On beer snobbery and the omnipresence of Fat Tire

Lew Bryson: Flat Tire. A well written piece about how beer aficionados tend to dump on beers that have broken out of the enthusiast ghetto—beers that once defined craft brewing, like Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams, and of course Fat Tire. Lew is right that part of this is the indie obscurist habit of not liking anything that has more than three fans (”I was listening to Jet Engines before they were cool!! What? What did you say? What? What?”).

I also wonder if part of it, for beer drinkers, isn’t just palate fatigue. After you’ve been tasting 9% ABV and 150 IBU beers for a long time, maybe the beers that started you up the taste path just don’t tickle your taste buds any more.

One thing I find is that beers that I obsessed over when I was younger, like Samuel Smith and Newcastle Brown, just don’t taste as good to me now. Part of it is the difficulty in getting bottles that aren’t skunked—have people forgotten how to handle beer in clear glass bottles? (And why after all these years does Merchant du Vin continue to insist on using them?)

And the other thing, of course, is that omnipresence is relative. There is no Fat Tire in Massachusetts, for instance. Much to my everlasting chagrin.

Glee Club record on 78s

Quick followup to my post about the 1947 Virginia Glee Club album Songs of the University of Virginia: yesterday I scored a copy of the original release. As I surmised, it was originally released on 3 78RPM records in an “album,” or book containing the records in three separate sleeves.

The good news is that the album has liner notes, which I will be transcribing at some point not too far from now. The bad news is that the liner notes don’t clarify either the recording release date (still estimated at 1947 based on the UVA library photo evidence) or the copyright of the record. They also muddy the waters about the origin of the Glee Club, dating it to the 1892 formation of the Glee, Banjo and Madrigal Club rather than to the formation of the original Glee Club in 1871. But it’s more information than we had before, so that’s cool.