I tend to recite the caption of this James Thurber cartoon whenever someone asks me if the wine is good. It's a stale joke; wine criticism has come a long way in the last 70 years or so. Good beer snobs have now adopted some of the modern wine-snob vocabulary, and have settled into a typical phrasing that lends itself easily to mockery. That's where I come in. Presenting the It's Pub Night Beer Review Generator:
- The beer I'm reviewing is:
- It has a:
- Big headSmall head
- Its color is:
Which brings me back to skepticism. How useful are these wine-talk screeds about beer? It's exciting to read about a beer's "Sexy full-bodied palate, with just a hint of plum and orange", but does that really tell me whether I'd like it or not? I doubt it, and that conviction grows stronger as I idly amuse myself by reading one artificially-generated review after another. What I would like to see more of in beer criticism -- including my own -- is analogy. Something like "This beer is like an over-hopped Young's ESB", or "It reminded me of a cross between Sierra Nevada Celebration and Duvel". Describe a new, rare, or regional beer in terms of other beers that aficionados have been exposed to or have ready access to.
Play around some with the generator. I think you'll be amused by its presumption.