On Choosing

The quality of a beer, as with everything, is a matter of opinion.   You like what you like and you do not choose what you like.   It seems like an obvious point to me, but is contested by many.  At any given moment we are stuck with that we like.  If I put a glass of a beer you hate in front of you,  you will hate it.   You may choose to try to change what you like but that’s not the same thing as truly being able to simply choose what you like. If I could choose what I liked, that means I could just decide if I like something.   So, I could decide that everything I eat is my favorite food at that moment and every beer I have is my favorite beer and every woman that would spend time with me would the most beautiful woman in the world to me.   Life would be an never ending festival of awesomeness. So, alas that is, I think you will agree, not true.   We are stuck with our preferences So, for that reason, we should not judge other people for what they like, for they have not chosen what they like.   And what you like defines what you want, and what you want defines what you do.   So we should not judge people by what they like, want or do, whether it is a drinking a beer or whether it’s anything....
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Best in Show

The quality of a beer, like all things, is a matter of opinion. Those who think their opinion is not an opinion, but rather some universal truth of quality, are what I refer to as snobs. Beer snobbery reaches its extreme with the existence of the beer competition. I don’t enter beer competitions. Well, to be truthful I did it once. A few years ago after getting so many raves about Honey Badge Don’t Care (since renamed Badger Don’t Care), I entered it in a beer contest. Well, it won no prize and I received the notes from the judges who had comments like, “should have more of this” or “not enough of this.” At which point I realized the absurdity of the competition. For someone to think that Badger Don’t Care is not what it is supposed to be assumes that somewhere there exists an ideal version of Badger Don’t Care and that I am trying to replicate it. When the truth of the matter is that Badger Don’t Care is exactly what it is supposed to be. It is exactly what I want it to be and that is exactly the beer that so many people love so much. So, what is the point of a beer contest? It’s like a dog show. In dog shows people try to have dogs that most precisely match some theoretical (and arbitrary) definition of the particular breed of dog. It’s not the best dog. It’s a very specific thing that does not really address what most people would consider a good dog. A good dog is the friend that waits for you at home that you love to spend time with. And a good beer is the beer that you like to...
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Zen and the Art of Beer

The quality of a beer, like everything, is a matter of opinion.   Do you believe that?   Let’s focus on just the beer part first.   Is that the way you see it?   Even if you are saying yes, I think that you probably really don’t act like it. Who among us has not made a statement like “ that beer is great” or “that beer is terrible?”   Anyone that has made such a statement is basically saying that it is objectively good or bad.   What is implied by that is that if someone doesn’t think so, then they are wrong. This, is what I call snobbery, and truth be told almost everyone is a snob at least a little bit.   It’s probably written in our DNA among the A’s G’s C’s and T’s.   But, just because it’s natural for people to feel that way does not mean that it’s good or smart or nice. So, the question is, how do you define a good beer?   Is it what the most people like?  Well, then Bud Light would be considered the best beer by that standard.   But, “oh no”, you cry, “people only drink Bud Light because they don’t know any better.”   What you are really saying is that your opinion is more valid than a Bud Light drinking guy’s opinion.   You might even say that your opinion is validated because all the craft beer drinkers agree with you, but that’s really just saying that these bunch of guys over here have a more valid opinion than those guys over there. So, quality of beer is only a matter of opinion, and so is everything else. But, of course, we all agree that Reckless beers is the best beer around, and that’s an objective fact and if you don’t agree with it, well then you’re just...
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