Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Herd Mentality of the Anti-Herders

I’ve been involved in underground and sub-underground music since I was relatively young, and one of the hallmarks of said scene(s) is the phenomenon of the overwhelming backlash that comes from success, when a band that was your secret hits some moderate level of success, and all of a sudden loses whatever cachet they had in the first place – which likely had very little to do with their music. The more I engage in the world of beer dorks, the more this phenomenon appears to be a symptom of small-group, self-styled “connoisseur” behavior – because it happens with beer too. I have only skimmed some of the initial posts on Beer Advocate’s message board about the DOGFISH HEAD brewery, which has experienced some moderate success these past couple of years, but the response from their founder & head brewer Sam Calagione is excellent. You can read it here. And as I’ve mentioned before here, as long as Boston Beer, New Belgium and Anchor continue to make great beer – and they do – I could care less how popular they are with people who don’t collect & rate beer tastes the way others do stamps & coins.

1 comment:

tedo said...

Jay,
I couldn't agree with you or Sam more. I have seen some amazing craft breweries (Sam mentioned New Belgium which I completely agree) that were once all the rage, but once they became 'BIG NAME' critics start tearing them down. It's sad that a lot of Craft Beer lovers seem to always be disapointed when one of their favorite breweries becomes succesful.