A visit to a pub last night resulted in me drinking 3 very nice beers: Timothy Taylor Landlord, Hawkshead Bitter and Yates Bitter. There was also Jennings Cumberland available, another golden brown bitter. I preferred the Yates, personally, because it seemed a little less sweet compared to the other two I tried - it had a hop dryness that I like, although normally, I also find Yates too sweet as well.
This leads me to a couple of observations that I would like to make. Firstly, why did the pub in question have four, albeit very nice and well kept, golden brown beers? There was nothing dark and malty, nothing stronger, no winter warmers. I would have liked to have seen something quite different. The second observation is that after drinking the Hawkshead and the Timmy Taylors I enjoyed the Yates a little more than usual. Was this because the beer has changed or is it to do with the order in which I drank them?
Jeff Pickthall questions his judgment on tasting beers, and here also. This both pleases and disturbs me at the same time. I cannot answer his legitimate question, and often find myself asking the same of myself. I consider Jeff to be more knowledgeable on the subject of beer flavour than myself, so if he feels he can't always trust his own judgment then I have no chance. But Jeff's uncertainty makes me more comfortable with my own doubts.
Ted is also struggling with this question. I know, as we've touched on it several times in conversation. In the link here Ted does talk more about a beer I brewed, so please forgive my gratuitous reference. I know that he questions the apparent widespread scathing about beer quality and taste. Mood and company, which of course are linked, previous consumption either of beverage or food and of course the particular batch of a beer will affect the taster's experience. The pub can also have an effect, such as the length of time the cask has been open or the line cleaning regime in play. Other factors can include the design of the pump clip, correct use of a sparkler or not depending on the consumer's choice and even perhaps the quality of service and ambiance.
It is perhaps unfair then for the large volume of apparent negativity in WEB2.0*. I have seen many comments on the Internet made about pubs and beers where I wondered what planet the appraiser was on. It strikes me that punters make the effort to comment when they have something they are aggrieved about. The bad experiences are the ones that motivates them to hit out some words on the keyboard and click that publish button. We rarely feel motivated to be nice. And here I am being grumpy about it, just the thing Ted is trying to avoid, bringing in negativity, which is exactly what I'm being grumpy about.
But, wait. This is all good. This is freedom of speech at its best. This is a channel of communication that is open to all. If the information isn't to your liking then you can click elsewhere. If you really disagree then you can engage with it and put your point across; although sometimes it can take forethought to avoid appearing to be a pillock or a numpty and quite often both.
So here I can grumble about the fact that there was no winter warmer available last night. I can also explore my own journey thought the mighty world of beer tasting and share my thoughts with the reader. Best of all, this virtual world, one that is free from the publishing constraints of corporation funded advertising, is discussing many great things about the diverse and growing world of interesting beer.
*WEB2.0 is user generated content. You are reading an example of it. http://www.beerintheevening.com , http://www.ratebeer.com are also examples.
I hope this doesn't undermine Ted's own unpublished posts. Go on Ted, be grumpy about people being grumpy, I'm eager to hear your views.