Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Beer Menus Chicago

Beer Menus just launched in Chicago, or at least, this is the first I've seen or heard of it. I love beer menus, as we all know. Now, hunting for a particular pint won't be so hard, and I can comparison shop the vastly ranging prices here in town. They also seem to have a community that might be more congenial than the Chicago Beer Advocate forums here.

But I've got some issues with the local BAs. Maybe its hipster envy hatred; having two jobs, a wife and responsibilities will do that to a much better man than me. But I think it has more to do with the fetishizing of beer to the level of wine snobbery. I've seen some recent threads on there that remind me of the main reason I rarely go on-- not the long-winded reviews, but the venemous bile that greet them. Another would be the embarrassingly slow load times. The third is they are run out of Boston, and that place bugs me, but that is my problem not theirs. The fourth is the uneasy morass I feel when attending the Chicago Beer Society First Thursdays.

When I first started to go to CBS meetings, the combination of my beard and being under 30 got me mistaken for a BA member who wandered back to try some homebrew, having exhausted all of the commercial options available. Bringing my own brews helped, a bit. It was unfortunate that my first CBS meeting was after the BA started 'sharing' space with them, but I've heard stories of former glory at the homebrew meetings. Today it just seems like two ill-defined groups uneasily jockeying for position. Well, I'd say that if I felt the BA people ever realized they were placed on top of a long standing group; why they two meetings got scheduled together still baffles my mind. I should mention here I am in no way officially affiliated with either of these organizations, having never actually joined CBS (despite a valiant effort thwarted by the post-office). I've gotten great feedback from the CBSers, but I'd love to know if the meetings used to be as educational and intense as I've heard.

My own bile aside, I'm glad to see Beer Menus has made it off the least coast and into the heartland of beer drinking country. Welcome guys.

1 comment:

  1. I went to my first thurst firsday meeting last month (after being active on the listsrv for a couple years) and was surprised at the room I walked into. I was anticipating some sort of meeting and an organized discussion of homebrewing.

    What I found was a room full of people drinking.

    Now don't get me wrong, I had a great time. I found a couple people that I knew as homebrewers, talked brewing, and got some good feedback on my beers, however it was not what I thought it was going to be.