Tuesday, 8 May 2012

The Chocolate Analogy

So far, most of the beers tried in my beerticking challenge have been from a specialist shop, or specials on draught at really good beer establishment. These beers have provoked a range of experiences, most of them being something that is a little bit special. All of them have provoked thought, conversation and questions. Now, it seems it is time to tick some more familiar favourites. Beers available through our local supermarket. Since beginning pintsizedticker and joining the blogging community, I have uncovered the odd scathing remark about widely available beer, produced in volume. I suspect that many others have written similar blog posts before, and that this one may be a bit repetitive, but nonetheless will put in my twopence worth.

Having indulged in specialist (pricey) American style craft beers, my enjoyment of less individual, more widely available beers may begin to diminish. I hope not. I hope I will continue to enjoy the beers that got me started, without which I would never have encountered craft beer. My hope lies within The Chocolate Analogy.

Dairy Milk vs. Dark 68% Royal Merina

Who wins?

Dairy Milk, a good old favourite. There is something reliable about Dairy Milk, you know that it will deliver what it says on the tin. You won't be disappointed. You know, from the second the mere thought of "Dairy Milk" pops into your head that you will get that sugar rush, the melt in the mouth sweetness. The comfort of what you know.

The Royal Merina, an award winning special ganache from demarquette, made with 68% dark chocolate and an infusion of "pure Malagassy Bourbon Vanilla with Cornish cream", sounds like it tastes amazing and is jam packed with subtle and punchy flavours, wonderful texture and is made from the best superior ingredients. And I want some.

Not many would compare Dairy Milk to a sophisticated premium product. And neither do I.  They each exist for different purposes, and both do their job. Why can't we just enjoy them both? Why do we have to pick one? Personally, my favour would normally lie with a one off special, an opportunity to taste and experience something new, exciting, thought provoking, and (probably) delicious. But every once in  a while, I will find myself seeking comfort and joy in a bar of Dairy Milk.

I find the beer debate synonymous. So far on my ticking challenge, American style heavily hopped beer has, for me, triumphed over beers that are more widely available and familiar. But I live in hope, that from time to time, I will feel the same as with chocolate, and will crave a good old comforting favourite beer, nothing fancy, something reliable.

Even if I don't, however, I will still value these beers. My interest in craft beers has been piqued by being provided with information, being involved in discussion and having an open mind. This interest would have been squished had I been pressured, or had others been dismissive of my previous choices of beer. I would have been defiant and refused to try let alone like craft beer.

This post is not intending to comment on commercialism, Big Brewers vs. microbrewers, or even on the merits of any type of beer. Rather it's intention is to highlight that we shouldn't have to make a choice. That whether or not you like a particular beer, someone else will, and that is OK. And if you want to introduce a person to something, if you want to spread the word, they are more likely to be interested if they aren't made to feel foolish about their usual choice.

Time for a supermarket deluge methinks...

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