The Lies We Tell Ourselves

When it comes to beer, palette is preference. I say it all the time, behind the bar, talking to friends and family, and probably in my sleep.

This much is true.

But there are lies well tell ourselves outside of this, lies that help us shape reality how we want it instead of how it is - much like the lies we tell ourselves as sports fans.

Lie #1) My beer/team is better than your beer/team.

Okay, some beers are better than others, just like some teams are better than others. You see it in awards. When is bringing home awards from major competitions annually, you can make the argument they are better than (insert random brewery here). But the beers most craft folks tend to gravitate towards tend to fall into one of three categories: Local, Hard to Get, or the all-important, all-mighty NEW.

The thing is, the newest six-pack on the shelf doesn't mean an old favorite is no longer good, just like Joel Embiid doesn't detract from LeBron. But in much the same fashion, people are talking about "The Process," because it's the latest & greatest, overlooking that while LeBron's team has gotten worse, he's playing better than ever.

Staying with Listermann as my beer example, while they've gotten attention and credit for the New England IPAs all spring and summer, it's Chickow! that brought home another award from the Festival of Barrel Aged Beers recently, for the second year in a row. I work in a bottle shop, and what are people asking for? NEIPA's, not Chickow1 - and that's just within one brewery.

It's because people follow the trends, telling themselves the lie that because it's trendy, it's better. Chickow! wins awards the NEIPA's don't/LeBron is a better baller than Embiid, or anyone else on the planet. Still.

Lie #2) I'm an expert.

I mean this in the general sense, although it certainly applies to me just as much as anyone else.

Look, I've covered sports professionally. I've covered craft beer professionally. I've played sports, and worked in breweries. But at the end of the day, when it comes to both topics, there are people who know vastly more than I do, for several reasons.

I'm not a brewer. I've been around and loosely a part of the process multiple times, but left to my own devices, I won't produce drinkable beer, let alone great beer.

I'm not an athlete or top tier coach. I've been involved in many sports over the years, and learned to ask semi-intelligent questions about a couple of them. Left to my own devices, I could no more run an efficient football practice than I could, well, brew great beer.

The thing is, we all have opinions, based partially on facts and partially on what we desire to be true, and we present them as absolute truths, as if we are sought after wise men.

I love a good barstool debate over sports as much as the next person. I love good give and take on the merits of beers and styles as much if not more than anyone else.

At the end of the day, though, I'm just as full of shit as the rest of you when it comes to either. You are, too.

As long as you know this, and can enjoy the banter accordingly, salud! But don't be that self-important assclown who honestly thinks he knows better than the pros and presents opinions on beer and sport as if they were the 11th Commandment. Nobody likes that guy.

Lie #3) Beer/sports are super serious.

Unless you are lucky enough to be employed, and even luckier to be extremely wealthy because of one or the other, it's a hobby.

Enjoy them - hobbies are supposed to be fun! But if you pay to play, so to speak, it's not as serious as your job or your family. I hate the Steelers, but have good friends who are Steelers fans. It's fine. I know people who wouldn't befriend someone because of such things, much as I know people who won't associate with others over beer choices, usually craft vs. big beer.

I'm a beer enthusiast, not a beer snob. If I'm at my parents' house and dad offers me a beer, I'm drinking a beer with him, whether he has a craft or a Coors. If I'm that damned concerned, I'll bring some of my own, but at the end of the day, beer and sports are about the shared experience, and if you are trying to use that to inflate your sense of self-importance, neither one is ultimately going to help you.

There are more, I'm sure, and this turned out a bit on the serious side, which is not the goal of this site. I'll shoot for more levity in the future, since I've pointed out above sports and beer are supposed to be fun.

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