day to make sure they'd tried the beers they'd not gotten around to in their previous visits.

Overall, this was a rewarding project to be involved with, especially with the nice feedback from the customers. Now, I'm not suggesting that I only ever want to hear good feedback from whatever I happen to be involved with, but when people only have moany, nitpicky things to say, I start to feel like smashing heads through windows. The cask cooling system we had in place was not fantastic, I'd agree. It's something I will think long and hard about in the future. Promotion and publicity, sure, pretty inadequate. Not to bury my head in the sand or ask for a free pass or anything, but I've not done anything like this before, and to be totally frank and honest, I didn't have a clue. Fair cop, guv. I'll work on it.

Things like these I can accept and hold my hands up for. But when certain people don't have anything positive to say and bitch and moan about everything from the size of a pump clip to whether a Belgian-style Double IPA might be slightly too hazy for them, I start to lose my rag. I'll stop being specific now, otherwise I'll end up in trouble. But even generally speaking, I have noticed a hell of a lot of negative attitudes in the beer world. Aren't we supposed to be having fun and enjoying good beer? There seems to be less motivation amongst craft beer enthusiasts to celebrate the products and events that they enjoy, and more energy devoted to moaning about how a certain beer isn't quite up to par, or not as good as beer X, or, simply, 'shit'. For God's sakes, anyone looking into this scene would swear blind that we all hate our lives and find the entire craft brewing scene to be a misery. I know that this isn't true.

To be completely fair, I've probably had a bit of a moan myself at some points. I'll wager that, perhaps, so have you. How about we start celebrating beers and brewers that really excite us, and kick all the negative doom and gloom to the side?

I will if you will. Deal?

And so it begins...

Well, I've been threatening to start a beery blog, and here I am. I've decided against a whimsical, beer-related name for my blog. I couldn't really justify throwing in some hop-related pun for the mere sake of doing so.

This will pretty much be my space on the web to rant about goings on in the beer world. Sometimes, twitter and facebook just won't cut it! Sometimes, I'll just be giving my opinions on stuff, and ease up on the ranting... but for now, I'll just say that I don't mean to offend or upset anyone with anything that I say. If I do, well, let me give you the disclaimer:

The views and opinions contained in this here blog do not necessarily reflect the views of The Rake (for that is where I work) or Utobeer Ltd.

I wonder if anyone will actually read this thing? Until the first rant (which is seething in my veins and is imminent, let me assure you), fare thee well.