Often people ask “what’s your favorite beer?” Thats a pretty common question, and very hard to answer with the huge range of amazing beer available to us today. But do you ever get asked “whats your standard beer?” This question makes much less sense to me, and there are two parallels that explain why.
Would you every walk up to a wine connoisseur, or just someone who loves wine and ask them what their standard wine is? Maybe, but doubtful. There are a huge variety of wine in the world, and like beer, a large selection of different wines fit for every scenario. So the idea of one wine, or one beer that remains a standard is naive. Maybe I’m going going on a super-beer-geek rant, but anyone who asks you what your standard beer is has never tried real beer.
Here’s why. If you drink commodity grade beers, chances are that you have spent some time trying a variety of the different core brands that are available to you. You’ve tired, Coors Light, Budweiser, Heineken, Stella, Sleeman’s, Becks, and so on. And eventually you settle on the brand that enjoy the most (or choose to tolerate). This settling on one standard brand is the product of the brand’s marketing, and our desire to love beer.
Firstly, the mass brands pump us from every direction with ad materials and messages imposing upon us brand loyalty. “I’m a Bud guy”. Really? You love Budweiser so much that you will only drink Bud? Its proof that the marketing works. And I see it every day. But we also want to enjoy the beer. So you go through the commodity beers crossing off all the ones that have some individual characteristic that you don’t like, and eventually you come to a beer that inevitably has very little flavor, and you call it your own.
This is their goal! This is what the mass market guys know is happening, so they brew beer with a lack of flavor so that you can’t discern it. Its the lowest common denominator brand of beer. They want to brew one beer to fit everyones needs. Just like Ford makes only one car.. Right? uhhhh….
Real beer is brewed TO HAVE FLAVOR. Lots of it. And thats why someone who as had real beer before would never ask what your standard is. Because they know the huge range and varieties of styles and flavors to choose from. They have witnessed the adventure that is real beer, and they understand. I have no standard beer. I have many styles and specific beers that I keep in my fridge for various scenarios, but I rarely have the same beer twice in a row. Theres just to much flavor in this world to settle on one. No one should have to settle.