This isn’t just about beer snobs

Last week I met a gentleman who works in the kitchen at Indie Alehouse, a microbrewery and brew pub in Toronto’s Junction neighbourhood. We got into a discussion about beer and I told him I wasn’t a fan of the City and Colour Maple Wheat from Flying Monkeys.

“Well, that’s OK. That’s allowed,” was his response.

He explained to me about Indie Alehouse a lot of friends think they’ll offend him if they say they don’t like the beer and they don’t. Indie Alehouse speaks of the very same attitude about their beer on their website. I confess I don’t get that far west often, but I will have to visit now. The discussion moved to beer festivals and how some will appease customers by offering larger brands like Moosehead or Keith’s. He told me that there was nothing wrong with people who like macro beer. “They just have a different palate that likes that stuff.”

He’s absolutely right and I don’t think this has dawned on a lot of beer drinkers. Just because someone likes lighter beers and isn’t a fan of the taste of Rochefort or other Trappist beers, doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate beer. They just don’t appreciate the beers you might appreciate. Are they supposed to fake it and be a poseur to be a true beer lover?

But really, this applies to so many tastes. If someone prefers American League baseball over National League baseball, it doesn’t make them less of a baseball fan. The list could go on for a long time with so many of the arts. Having been involved with the Toronto literary and poetry community, I know there have been nasty arguments about this. You like what you like and there’s no need to try to force people to become “more educated” into liking other things. Absolutely it’s great to broaden your horizons and try new things. But if you try a variety of new beer and craft beer and go back to your trusty Pabst Blue Ribbon, power to you.

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