…I call it

While various confused artists nostalgic for a positive art call themselves situationist, antisituationist art will be the mark of the best artists, those of the Situationist International, since genuinely situationist conditions have as yet not at all been created. Admitting this is the mark of a situationist.

Sorry, are we on? Just thinking about something else. Anyway. Ahem.

Suddenly everyone’s talking about daft beer!

But what is daft beer – what is this new breed of beer which seems to have come out of nowhere to sweep the boards at beer festivals, award ceremonies and really awful retailers’ trade shows alike? Is Blue F***ing Moon just the same as ordinary Blue Moon, or is it made to a different recipe? (Can they even put that on the label?) Is draft daft better than bottled daft – or is it all just equally daft? And, hey, what is daft beer? You’ve done this one already – Ed.

Well, a precise definition of daft beer is not possible – we all know that! But the fact is, a precise definition isn’t necessary, or even desirable – it would be like trying to define ‘true love’ or ‘punk rock’ or ‘real ale’! Let’s face it, we all know a daft beer when we see it. It’s what they call the elephant test – if, when you shut your eyes, you think you’re in an empty room, but if you reach out and grab hold of something you think you’ve got something different from what everyone else thinks they’ve got; and if none of you can stop talking about it, or else none of you wants to start talking about it… well, that’s the elephant test! Don’t worry if you don’t follow all the technicalities, by the way: the thing about the elephant test is, you just have to experience it for yourself! You’re fired – Ed.

But what about those of us who haven’t seen the daft beer elephant yet? For people who like to learn about things by reading words with their brains, infographics are an increasingly popular way of finding things out: a good infographic may have an information density as high as 20-25%, as compared to the amount of information you’d be able to get into the same area using words alone. Of course, even more information could be packed into the same area by using very small type, but there’s a downside – many people find it impossible to read small type without using glasses. (Ever wondered why really clever people wear glasses? Now you know!) Did I mention that you’re fired? – Ed.

Anyhoo (!), infographics represent a good trade-off between the key values of Information Density and Neat Pictures – and let’s face it, we can’t all be glasses-wearing brainiacs. (Don’t forget, statistics show that as many as 50% of all people are of average intelligence!) So I was delighted to see an unsolicited email in my inbox from some American college students, with an infographic telling the full story about daft beer. Here it is:

Reification

Wait, I think that’s the wrong file. Here you go:

oldgold

I’m not 100% sure, but I don’t think that’s it either. Is it this one?

DJ_Cat

No, obviously it’s not that one. Silly idea. Well, this is embarrassing. I know it’s around here somewhere – I’ll have to get back to you.

In the mean time, here’s what the infographic actually said.

We’re all daft drinkers now. 36% of all consumers drink daft beer. 45% of all consumers say they would drink more daft beers if they knew more about them. If you assume that those 45% don’t drink any daft beers (you certainly can’t drink less than none!), that makes 81% of consumers who either drink daft beer or would like to. And since everyone who either eats or drinks anything is a ‘consumer’, that’s a pretty large majority of the population! Beer for everyone – and it’s daft all round!

Well, not quite all. Apparently 45% of ‘Millennials’ (people who believe that the Millennium will shortly be brought about by the Second Coming of Christ) prefer daft beer; a clear majority don’t, which is slightly disappointing. The news is even worse for ‘baby boomers’ (the infantile form of an adult boomer), as only 32% of them prefer daft beer. Then again, giving daft beer to babies of any kind is a bit irresponsible, not to mention a waste of beer. Think again, mummy and daddy boomers!

Daft beer comes in lots of different varieties. You can get daft saisons, wheat beers, pale ales, IPAs, Irish reds (exotic!), brown ales, barley wines and chocolate stouts. It’s not an endless list, though – for example, you can’t get a daft lager, bitter, mild, porter or stout. But how daft would you be if you asked for one of those? Not very!

Daft beer goes well with food. There are lots of daft beer/food matches out there. Saison goes with salad; wheat beer goes with sushi; pale ale goes, specifically, with mushroom ravioli (do check your ravioli beforehand to avoid disappointment). IPA goes, less specifically, with curry; Irish red goes with burgers; brown ale goes with grilled cheese. For afters, barley wine goes with pumpkin pie, and chocolate stout goes with chocolate cake. Some of these recommendations are fairly tightly defined, but it’s not hard to extend them. For instance, espresso stout will go well with coffee cake; damson and vanilla stout almost certainly goes well with damson and vanilla cake; and oatmeal stout has just got to go well with oatcakes. Enjoy!

Daft beer is growing. My, how it’s growing. Hey, wait – I’ve found the infographic! Well, I’ve found a bit of it – not sure where the rest of it’s got to, but never mind. It’s just as well, anyway, because this particular chart really does speak for itself.

Screen shot 2013-11-09 at 16.11.46

From 5.7 billion things in 2007 to 12 billion of the same things in 2012, to x 3 in 2017! You can’t argue with those figures.

Then there’s a picture at the bottom, but I can’t really make it out. It seems to show some sort of fish with a prominent dorsal fin, and a bottle of beer shooting or flying or leaping in some way over its back. What can it all mean?

One thing’s for sure, though – everyone’s talking about daft beer!

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