A few weeks ago, I announced on Instagram that the blog had been sold to Grupo Modelo, brewers of Corona, for a hat. Look at it! It doesn’t even fit my head properly.
Modelo, which considering I’ve made my position vis-a-vis Corona quite clear, surprisingly still want me to produce content but with a more positive spin. This is my first attempt after something Glen at Beer Is Your Friend wrote
yesterdaylast week (I had written this the day before a certain Guardian article went viral which incidentally I haven’t read because why read something you know is going to piss you off?) triggered a few things in the old calculatoranium.
Craft beer fans can be an obnoxious lot. Separating a beer nerd from his phone – and thus his megaphone to shout his (or, admittedly, her) unremarkable and banal opinions into the ether – is a task so sisyphean that Zeus would take a step back and say, “Dude, that’s too punishing. Here, let this eagle peck at your liver every day for the rest of eternity.”
Personally, I don’t think they get outside enough. Spend enough time in the dark taprooms of beer Hades, where the only light comes from the Untappd loading screen and a constantly refreshing Twitter feed, and you start to lose a bit of perspective.
Take that time a business got sold to another business (I’m not going to link to a particular brewery sale – just pick your favourite and pretend I linked to that one) and the crafterrati got excited, jumped on Facebook to let everyone know just how disappointed they were and how much of a personal affront it was to them in particular. And after that bought that sixpack that one time and gave it 3.5 on RateBeer (“Malty, hoppy, yeasty, watery. With a hint of desperate ferret.”).
Then a bunch of geeks read those reactions and started tweeting like Vesuvius threw out ash back in 79 (no, not 1979, just 79). I’ve seen compulsive masturbators with better self-control and more self-awareness. The result is an echo chamber that makes Youtube comments seem like a beacon of reasoned and unbiased discussion.
Yet, only a few dozen – maybe a few hundred at best – people are jumping up and down. Meanwhile, the US craft beer industry (that is, the exclusive Brewers Association club, whose membership requirements change frequently enough that Jim Koch gets to pretend he’s still small time and not a billionaire) sold a lazy 12 or 13 billion litres of beer last year. I’d wager what’s left of my self-respect that those crafty crusaders on Twitter are a fraction of that market so small that scientists would just go “Eh, stuff it, call it the margin of error.” The percentage is so small that there’s a mathematical proof showing it’s exactly equal to zero.
If you spend too much time inhaling lupulin and Pediococcus, it makes you forget things. I think it blocks the sinuses or something. You forget things like separating a brewery from a business is like separating a beer from malt – it makes no sense because the former doesn’t exist without the latter. Whatever your social media poison is, it is in no way representative of anything other than the words that fly from the fingers of an insignificant sampling of random people who pause for a length of time measured in Planck units to consider if their contribution is actually worth being read by anyone. These are the opinions of a group of people who get excited at the prospect of meeting brewers, a profession that up until about four years ago had the same cachet as plumbing.
Compare that to this:
Spare yourself the bullshit and drink a Corona. The beer geeks get so wound up in the scene that they let it define who they are. When something, anything, happens that they don’t like, you’d think someone had spat on their grandmother.
But that’s not you is it? You’re a cool kid. You know the score. You’re not going to be suckered into the social media quagmire.
Hell, Corona even has that covered. 8 million people like Corona on Facebook. Sorry, no, that’s 8 million people like the Corona Extra Australia page.
[Strangely, the US version only has 1.5 million likes which is still more than the approximately 1 million likes for Samuel Adams, the most popular independent beer page I found in the thirty seconds I spent looking]
Next time you’re in a bottleshop, make sure you reach for the beer that doesn’t have the emotional baggage of a double-divorcee attached to it.
Also something something quality something hops that actually don’t go skunky something malt.
Corona: From Where You’d Rather Your Social Media Came From
Do you think corporate will like it? I think I nailed it. Also, yes, the irony of this post on this blog threatens to overwhelm me. Lucky I have my new hat.