Being Mindful of the Beer Bubble

Words & Photo - Matthew Curtis

If Monday’s post about some possible trends occurring within the cider trade reminded me of one thing, it’s that stepping into someone else’s bubble can, on occasion, result in a little animosity. In some private messages I received, I was told quite frankly that as a beer writer I really have no right to be wading into cider territory. I was surprised by some of the apparent hostility I was witness to. Thankfully there were also plenty of positive reactions, particularly from smaller, younger cider producers, who appreciated some of the sentiment within the article.

This made me realise that in our beer bubble we’re often guilty of similar behaviour. One common example I can think of is when a wine writer, such as the Guardian’s Fiona Beckett, covers beer on a national level this is often met with a similar hostility. I know I’ve been guilty of this behaviour in the past. We can and will grumble that a beer writer, with more experience in the field should be covering covering the topic instead. We’ll also attempt to point out miniscule factual inaccuracies within such articles in a vain effort to back up our gripe. What are we achieving with this sort of behaviour?

We should perhaps learn to be more accepting of beer in the mainstream press. As enthusiasts we often forget that we live in a bubble, one where our friends have a similar passion and level of knowledge about beer that we do. Much of the beer reporting in the mainstream press is not aimed at us, the enthusiast, and we should be thankful as opposed to resentful that a window is being opened into our little bubble. We owe it to ourselves, as residents of the beer bubble, to be as welcoming as possible and start the sort of conversations that might make a few more people want to step inside.