You are battling against the mind set that says “any beer that I don’t like is rubbish!” You cannot win against that mindset for every man is a connoisseur in his own mind!
I have a vivid memory of the time when real ale suddenly appeared in Glencoe. One of the reasons that I took to drinking malt whisky was that I used to have two separate weeks in Glencoe every year, the climbing scene was at the Clachaig Hotel and they served either Younger’s Tartan or McEwens Extra, beers very much in the mould of Watney’s Red Barrel or Double Diamond (spit!) but they had hundreds of fine malts. One year in the mid 70’s we walked into the Climber’s Bar and there on the bar was a gleaming, polished wooden pump handle. “Real Ale?” we gasped. “Aye, laddie” said the barman, a gigantic kilted Scot, “but I must warn ye, it’s verra, verra strong so tak’ it easy!” (It was Eighty Shilling Heavy.) We had a pint each, it smelled like raw sewage but it was nectar on the palate. We downed it in one and immediately got another round - and the respect of the barman!
One of the problems, I think, is that there are more pubs selling craft ales than there are skilled cellar staff to tend them. Even the finest German bier becomes rather pedestrian if nobody has cleaned the pipes since last Michaelmas! You get to know the pubs to avoid and revel in the others. Another point to ponder on is that the restrictive German attitude to purity actually makes all German bier taste much of a muchness, compared with the huge range of styles available in the UK. Yes, I know a connoisseur will detect a wide range of flavours, I’m sure Andy does, but they struck me as variations on a simple theme!
Brian (Duck and covering!)