Think about your job. Think about the intricacies of your job that fascinate you. Now, think whether a normal person would want to know those details.
Think about getting a pizza. When you are in the pizza shop, do you want to ask the manager or the head cook about what ingredients are in the sauce or where the mozzarella was sourced from?
In a business where the producers are so passionate about what they do, the producers sometimes don’t understand why everyone else isn’t has enthused about the details as they are. That is why some of the questions brewers wish they were asked on beer tours are questions that would only come from geeky beer writers or other brewers and not some guy who is taking a beer tour just to get free samples.
One of the things that I’ve become interested in over the last year is how craft beer is a creative enterprise. Good brewers are as passionate and as skilled (sometimes as unstable) as good artists, writers, or musicians. What helps make creators like that as good as they are is they don’t see the world like normal people.
They are in weeds of the thing they do because it matters so much to them. The thing they are creating is a representative of who they are and it has to be perfect. Most people don’t spend 30 minutes making sure the commas are in the correct place in their emails to their friends. Writers do because everything they write reflects who they are. Most people who paint for a hobby buy their paint at a hobby store. Painters mix their own paints to get the correct shade of blue for their vision.
Ninety-five percent of the world, just wants the beer to taste good and get them buzzed. They aren’t too interested in where the ingredients were sourced. I would ask that and be interested to know some of these things, but I’m an outlier. I manage a craft beer bar, I have a beer blog, and I’m studying to become a Cicerone. Brewers aren’t going to get someone like me on every tour.
There is a level of commitment and care necessary to be in an industry like craft beer that isn’t necessary to simply partake in the fruits of labor of that industry.
There is a gulf between creators and their audience. They are each getting separate yet related things out of this thing they are sharing. Creators are getting the opportunity to express part of themselves to the world. The audience gets to find enjoyment out of something created from nothing. If the creator is successful in his creation she and the audience can find a shared moment the crosses that gulf.
However, that gulf is why people taking a beer tour don’t ask where your ingredients come from or how much do you pay in excise taxes. In some ways that gulf allows them to enjoy the beer more because the details might just get in their way.