In a discussion about Czech Pilsners, one “expert” maintained that the only way to judge these beers is to drink them from tap in their country and/or brewery of origin.
It’s proclamations such as these that drive me off of the rails. While their assertion may have some measure of validity as far as quality is concerned, from a practical standpoint, hardly anyone is going to drop what they are doing to fly out the Czech Republic, and then take a train to to Plzeň just to see how Pilsener is “supposed” to taste.
This simply is not going to happen. In this instance, the mountain has to come to Mohamed.
So in a conversation between beer expert, and the average Joe Six-Pack, the conversation will go something like this:
Beer Snob: The only true way to drink a true Pilsner is to get it from a bar in the Czech Republic.
Joe Six-Pack: I guess I’m going to have something else then. (He puts down bottle of imported Pilsner).
Beer Snob: Hmmph. And you call yourself a beer fan. (Walks away smugly).
Joe Six Pack: Guess I’ll have to drink something else…hey, what’s this? Beers made by everyone else in the world who don’t claim that I have to travel to their land to really taste it? (Goes off and purchases other beers).
(six months later)
Pilsner Brewer: Hey, why are our sales down?
Look, being a fan of a regional beer or brand is admirable. Claiming that the only way to enjoy it is to do something that is economically impractical is both snobbish and stupid, especially when there are hundreds of other alternatives on the market. At some point, you beer fanatics will just have to get over yourself and the importance of your beer, regardless of whether you’re Czech, German, Belgian, or yes, even American. There are other options out there that are just as tasty, and just as interesting as your favorite style/brand.