Good afternoon all. This month's session is hosted by Pete Brown over at Pete Brown's Beer Blog and concerns an abstract concept- "The Beer Moment". I read the announcement when it was released back in April and was taken aback by its ethereal nature, thinking that it was typical for only my second session to have to actually weigh in on my interpretation of this intangible idea.
For me, the beer moment can occur at any time, in any location that serves beer- be it cask, bottle or keg- and with any number of people present. It's that moment when you step into a pub and see something that you haven't tried yet, something that makes you quicken your pace to the bar as you suddenly can't process anything other than sampling this unique and exciting offering. It's that feeling you get when you walk into the kitchen, open a drawer and pull out your bottle opener, anticipation heightened as you place it over the cap and commit to sampling something new. You could almost see it as a debased from of the classic thought experiment of Schrödinger's Cat- with the contents still inside the bottle, obscured from proper view and the critiques of the senses, how do you know if it's going to be fantastic or disappointing? Simple, indulge in that "beer moment", that occasion when everything is completely new for a second. Of course beer can be divided into styles and each one has a series of characteristic aromas and flavours which defines it, but the number of ways these styles can be interpreted is mind-boggling, as is the number of potential ingredients that can improve a beer or even render it undrinkable. I'm not saying that every "beer moment" is a success, and of course external factors such as price can occasionally add bias to our assessment of these moments, but that alone is enough to fuel the desire to experience these moments as much as possible.
Every beer that I consume is like a microcosmic relationship to an extent, and just like any relationship there are moments that will live with you for years to come and moments that you'd rather forget. Despite this variability, the average person still wouldn't sacrifice the opportunity to have something special just because of a few negative experiences. The "beer moment" is similar to this idea- something you've read about and developed an affinity for before you've even had the chance to meet it formally could become a regular feature in your house, or it could be wildly disappointing, leaving you wrought with confusion as to how you could let yourself betray your senses so frivolously. I feel that my argument may be becoming as abstract as the initial point, but I will still continue to feel this way about each "beer moment" for the duration of my drinking life as, without it, I wouldn't see the point in drinking in the first place. If you had asked me to define a "beer moment" two years ago, my response would've been far less rambling and I would've tried to argue the merits of over-consumption over the enjoyment of the beverage, but clearly that opinion has changed. In the end, the sheer variety on offer and today's unprecedented level of brewing prowess means I'll never be short of a "beer moment" in the future, and that's a great sentiment to be able to express.
Until next time....