Saturday, 13 September 2008

Why the anger?

I've noticed something very strange. There's a group of people who get very angry at me and my research. You know who I mean. The Homebrew Twats. I wonder why that is?

I have a theory. They're scared of their own knowledge becoming redundant or outdated. That's the only explanation I can think of. Why else would you find research threatening?

In my naivety, I had expected universal delight at the prospect of new information being brought to light. Of the bounds of human knowledge being extended. But that's not the case.

I suppose if passing the bjcp exam has been the highlight of your life, you don't want to discover some of what you've learned is bollocks. It devalues your success. Understandable, in a way, but a pretty sad attitude to have to life. It reduces knowledge to mere dogma. Fixed, unchanging and unchallengeable.

Thank Stalin not everything is yet known. The world would be pretty dull if it were. And I'd have nothing to fill my time. Apart from the kids. And work. Maybe I'd even get around to sorting out a new kitchen.


Tandleman said...

"I suppose if passing the bjcp exam has been the highlight of your life, you don't want to discover some of what you've learned is bollocks. It devalues your success"

Exactly Ron. You don't want the truth to get in the way of what you "know" after all.

Alan said...

They can't handle the truth.

Besides - who cares? If they like what they make and it makes their pals happy, who cares if it isn't exactly what was produced (albeit on industrial equipment, with different water) by someone yoinks ago?

That you are digging through and explaining your take upon industrial records should have no bearing on their enjoyment of their hobby.

Whorst said...

Ron, good to see that part of me is rubbing off on you. Fuck these retards if they can't appreciate a historical viewpoint. Most of them don't know shit anyway.

I entered an Ordinary Bitter into a local competition that was done by the BJCP. The beer itself was judged by 3 people. 2 of them didn't even understand the style. Ah, duh.....If it doesn't have 100 IBU's and 8% abv. it must be infected, right?? What pissed me off even more, is that they don't even go by starting gravity. The beer that won the category I entered was an English Pale Ale, with a starting gravity of near 1.050! I'm done with these people.
I basically brew for myself and friends. If I think it's great, more than likely it is. I don't need some beer geek that hasn't been out of the country(US) telling me what I need to do to improve my beer.

Anyway, I enjoy what you do here. Fascinating stuff.

Cheers, Prosit, Slainte, Vivas!

Wurst aka Whorst

Anonymous said...

First off, I think "Homebrew Twats" is a perfect name for a rock band.
"Sorry dear, not this weekend, I have tickets to see the Homebrew Twats..."

And if you listen to Jamil's podcast, it's a hoot. In a given episode, he tells us homebrewers to enter into competitions to get knowledgeable feedback on our product. Then throughout the rest of the show comes up with 12 reasons why the BJCP judges are a bunch of ignorant, egotistical dickweeds. It makes my sides hurt.

I think you're doing marvelous work and I'm constantly strengthening my understanding and knowledge of brewing thanks to you.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, I like your hostility and sarcasm ... I mean, research.

When I first started brewing I was very "into" the BJCP styles and Brewer's Association and all. After a bit, though, it did get tedious. And those types do seem stuffy and full of themselves. Unlike you, of course.

Chris Gillis said...

I've been reading your blog for a while (although you currently have 21 posts in my RSS reader) and love to read about the historical beers. One of my favorite books is "Old British Beers and How to Make Them".

I'm a homebrewer that brews alot of milds and traditional english beers, I also happen to be a bjcp judge that is unsure of what people are on you for.

History and tradition is what brought me to homebrewing and beer in general, I love reading about 200 year old breweries/recipes/peeps - keep up the good work.

Andrew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oblivious said...

I love this blog, one of the few beer one I regularly read. Keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

I've had to deal with the BJCP and I'll be the first to say there are some great exceptions, but the vast majority of their ranks are little tyrants. They're ineffectual, sad little creatures who no one listens to and who often have domineering wives at home. The BJCP is the one thing that makes them not only "better" than other people, but they feel makes their opinion and interpretation absolute. This is their one source of power and they will use it as a hammer to crush the interest of enthusiastic home brewers and even to lecture professional brewers! These guys rarely brew. They contribute little to nothing to the world and care more about their egos and having power than they do about beer. If you fit this description, wouldn't you be violently defensive about your "truths" regardless of the historical accuracy of what you're saying? These guys can't handle questioning because it quickly becomes clear that the little dictator isn't wearing any clothes!

Chris Gillis said...

Jim - you are making crazy generalizations on a large group of brewers/beer enthusiasts on how many experiences?

How many BJCP judges have you met? There are two in my (an avid homebrewer/reader) and the other one won the sam adams home brew national competition.

"These guys" - There are plenty of women in the organization.

I'm not sure who you are talking about cause I've never met any person that you are describing in the BJCP.

Stonch said...

I don't know why people get so wound up about beer in the first place.

Anonymous said...

I took the test, and learned a lot in the process, but will be the first to point out that my learning didn't stop there. I know many judges that are like what you describe, some in the egotistical category and some in the moron category. I've gotten really good feedback in competitions and really lousy feedback and really pious feedback. I find your research infinitely valuable as I seek to learn more and brew better.

Cheers, Ron!

Bier-Mania!™ Cultural Beer Tours said...

There has been an offer to take people who are BJCP judges on beer tours here in Europe and to see first hand styles of (especially) German beer.
So the offer is still there, come over and learn! I've met a lot of you in Denver last year, so you know me!
Another thing, Ron may not mince words (he is from the un-civilised northern part of England!) but he has been there and done it on 2 of our tours and has done countless number of (what he calls) research trips on his own! Furthermore he has also lived in many of the countries he talks about the beers!
What I am saying is, listen to this
expert, he really knows his stuff.
Cheers and people chill out! It's only beer, supposed to be a sociable drink after all!

Anonymous said...

I think the BJCP can be valuable, because it teaches beer appreciation and helps people to talk about beer, at least in theory. That being said, there are a lot of blowhards and know-it-alls, but I don't completely blame the BJCP for that. Every hobby seems to attract them.

But the sense of dogma and close mindedness is troubling. Education is a lifelong pursuit. No one can know everything about anything, so I don't understand the anger of other BJCP judges (OK, I admit I am one and teach test prep classes to others) when someone with verifiable sources questions their ideas.

If these dogmatic judges really cared about beer as passionately as they claim, they'd be open to getting new info. You can't learn if you consider everything you know is "sacred" and that it can never change or be challenged. I'm willing to listen to anyone who can support their facts with sources, and Ron clearly does that.

Plus I just love tables. I admit it. And I love reference books. I can't help it. It's like a disease.