I had some clients in for the Ohio State-Indiana game this year and wanted to get some different kinds of beer for the tailgate. One of the beers we served was Oranjeboom, a Dutch beer that came in 16-ounce cans.
I tried it, and thought it was pretty good — smooth, not bitter, a perfectly fine beer to guzzle outdoors while noshing on tailgate food like beef brisket and chili. A few weeks later, I saw that our local beverage store carried it. It had a reasonable price tag, so I bought a six-pack to drink while the boys and I smoked cigars over the Thanksgiving holiday. The beer held up well against the cigar, too.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I did a search for Oranjeboom and found that the Beer Advocate website rates Oranjeboom as a “C.” The raters look at things like the head, “lacing,” “retention,” “body,” and “finish,” and they concluded, no doubt with a sniff of condescension, that Oranjeboom just didn’t measure up. Silly me! I thought I was just drinking beer, and not performing a taste test for the Queen of England.
I recognize that some beers are better than others, and that some people — like my friend Marcel — are very serious about their beers and work hard at brewing their own concoctions. That’s fine. It’s absurd, however, to rate a canned brew that is meant to be quaffed in short order as if it is a bottle of Chateau Margaux. It makes the raters look like pathetic beer snobs who really need to get a life.