For everyone immersed in the beer world - and readers of this blog are mostly that, rather than casual passing traffic - there is a particular segment of the market that we like to drink. Chris Mair touches on that in this post, so there's no need for me to reiterate it. I agree with his sentiments. And as I'm sure I've said before, there is a tendency for any group centred around a communal interest - food, technology, lifestyle - to assume that they are the peak of sophistication for any given phenomenon. It's called having an opinion, and it's a human trait.
But one thing that I'm really keen to stress is that we're in a niche. If the world of beer is a pint, we're probably no more than the head on it, if that. And at the risk of being branded again as "cheery-beery", someone is drinking all of that other beer and enjoying it. You can take the view that all that beer is being drunk for want of an informed alternative, and in my experience this is true in about half of the cases. Most people don't have the information and experience available to them to make the leap to something difference. That's my experience from 10 years of retailing, and I was unsurprised to see Young Dredge reflecting that in a recent post.
OK, I'm rambling a bit. What prompted this train of thought was the comment on my previous blog about Mikkeller Not Just Another Wit being a witbier with "everything turned up to 11". It prompted a response from Jon at Stringers asking if that was what we wanted in a beer.
And my response to that is, of course we do, but that's not the only thing we want. I want all the options to be available to me, all the time. I want anything from a pint of Carling or Carlsberg (I'd guess I only drink those a few times a year) to a monumental barrel-aged barley wine or tart lambic (which, equally, I only drink a few times a year). Those are my outliers which frame the bell curve of my consumption. The existence of those outliers doesn't threaten what's in the middle. And in the style of Boak & Bailey, I've prepared a graph to illustrate that idea: (EDIT: the vertical axis is volume drunk by me)