September 12, 2011

Our Beer Ohrwurm - Make it stop.

I'm sorry to put this Ohrwurm in your head this Monday afternoon, but I think it's the only way to remove this insidious word from our beer vocabulary. If you hit the main page then you can avoid some pain by not taking the jump. If you got the direct link, prepare thyself for some 80's self-importance.

What word am I talking about? Rod Stewart uses it 50 times in this song, yet it bothers me less in this song than it does when I read it one time in a beer review or brewery interview.
In the bars and cafes, passion
In the streets and alleys, passion
A lot of pretending, passion
Everybody searching, passion
In other words, either everybody has it or no one does. Either way, a good beer is a good beer.

We've used it in this blog in exactly 5 posts, excluding this one. I've used it here to describe someone consciously dialing down their level of enthusiasm. We used it twice here when talking about the fruit. Here again when referring to it as marketspeak.

Generally speaking, it's overused to ascribe motivations when we really don't have that information. Sometimes we use it as an excuse for unorthodox behavior. Stop me if you heard this one before:
  • That brewer threw a bunch of twigs in the boil, it tastes oddly twiggy, but boy does she have passion. (Reckless, not passionate.)
  • I can't really say why I like x beer over y beer. It must be the passion. (Or I can't be bothered to figure it out.)
  • He brews around the clock. It must be passion. (No. I think that's probably survival.)
We're not the first to object. In April, this gem, "You do realise that passion is not an ingredient?" was passed around the beer blogosphere. Funny stuff.

I've used it to describe myself. Guilty, guilty, guilty. Although I think I can tell you with certainty what my motivations are, it probably could stand a revision. We aim to abide by our word and stop using this word as a crutch and so today, we used it for this post and to formulate Beer Rule 4.


  1. I'll buy in to this, but is it still okay to have it, if you don't talk about it...just exhibit it?

  2. Chuck, so long as it doesn't involve drinking twig beer.