Making An Event Out Of A Drink :

So why the hell do tasting notes, for beer of all things? Isn’t all that summer field and flowery language unbearably pretentious.

Probably, but who cares.

There’s a world out there that views beer and even whisky as a way of getting hammered and that’s all. There are innumerable pints going down peoples’ throats as if marking time until they get into their coffin. Repeating worn out motions, each iteration looping until it’s worn a hole into the background. Watching it seems like a visual representation of stuck record skipping through the same motion again and again.

Compared to that we could all take a little pretension or whatever insult people are using these days. Because alcohol should be enjoyed in whatever form it takes, because time in the bar should be about more than a desperate attempt to make sure you ended up getting more drinks bought for you than you bought for others. Furthermore going back to the bar every time to the nauseously familiar tap whilst speaking no more words to the human being serving you than necessary is pissing away a life in a death of a thousand banalities.

So yeah I’ll take a bit of pretension.

So what does a tasting note do, that alters this banal monstrosity of an existence? A simple combination of pen, paper and a drink in hand.

It’s a lesson learnt by sports, businesses, shows and religions the world over. It makes a simple occurrence an event. To add a touch of ritual and pomp to a moment. The simple indulgence in making the normal and mundane interesting is something worth spreading to all elements of our life. We face many “mundane” moments in life for every one of wonder, by making these mundane elements fun and interesting is to reclaim them from their simple roots and enhance our lives.

It’s paying attention to the moment, a drink that would otherwise pass un-mourned to its porcelain grave now is examined in every detail, being aware of what you are doing and why. When time is unexamined it floats by so quickly, unrecorded and forgotten- to take time out and examine the item you are drinking to consider its taste, smell, character, is to take in new details. This makes this moment different from every other and to thus tie it to a memory that sticks where otherwise you would have a hazy sameness.

It’s also the aforementioned moments of interest – ok, your going to look a tad odd taking photos of beer and asking bar staff if they mind putting the whisky bottle on the table so you can take a photo. But if you’re worried about looking a bit of a fool you’re never going to do anything interesting. Nearly every endeavour starts with looking a fool whilst you work out what you’re doing. Grasp those moments and laugh with them rather than fearing them.

So what do you benefit in response? Conversation, interest, so many bar staff and patrons have found interest in this peculiar hobby of mine and thus have started conversations of the difference between a stout and a Porter ,on the Santa festivals in Denmark, A discussion with a designer of a roller coaster. People have fished out details of local microbreweries, beer festivals and events. All for the cost of doing something that might look a tad odd. I’d say it’s worth the cost.

All this and I’ve not even yet mentioned the fact that you will probably try a lot of good drinks.

Was this whole article a bit overblown, pretentious, filled with hyperbole and bombastic representations?

Sure

But what would you expect, it was written by someone who does tasting notes.

Care to join me?