How to Ruin MattDog’s Day

How to Ruin MattDog’s Day

Read this.
Ponder this.
Absorb this…but not for too long, lest ye become an osmotic douchenozzle of the highest order — on par with MBA-seeking 20-year olds, or Syrian dictator Bashar al-Asshat. Or, you know, everyone from Prince Edward Island. What? I hate Prince Edward Island.

To whit:

“Very sweet and has a nice estery nose. Little bit of citrus. Mouth is big on the sweet banana, has a small Belgium funk, easy drink.”

Re-read it at least five more times (six more and you’re the President of Syria). You might wonder one of two thoughts: “Hmm. This sounds like someone describing a beer.” Or, “This sounds like someone having a stroke.”

Either thought is correct — unlike some kinds of higher-level maths I do not understand, the former statements are not mutually exclusive.

The aforewritten quote was copied from Untappd, the social media tool that allows lushes to record all the beers they’ve consumed for posterity and innumerable badges both promoting and decrying their level of lushiness. But, you ask, “what beer was this asshat describing?”

Well, this moron had consumed at least one beer at a favorite haunt of mine, River North Brewery (Denver, CO). The beer, which was an anniversary release of a Belgian golden ale, was quite tasty, and certainly representative of the high quality one would expect from River North. Now, did it have a mouth “big on the sweet banana”? Uh, not really. Did it have a “nice estery nose”? Maybe, but who cares? Did it have a small “belgium” funk? Grammar fuck up aside, perhaps, but that’s like saying, “wow, this water is really clear!”


“Very sweet and has a nice estery nose. Little bit of citrus. Mouth is big on the sweet banana, has a small Belgium funk, easy drink.”

Ahh. Let it sink in, the douchery of it all. I use Untappd to log beers, mostly because I’m a sucker for meaningless digital affirmations like “Wow, you drank a lot of IPAs in May!” But I do not compose lousy descriptions of beers so that others will:

A.) Know what it tastes like, or be forced to infer taste based on meaningless words outside of common usage like “ester”, “sweet banana”, and “mouth.”
B.) Know that such-and-such beer is X, so that you’ve done them the service of tasting it for them, when half the fun of beer is diving in head first.

And, of course, C.) aka The Truth: “Know that I am smartypants about beer. Please respect and love me.”

This is a plague in the world of beer, the insistence on using–as Morgan Freeman’s character in The Shawshank Redemption said–”made up words” to describe tastes the taster doesn’t quite understand. Being in the dark is fine; being unable to evoke precisely what something tastes like is fine; and, best yet, being okay with saying, “this tastes like…this!” Beer is an adventurous drink, obviously because it has alcohol, but also because it can range from rice and beans to big banana mouths. The point is: please, for the love of Zombie Jesus, don’t use words like “estery” or “banana mouth feel” or “notes” to describe beers. Just say, “yum” or “blech.” It makes you sound like a butthole and cheapens our experience of what is supposed to be a FUN beverage, not a fucking homework assignment.

Don’t be the President of Syria.


Written by MattDog 20/20

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