Tuesday, June 20, 2017

WEEK 107---Craft What Fun?

2013年底朋友鼓励抱着写玩玩心态开始“CRAFT IS ART” 部落客,到隔年写“顽啤主张”,有朋友问到底Craft魅力何在,可以让人如此着迷?来聊聊到底怎么回事。
It's been quite a while since this blog started, here's a little "looking back and forth":-
1) how it started?
About 5 years plus ago--going to the only dedicated craft beer bar in town--the drinkers would almost always full of either expat or foreign tourists, the percentage of local drinkers are quite small- that's when a friend suggested " why not try writing a blog about craft beer in Chinese?"
(*Malaysia as a muslim country--technically speaking it's only the Chinese with 20 plus % of population and Indians at about 5 plus% who are not bound by "prohibition laws" and can drink freely) 
Then again--since there are Chinese who don't read Chinese, as well for the benefits of some friends who are not Chinese--a Chinese + broken English blog was born in late 2013.
1) 怎么开始的?
56年前去本地唯一1craft beer专卖吧时,都是外国人居多,有朋友提议说为什么不写中文啤酒blog尝试推广?后来想到有不会看中文朋友,也不管半桶水英文,于是变成中英文双语版。
2) drinking craft---what is it all about?
it's still beer drinking--only and HUGE difference is Choices available.
Imagine this--all the MACRO BEER you been drinking so far is like eating Plain White Bread and nothing else.  Drinking craft is more like making bread into all sorts of delicacies -you could put on fresh vege or ham or eggs or add some fruit jam-peanut butter jelly- toast it- roast it---the possibilities quite endless...
2) craft 到底怎么一回事?
本还是喝啤酒,巨大不同是变成有很多不同类别风味啤酒选择。
简单说,可以想像成以前喝的大厂啤酒都像是白面包,而喝craft beer就像是开始在全麦面包上做各种美味添加,涂上果酱-花生酱-蜜糖,变成三文治或烤土司等美味转身,听起来是不是美味多了?
3) what got you into the craft "black hole"?
10 years ago--anyone who chose to drink some "Macro-ish" German beer or Belgium beer here in KL is considered advance drinker ;) 
There's simply no supply of craft beer here until about 7,8 years ago when a small Belgium restaurant in Bangsar brought in beers like de la senne, st.martin,  Hopus, Duvel...that was probably the time when palate was open up somewhat. BUT the 2 beers that really gotten me was Rochefort 8, as well as a vintage 330ml Struise Black Damnation Mocha Bomb kindly shared by the owner, those 2 beers definitely impacted the palate in more ways possible at that time.
3) 什么情况下陷入浩瀚啤海的?
一直以来吉隆坡没有craft专卖店,当时会喝些德国啤酒就已很与众不同了,七八年前有一家比利时餐厅自己小量进口几个不同品牌比利时craft beer,那时算大概知道什么是不同啤酒美味层次,真正让人开窍的啤酒是餐厅主人分享私藏,一是Rochefort 8号,另一是已绝版Struise Mocha Bomb小支装,对那时候味蕾来说,这两支啤酒带来震撼是影响深刻的。

4) what fun being a geek?
Geeks at times are seen as "alien subject" by some other drinkers--simply because they are seen to be either too picky about beer or trying to make something as simple as beer drinking into complicated rocket science?
In truth the joy of being a geek is the same as say a foodie, it's all about finding and enjoying different taste profile, in this case, either a beer or a mead, and that is all geeks wanted, nothing too complicated really. 
and if you don't realized, being a geek in ASIA can be not much fun--painful even at times--simply because we lives so far apart from Europe/US where lots of awesome beer/mead originated from and hardly get any consistent or fresh enough supply.
4) 啤迷乐趣是什么?
有人觉得啤迷就是没事找事的一群不就是啤酒吗?有什么需要那么执着讲究花钱花时间精力研究,一定只要喝这或那的?
在亚洲,很多欧美厉害啤酒没人引进(或者说拿不到代理权),啤迷只能自主,通过欧美朋友或特定网店或啤酒对换方式等取得心头好,这其实是不太符合经济效益的举动,不过一些啤迷甘之如饴,为的只是想和同道中人分享尝味道。
说到底,啤迷就只是对啤酒风味水准有一定程度要求的一群,像喜欢美食的人那样,这是个讲求酿品水准美味层次群体,不了解的人觉得啤迷为了普通不过的啤酒而走火入魔是可以理解的,毕竟,不同风味佳酿能带来乐趣只有啤迷才能领会。
5) what so fun drinking craft?
first and foremost--it's different--though it's still beer--the varieties of taste profile one could get out of a craft beer (or mead) is so so much different from gulping your usual BUD or Tiger or Carlsberg or Tsingdao or Chang....
secondly- drinking beer can become something one could "taste"--the term tasting session no longer belongs to just whisky or wine--with craft beer you really can enjoy better with a tasting session- drink less taste more.
IF you are into or have friends who are very into certain sports or hobbies, say photography, cooking, rock climbing, writing or whatever--the joy is the same when you share and appreciate good craft beer/mead.
5) Craft乐趣是什么?
不喝酒人对喜欢喝酒人印象就是醉醺醺,喧哗,乱性,甚至闹事等刻板负面标签。
说喝craft是不一样的,一般人好像有点难以理解,因为不也是喝有酒精饮料?
对啤迷来说,喝craft基本像享受美食甜点咖啡品茶,是讲究味蕾享受美味层次,不牛饮不斗酒,意思是,啤酒在这里变成适合品饮(TASTING)的东西,不再是一般人印象中廉价酒精饮料而已。
因为品饮,因为不同美味层次享受,啤酒让啤迷之间找到共同话题,也因为craft文化特质,让啤迷间有了共识,找寻或分享美味佳酿是乐趣,让更多新朋友认识craft也是乐趣。换个角度看,啤迷的乐趣跟摄影发烧友或美食爱好者之间没区别,大家都有追求目标,也有共同语言。
6) does it make any difference---when majority drinkers just simply buy BEER and gulp it down?
It's a fact that MACRO BEER is the market leaders in terms of volume and easy access to getting it--but craft is here, craft is a CHOICE, and a much much better one (ok, fxxk some awful brew claiming to be craft)--people just need to open up their eyes and mind and give some varieties of craft a few tries before even trying to decide or judge if craft is worthy sip or to your liking.
craft in ASIA is still at early developing stage--if the US market took about 20 odd years to gain a strong foothold in the beer market while trying to fend off all kinds of tactics from MACRO--ASIA might need that long a time to get craft moving in the right direction--one step at the time--so long as craft community moves--the craft movement will move in tune...
6) 绝大多数人都随便买随便喝大厂啤酒,啤迷摇旗呐喊有用吗?
Craft主要靠口口相传,如何让更多人知道啤酒不是只有大厂品牌,craft beer才是更美味多变化选择不是短期内就能看到成效的事。美国的craft革命用了20年左右才有如今占整体啤酒市场销量10多巴仙成绩,亚洲肯定需要时间,而且搞不好比美国更长时间才能让更多消费者开始意识到喝啤酒时其实有更多美味选择。
7) why write when the market is dominated by MACRO still?
when this blog started--or subsequently when the local Chinese newspaper Guangming Sunday feature section invited to start a craft column--the thought is the same--it's to share thoughts about craft--though maybe it would be nice to be able to earn money while writing/sharing like J.K.Rowling or some big time blogger but i guess that's not happening/not gonna happen :)
end of the day--if anyone who read this blog/newspaper column or say someone met in person got interested with craft and went on to explore more--i guess that would be reasons enough to keep writing/sharing...(though i won't mind IF someone like to donate millions to the account and say go on be a full time craft writer or go and publish a book or something : )
7) 大局是那样,还有什么好写的?
无论是最初写部落客或“顽啤主张”,都没什么伟大理想抱负,只抱分享心态,想到什么就写什么,要说有谁看了会对craft beer产生兴趣,或觉得原来长大以来以为认识的大厂啤酒并不是啤酒全部真相,那就够了。

Monday, June 5, 2017

WEEK 105---you have CHOICES when it comes to beer


This is a fairly simple piece --it came out of a casual chat with someone about craft beer, during MBCC beer week  here in craft desert KL:-
"what is it about craft beer? what so special that people would fly all the way to Copenhagen just for beer? are you guys nuts?"
Obviously the guy who commented is not a beer geek--well perhaps not even a craft beer drinker but a curiosity drinker--and he is absolutely right to voiced out those questions.
中英文版本有差×
五月8号到14号是全球很多啤迷的大日子,去过或知道什么是哥本哈根啤酒庆典的,都了解为什么很多远在南\北美洲或亚洲啤迷的会千里迢迢飞去就只为了啤酒。
这样说可能会让很多人摸不着头脑,不就是啤酒吗?有需要特意花钱花时间飞那么远?会那样问的人很正常,绝大多数人都不了解啤酒有什么好喝到可以让人那么着迷,需要那样大费周章。
用一般人可以理解的角度来说,哥本哈根啤酒庆典就像是一星期的极致美味聚会,整整7天时间,平常日子已经是有很多厉害啤酒选择的哥本哈根变成名符其实的啤酒天堂,来自全世界(主要欧美)很多不同城市的所有大师级,最当红,后起之秀酿酒师都齐聚一堂,大家把自家各种不同风格口味佳酿拿出来,包括好多平时有钱也难买到的啤酒\蜜酒,让懂得欣赏的啤迷可以一星期内一次过慢慢品尝,作为迷,还有什么比这样的盛会更让人向往的?
You see--the world of beer is split into 2--there's the commonly available everyone knows MACRO BEER, and then there's craft beer( though i would say it's going to be 3 or already split into 3 with the role of MACRO-CRAFT coming into play) ---hence it's normal majority of BEER drinkers don't understand how and why geeks behave or go huhhhhuaaa about beer.

"what so different about the world of craft"--the curiosity drinker guy asked.
The biggest differences of course is CHOICES--there are so many choices with craft beer that it's like walking into a candy store or XMAS gifts shop.
可是,啤酒不就只是啤酒吗?
 的确,在全世界很多城市,几个人走进一家酒吧,对侍者说"来一打啤酒",很多时候,基本不用说喝什么啤酒。这是很多酒吧每天重复上演的画面,喝啤酒只是件简单不过的事。
 这是两个迥然不同的啤酒世界,同样是啤酒,中间差异太大,主要分别在于对啤酒看法,态度,文化等等。
 “喝啤酒不就是最简单不过事情吗?什么时候变复杂了?还要是迥然不同两个世界?这样说是意味着喝啤酒要变成复杂难懂,装模作样,所谓"有文化"事情吗?”有人这么问。
 的确,喝啤酒这件事本质上是可以很简单的,就算来到craft beer的世界,也可以是简单事情,要说其中最大差别的话,应该说在于怎么喝,喝什么。

"OK--choices--but is that to say you guys turning what used to be straight forward friends gathering-chit chatting drinking session into some complicated -smart ass beer sniffing -gourmet studying session?"
That is also quite understandable--of course geeks can be a bunch of weirdos who sniff beer as if they are tasting wine/whiskey--take photos of bottles like they are taking pictures of some rock stars or the finest art collectibles--all those make geeks look somewhat strange--to many a beer is just a beer--there's no need really to make things complicated than necessary.

Are beer geeks really that different from say guys who are crazy about photography? or say people who are into seeking out good food? or say people who love mountain climbing?

The answer is simple---what  beer geeks really wanted is to be able to seek out and appreciate high quality brew --and to achieve that geeks are prepared to do more be it to fly out, to pay a bit more than average drinkers would for MACRO BEER, to study a bit about beer styles and taste profile and so on---It's all about passion and interest level---all in the name of taste.
喝啤酒需要讲究怎么喝?
没错,啤酒原本就是被诠释为直截了当的轻松型酒精饮料,这是大厂啤酒一直为大家塑造的印象,也是消费者一直以来的理解。换个角度看,在craft beer世界裡,喝啤酒可以有更多其他层面享受。
 比如说:-
喝啤酒可以变成像是品尝美食甜点-或精品咖啡或品茶那样"有文化有层次有要求"的事情。这样听起来好像是在把一件很简单的事情搞复杂,唬弄人,要把原本质朴的事情搞砸?

如果一个饮客一路来只认识大厂啤酒,会这样想不出奇,因为对不少人来说,喝啤酒就只是为了跟朋友或亲人开心集聚,喝什么口味啤酒根本不重要,气氛和亲友间交流才是重点。所以,当一个那么"简单质朴"的大厂啤酒世界概念被强调不同风格口味啤酒享受的craft beer改变後,啤酒世界没选择不用选择的局面就已被打破。

"so craft has got choices-different flavour profile--but why should i drink craft?"
It's not a must for everyone who drink MACRO to turn over and drink craft--it's still personal choices what you would prefer to drink or where to drink---the 1 big reason maybe that since no matter if one is drinking MACRO or craft--it's still alcoholic drink which the body needs working to dissolve the alcohol, in that case, why not give your palate a nicer tasting beer than the dull and same same?
喝啤酒为什么需要选择?
随便买随便喝是不少人对待啤酒态度,大厂啤酒的便利让大家都以为啤酒是不用考虑口味选择的“廉宜饮料”。这当然是错误观念,因为啤酒绝对合适细味品饮,而不是牛饮喝醉。重点是,啤酒是含酒精饮料,意味着喝下后身体机能需要工作化解酒精,既然这样,为什么不只选择适量喝美味好喝口味变化多端的?
'what so different drinking a MACRO BEER or a craft?"
there's many technical aspects to go into details--perhaps think of it this way---it's like the differences of drinking a pack of frozen orange juice bought from convenience store as compared to a glass of freshly squeezed juice with 3 oranges? 

喝什么不都一样是啤酒吗?
一些人喝啤酒只为热闹或跟亲友聚聚,喝什么不重要,只是,看到大多数人完全不知道有craft beer美味多样化选择存在是件让啤迷揪心的事。的确,每个人口味看法不同,有人觉得喝大厂啤酒就很爽了,可是,对啤迷来说,打个比喻,酿得很好的craft就像是用3粒优质橙榨成的一杯果汁,更原汁原味新鲜好喝。跟超市卖的包装果汁是有一定区别的,既然有那样的美味选择,为什么不要?

"what so good or important to know what craft is?"
Let's maybe put it this way---knowing how to appreciate craft would bring about many different flavours for varieties of palate enjoyment.
Only those who gave themselves a chance to get to know craft better--as well know how to respect an alcoholic brew--would have the chance to appreciate the multitude of joy craft could bring.
懂得喝craft有什么重要?
或许这样说,懂得欣赏craft beer会带来很多意想不到的不同风味味蕾享受(虽然偶尔也有喝到难喝酿品受罪时候),也会比较懂得怎么去面对酒精,只有给机会自己口味选择,尊重酒精酿品的人,才有机会享受不同类别啤酒所带来乐趣。