The session. Once a month beer bloggers from around the world take five minutes to all discuss a particular topic. This month, the topic is novelty beers. It was suggested by this months host, Mr. David J. from Good Morning – A blog about beer, mostly. The following quote sums up the brief for this month:

How much does hype have an effect? Are we much better off knowing nothing about a beer, or is it better to have the knowledge as to what the best beers are?

Which beers do you think have been overhyped? How do you feel when a beer doesn’t live up to it’s hype.

Is hype a good or bad thing for beer? Tell me what you think.

So hype then. I spend a lot of my spare time on the internet reading other peoples blogs, this is why I never have time to update my own. Most of these blogs are about beer, so I see a lot of beer hype. People going off at the deep end to really try and get across just how much they like this beer and how it is the best in the world, or conversely how terrible it is and that it shouldn’t be touched with a barge pole.

The problem is trying to separate the wheat, from the chaff, out of all this opinion (because that’s what it is someone’s opinion). Where do you begin? There are so many people out there with differing opinions and all are valid. Trying to find people with the same tastes as you would seem to be a good bet, but I’ve found most people, I’ll agree with some posts and not others.

Well what about following the hype then? Recently I had a bottle of Build a Rocket Boys! by Robinsons, general consensus I saw online before trying it was good, they all said it was not a modern outrageous lets-see -how-unlike-beer-we-can-make-a-beer beer, but a good, well balanced, middle of the road pint. I was wholly underwhelmed (full post on this to follow).

So you can follow the  hype and it can be wrong, you can ignore the masses and follow just a few select people who you think you can identify with and still get it wrong. Taste, being a purely personal matter can never be fully quantified and just because a beer has a ratebeer.com score of 99, doesn’t mean everyone likes it. Then again, doesn’t mean you won’t either.

So all this logical thinking leads you nowhere, you go round in a circle and end up back where you started wondering if all this hype about a beer is worth. Should I try it? Is this going to be another damp squid? Is it going to be worth my money, time and effort to go and find it? All I can say really is that at the end of the day, if plenty of people have tried it and liked then why not give it a go? The worst that can happen is that you don’t finish it. At least now you can comment, put up your own post and talk about it. It doesn’t matter if there is only one blog on the entire internet with a different opinion to everyone else. That’s the point of the discussion. Join in the debate.

You haven’t got to agree with the hype but without the hype there isn’t much to talk about, so if you wan’t me to sum up in a word – yes – hype is a good thing, it’s a catalyst for conversation, spreading the word and providing a discussion point for current debate. And you never know, along the way you might get a tip about some good beers.