Gather ‘round kids, and let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, I was what one would call a “raver”. I used to go to all night dance events to listen to a style of music I loved and that wasn’t available for consumption by mainstream means. This music captivated me and drew me in, and soon enough I was going to these events on a regular basis. I met a slew of like-minded people, and learned more and more of the different sub-genres. I can still recall that feeling I’d get when the perfect track dropped at the perfect time of night. It was magical.
As my interest increased, I decided the next logical step was to start DJing. I bought my first set of gear and records and began the long, arduous process of learning the ins-and-outs. Years of practice and research paid off, and I was eventually good enough to play events and club nights. With all that knowledge, a deep understanding and appreciation came with the music I’d listen to. Something, however, had changed.
The events I attended shortly after beginning my journey into DJing felt much different. I found I was paying much more attention to the mixing in a DJ’s set, their track selection and their reading of the crowd as opposed to the tracks themselves. I could understand and value the job of the individual behind the decks much more, but it had an adverse side effect. I spent so much time and thought into the technical side that I stopped dancing. I just couldn’t move the way I used to. I was hearing things differently. I had lost the “magic” and all that was left was cold, clinical appreciation of technical aspects.
Now, you’re probably thinking “What’s your point? This is a beer blog”! Well, dear reader, it does relate. In the last few years of my beer journey, I’ve learned so much. I’ve learned what the sub genres are. I understand the basics of what certain ingredients will do to change the flavour. I’d like to think, however, that I’m still in that “magical” phase of my beer experience. There is still awe and wonder in finding that knock out beer.
I seem to be at a crossroads. Do I go more in depth with study on what makes a good beer? Do I start reading about technical faults and start training my palate to recognize them? Do I bring myself to a point where I can comfortably go and take the BJCP? Do I get into home brewing? The blogger in me wants to do it. Not only would it be a heap of new content to post about, but it might actually make me a bit more credible of a source. As of now, any review I put up (which isn’t many) is all based on my opinion. It’s based on my perceived enjoyment of the beer. It would be nice to be able to back up my opinion with something more than a simple “Yum”.
On the other hand, will expanding my base of knowledge forever change the way I look at beer? Will I be more concerned with style points, boiling times, malt profiles, and infections? Would I ever be able to just sit and enjoy a beer without the need to dissect it to its technical elements? Will I lose that “magic”?
I realize there would be a deeper appreciation for beer, and with that comes its own form of enjoyment, but I wonder if it would ever be the same. If ignorance (even partial) is bliss, then perhaps it’s best to just stay in the dark. Perhaps it’s better to stay out from behind that DJ booth. Perhaps it’s better to just keep dancing.
I’m really keen to hear your opinions. If you would like to weigh in, leave a comment below, or if you would prefer to keep it private, feel free to email me at email@example.com