beer

noun \ˈbir\

: an alcoholic drink made from malt and flavored with hops

: a drink made from roots or other parts of plants

Full Definition of BEER

1:  an alcoholic beverage usually made from malted cereal grain (as barley), flavored with hops, and brewed by slow fermentation
2:  a carbonated nonalcoholic or a fermented slightly alcoholic beverage with flavoring from roots or other plant parts beer>
3:  fermented mash
Let's let beer be beer.

Let’s let beer be beer.

There’s a lot of conversation around what beer is these days. For the record, Mirriam Webster gives us a sound starting point (above) with commonly held and obviously researched definition of the beverage.

So why do some voices in the (especially professional) community want to splinter what “beer” is and should be and therefore create a divide within the word? It’s a waste of time and efforts should be put elsewhere.
When we label things and concepts, we further delineate – we divide and we don’t conquer; we damage, denigrate and alienate. Invariably as soon as we label something – anything – one way, then we stop thinking for ourselves and accept that thing as defined in that way. We become racists to the definition put before us and therefore become belligerent and unaccepting.
Reading an article in Time magazine this morning with my breakfast, the point is progressed. Temple Grandin and Richard Panek, authors of the piece, should know. Ms. Grandin has invested her life is being enormously successful in ways that, if she felt restricted by someone else’s definition of what an autistic person should be, would never be supported or believed.
I’d ask:
1. What’s the goal to be accomplished by dividing this universal beverage into categories? What’s to gain and for whom does the gain benefit and whom does the advancement disable or damage?
2. Who’s to say they are the authority to make such a definition?
3. If various definitions are created, then how does the education of that new information roll forward? What’s the educational piece or why would this be beneficial in any way beyond professional exclusion? You can’t just create something and expect everyone to automatically be on board.
4 Who will you leave out and alienate in the name of creating an exclusive label? And what’s the ultimate goal of the whole definition concept and execution?
I know that the people behind some of this conversation are smart, thoughtful, and worldy folk. I laud them for their passion, their vision, and their incredible energies and talents applied. That’s not the issue at stake here.
I think it’s a fool errand and a huge waste of time. Make a definition, fine. Then use it amongst yourselves but don’t expect the general populace, who already has myriad confusion on some of the explosion and growth and ideas around what the modern beer landscape currently is, to adopt it and feel the same way.
Let’s concentrate instead on bigger much more relevant and important goals. Education, quality, transparency, and diplomacy. Everyone gets to ‘play’ and in the end, like Stan says, it is only beer. He’s written a good piece here on the same wavelength as well. Thanks Stan.

Categories: Assumptions & Myth Busting, Beer, Something To Think About
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