The labeling thing

This article, sent to me by my Dad, reminded me of the not-too-long-ago dustup over Upright brewing’s Four Play labels.

And all I can think of is how wrong everyone gets the response to suggestions that your labels are pushing the boundary. Becoming indignant over someone having an issue with your sense of humor won’t ever win people over to your cause, excepting people who are already in your camp.

Because there are a whole groups of people who have been or are marginalized for one reason or another and maybe, just maybe, they aren’t in on your joke. If they aren’t in on your joke, then it feels like you’re picking on them and I have to ask; how is doing that incorporating those people into your philosophy of sharing the drink you made?

Or from a  purely capitalist standpoint; how is that enriching your customer base, beyond short term scandal notes that won’t help your business survive long term?

I don’t think the labels should be changed mostly because I don’t really care. These things aren’t designed to encourage ire from me and as someone who likes beer, not packaging, I tend to ignore such things.

There is something to be said for growing a thicker skin. Absolutely. People should be used to the idea that not everyone thinks or acts the same and I don’t believe that one group having some fun should suddenly be forced to take their ball off the field and sit in the box because some overly sensitive mook cried foul. There is a point where the correct response is; Lighten up, Francis.

But I submit for your consideration that responding with; Hey, we’re just kidding around and here’s the explanation for it, or; Look, it’s a joke and while we admit it’s risque it’s all meant in fun, or even just acknowledging that some people are unfairly pushed aside-usually women, when it comes to beer and brewing-and maybe your joke wasn’t as funny to complete strangers as it is to someone who knows you, is frequently better than “Screw you candy asses who can’t take a joke.”

Not always. Just usually.

Whatever You Say #37

“I missed all my posts last week,” I bemoaned to my girlfriend on Saturday. I apologize to my readers for that: it happens but I do try to take my responsibility as a blogger seriously since I know I have an audience.

“Well, do a two-fer next week!” she advised.

So…have two beers? BRILLIANT.

alaskan raspberry wheatOn my second trip to visit Scott the bartender, I ask a man with geek glasses-thicker, squared black rims-on the rail with a cloudy amber beer what he’s drinking.  It’s the Alaskan Raspberry Wheat. As a longtime and nostalgic fan of their amber, I’m hopeful that this will be a more impressive outing.

Right before I try the beer, I ask the patron; do you like it?

“No,” he says “the raspberry really falters out and isn’t all there in the beer.”

I take a sip. The nose is weird, bready for a fruit style and the beer itself…well, while I disagree with his assessment of the raspberry presence, which I think is there up until the finish, the finish is a touch dirty and makes the whole beer taste strange in a way that puts me off.

We chat briefly-I’m in line so I can’t stay long (location really is everything when I do this kind of post) but I get his impressions. He’s quick to point out that his assessment of this drink are just his “Somebody else might like it,” he says, like someone who’s shared a few beers in his time and I nod. But we come together on the finish, which just isn’t right. When I leave, his pint is not quite half-drunk and it stays that way until I leave.

I understand; I’m drinking half the volume he is and after a few sips the finish is chalky, like raspberry medicine instead of fruit and my tongue has an odd coating on it that I scrape against the roof of my mouth to get rid of.

I recline in my seat and relax. We are in the final hours of the holiday weekend-a weekend that has been beautiful and allowed me to visit friends, see movies (Thor! I say check it out), have the occasional beer {in a very queer moment, I find myself recommending McMinamen’s Copper Moon ale, making that the first McMin’s brew I’ve liked in over ten years} and play lots of Magic. Note; sleeve your cards, gamers who go to pubs. Spilling beer on your $10 card is a big deal. Spilling it on your $10 card in a $.01 sleeve and causing no damage is nothing.

Just sayin’

Whatever You Say #36

boneyard IPA“It’s been awhile,” Scott says, pouring me a Boneyard Notorious IPA.

Yeah, I nod a touch ruefully. It is not my intention to not be here but sometimes the universe keeps me from doing all I want to do. Like posting all last week, say.

So I arrive at Bailey’s again, this time all of the instruments of my office in tow; pens and paper, laptop, camera, outboard brain.  I want to bring all these things because I am a writer, damnit. My tools of office matter; they are how I execute my will upon Mondays.

And it’s actually been long enough that the place has changed.

Which feels a little weird. The change isn’t a bad one–rather it’s as remarkably smart insertion of tables along the back wall, just large enough for two people to share time, space, drinks, small enough that you can get cozy and even one very solitary table for one. I actually feel I ought to be sitting there, since it’s almost a space reserved for someone like me. Plus, Scott the bartender shows off for me, the tables collapse so there will be more space when the festivals come.

I feel a twinge. I will not be able to make the 4th Anniversary.

The man I got my drink selection from was with a girl; they had the posture of familiarity; likely friends or a settled couple. He wanders off with his lass and I leave him be. I feel like I’m having to restart, after so many weeks in bars where the scene is odd, the people are gently wary of strangers, or I flat out am irritated by the patrons. I sip my beer and square my shoulders, align my spine, gird my loins; I’ve still got a few more strange and foreign places to visit before this theme is done.

Still, sometimes you have to touch base and gather your strength, and Bailey’s has always been a good place to do that.

The Boneyard IPA is very strong-12%-and pretty intense. More of a grapefruit bitterness at the end, which just feels unusual for an Imperial IPA-it’s usually pine flavors that I tend to notice. That might just be me but if you’re reading this, you’re reading it in part for me so…standard authorship disclaimers apply.

However I’m not certain I like this beer. It’s alright but after my glass, do I want another? I’m not so sure. Thing is, I’m going to have another of something, I just don’t know what. I’m just hoping it won’t be one of these, I guess…