Wednesday, 3 October 2012

"All Lager Tastes The Same"

In my local CAMRA newsletter, the Furness Innquirer (geddit?), I spotted this:

The irksome sentence occurs in a contributor's beer-related observations in an account of a holiday to India.

This sort of utterance boils my piss.

All lager does not taste the same. It doesn't; it really doesn't. The writer offers the caveat "to my tastebuds" but in doing so undermines his own status as a beer aficionado that is conferred by having his words published in a CAMRA publication. If the author's tastebuds are so deficient that all lagers taste the same to him then all ales must also taste the same.

The likely scenario is that the author simply hasn't tasted good lager and only got as far as Coors, Carling etc. – lagers that are designed to have minimum flavour.

What irks me is the possibility that a neophyte beer lover may read this and get the idea that there is some truth in it, after all it's in a CAMRA publication and CAMRA knows about beer, right? The neophyte may miss years of ecstatic bottom-fermented pleasure because of this horse shit. 

I know how that feels. It only dawned on me after ten or so years of beer drinking that lager may after all have some merit. I was a victim of exactly this sort of low-level brainwashing. I missed years of beery pleasure because of the anti-lager meme – and I've never even been a CAMRA member.

The standard Tandle-onian defence of this sort of hogwash is something like "they're only well-meaning amateurs, just overlook it." But no, I can't overlook it. It bothers me that this kind of anti-connoisseurship message carries the CAMRA imprimatur. It is a disservice to good beer.