Someone I follow on twitter made an interesting comment the other day. They were told by a friend that their beer obsession was jeopardising their friendship.
What an interesting thought… not the fact that he is drinking too much beer but the fact that they were talking about beer too much.
I know I have to try so hard to not talk about hops, tax, small breweries, big breweries, pubs, new beers, old beers, loves, hates, and styles, when in public. I’m sure most beer geeks have also had to navigate discussions about beer with some diplomacy.
I think it’s great that people take an interest and talk to me about beer but I know they don’t want a lecture on all things beer and to be told why a beer they like is not very exciting. In the latter case I try to respond with enthusiasm for another beer. Something like “well if you liked that, you should try….”. People may not be interested in beer on the level that I am but people love enthusiasm (just not too much it seems).
I’m currently dreading a work function soon because a certain, fairly new, beer is on tap at the venue. I just know someone will ask me about it. My thoughts on this beer and brewery are all negative. Very negative… I will try my hardest to not rant and lecture but I have a feeling that it’s inevitable. Again, I love that people take an interest but when dealing with a crazed, slightly drunk, beer blogger; then it is dangerous territory.
Beer is now my life. My girlfriend recently pointed out that I no longer wear tshirts with bands on them but tshirts with beers on them. Weekends are no longer checking out a new band but rather checking out a new beer. I haven’t been to some of my old favourite bars for over 2 years now purely because I don’t like their beer selection. Entire weekends are spent doing beer related activities, brewing, writing, talking, drinking, and shopping (for beer). (I just cut out two paragraphs of detail here because it made me sound slightly insane.)
What is great is that through enthusiasm and passion I know I have encouraged friends to try new beers. Friends who would staunchly drink one brand, and one brand only, are now trying and talking about quality beer. However, I think some of us craft beer fans (myself included) need to constantly keep in mind that while people are interested in our hobby and are open to trying new things, they may not be interested in how many IBUs their beer is and who owns the brand. They damn well should be… but they aren’t and it’s probably up to us to be aware of that.
It’s difficult writing this without making it sound like I don’t want non-beer people to talk to me about beer. I do, I really do. This should be seen as a reminder to myself and fellow beer lovers that we may need to tame down our obsession at times as it may not always be welcome.
Otherwise we may lose friends over it.