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View Full Version : Why do old people think they know everything about beer?



CBiebel
07-20-2009, 12:12 AM
There is this crazy old guy who comes into my store who talks all the time about various stuff. Yes, I know, he's crazy and I shouldn't rise to the bait, but he's wrong so often, I can't help myself.

Some examples:

"The best bourbon out there is Jack Daniels!" (I tried to explain to him that Jack Daniels is not Bourbon, but that fell on deaf ears).

"There is a difference between Scotch and Whiskey" (I tried to explain to him that Scotch is a form of Whiskey (or I guess I should say "Whisky").

"The only reason light beers have fewer calories is because they have half of the alcohol." (First of all, they don't have half of the alcohol. They have less alcohol than most beers, but even many true Pilseners have similar alcohol levels as many "light" beers. Second, if alcohol content was the only deciding factor, then Guiness Draught would have fewer calories than Coors Light (since it actually has a lower alcohol percentage), yet it doesn't. There are other factors as well).

I tried to explain that I was a home brewer and knew a lot about beers because it was my hobby (not to mention that I work in a liquor store and research stuff because of this as well). His reply was that he was a lot older than I was and that since he "had drunk a lot more beer" than I had, that he knew more.

Some other stuff he came up with:

1. The beers in Europe have a lot more alcohol in them (BTW, as I pointed out above, Pilseners are around 4% ABV. Also, Berlier Weisse are around 2.5% ABV). He first claimed that they have about 9% ABV, then later upped that to 12%! I tried to point out that most of them were in the 5-6% range, and that only a few rare styles were a lot higher.

2. He then asked me if I knew the term "Krausening"(which, BTW, he mispronounced, and then tried to correct my correct pronunciation of it). He said that it was "aging for 2 years." Two things came into my mind. First, he was probably thinking of the old tradition of taking the Krausen (which is the foam from an active yeast culture in the early stages of fermentation) and adding it to the bottling to naturally ferment the beer. Second, he might have been confusing the term with "lagering" which is what you are supposed to do with lagers, where you store them for 2 MONTHS (not years) to let them settle and condition.

3. He said how you had to use dark glass ("green or brown") to prevent the beer from stopping the fermentation due to sunlight. As I understand it, if there is much fermentation going on in the bottle (outside of a very small amount used to carbonate it), then you are going to end up with a "Bottle Bomb." We all know about this threat.

This guy said that he's watched the History Channel and found out all this stuff from there. I've watched the same shows and came up with very different information. Apparently, it went in one ear and out the other with him.

The best part is that he says stuff like "I was born in Germany." (So what?) I grew up in Pittsburgh! (So I guess the "Born in Germany" part is worthless now, since you actually grew up in the states). "I know someone who owns a brewery in Europe" (I'm guessing that you don't understand what he says, since you don't understand what I'm trying to say). "I know someone who owns a bar that sells a whole bunch of different kinds of Samuel Adams..." (So?)

Displaced Hick
07-20-2009, 12:17 AM
Maybe you should find out if he drinks a lot of pure grain alcohol;D

CBiebel
07-20-2009, 12:21 AM
Maybe you should find out if he drinks a lot of pure grain alcohol;D

No, although he does drink quite a few of the "99" schnapps. He's one of those guys who shows up at the door when you are ready to open, comes in and asks for 4-5 bottles of 50ml 99 schnapps (about $1.25 each), then throws out a $100 bill. We're like, "You do realize that we just opened and don't have change for that, right?" Then he gets pissed off.

wildoates
07-20-2009, 12:37 AM
My brother tried to educate my son about how the IPA he was drinking was an "Indian beer," as from India. My son tried to explain to him why it's called IPA, but bro would have none of it. As far as he's concerned, it's an Indian beer.

You just can't tell some people some things.

akueck
07-20-2009, 12:50 AM
Proof that people with a little information are more dangerous than people with none. It's that horrid middle ground between complete ignorance and actual knowledge where wild extrapolations take place, and they are really hard to root out.

wildoates
07-20-2009, 12:58 AM
And my brother's not old--he's younger than I am, and I sure as heck ain't old.

He is opinionated, though.

Respect yer elders, and when they're wrong, just smile politely and go about your business.

CBiebel
07-20-2009, 03:40 AM
I forgot to mention my favorite one:


"No way would you be able to stand up after ordering a six pack from a European bar..."

He obviously doesn't know me very well...

Bryon
07-20-2009, 06:03 AM
Sounds to me like he's just some lonely old fart who's got your number. As long as your willing to argue with him about things that really don't matter, he'll always have someone to talk to. I'll bet the best part of his day is watching you get all wound up and spinning yourself in a circle.

Some of his stuff is just a simple matter of perception. this one is true for most people.

"No way would you be able to stand up after ordering a six pack from a European bar..."

Why? Because you'd be sitting there drinking it. If you wanted it to go, you wouldn't be in a bar. You'd be in a liquor store.

If nothing else he's the one thing out of your day that you remember enough to come home and complain about.

Take his stuff with a little salt. a little lime, and a little Jose.
A time may come one of these days when you'll find yourself missing the old guy and wondering what ever happened to him.

Nickademas
07-20-2009, 09:21 AM
haha young whippersnappers think they know everything :P

Medsen Fey
07-20-2009, 09:23 AM
Ignorance is bliss.
(at least for the ignorant)

Edit
Unfotunately it is found all too commonly across the entire spectrum of age.

Summersolstice
07-20-2009, 10:32 AM
Why are young people so condescending and ready to dismiss old people? Many elderly people have accepted certain things as fact and are willing to repeat them. That doesn't mean that everything they know or say is irrelevant. This old guy has likely lead a very rich life and may have done and seen things that would amaze and perhaps shock you. I'm sure he's probably loved and lost beautiful women and probably endured more hardships than most of us ever have. Byron is right - the old guy's probably just lonely. Listen to what he says and allow him to believe what he wants.

DaleP
07-20-2009, 12:17 PM
To be young again, and know everything!!!!!!

dogglebe
07-20-2009, 03:01 PM
I use to work in a homebrew supply store where I spent most of my time out front with the customers. The worst newbie customers we had were the chemists and the culinary students. These people thought they could throw whatever they wanted together and come up with the perfect beer. When it didn't come out, they blamed me.

One of these chemists purchased the Extreme Brewing book by Sam Calgione. It was the only book he bought on the subject. He brewed one batch and it turned out bad so he tried another and another and another. The worst part was that he was brewing the lagers without even learning what was involved, and without the temperature control needed for these beers.

Can't teach these people anything.


Phil

BBBF
07-20-2009, 05:23 PM
"Youth is truth! I wish old rhymed with lies!"

afdoty
07-20-2009, 06:48 PM
I use to work in a homebrew supply store

Say what????

dogglebe
07-21-2009, 02:51 PM
I work there once a month now, Al, so I don't really call it 'working there.' For some reason, you always show up on that day....


Phil

wildoates
07-21-2009, 03:02 PM
Panic attack thwarted. :)

afdoty
07-21-2009, 04:02 PM
I work there once a month now

:blob1: Ok...it's cool then

fatbloke
07-22-2009, 05:07 PM
My brother tried to educate my son about how the IPA he was drinking was an "Indian beer," as from India. My son tried to explain to him why it's called IPA, but bro would have none of it. As far as he's concerned, it's an Indian beer.

You just can't tell some people some things.
????? I'll have to read that part again then, I understood that it was developed in Britain (and brewed here), because they found that other beers wouldn't travel that far/long and keep in such hot/humid conditions.

Once brewed it was then shipped and sold in India, hence IPA being a beer for india, not made there (the locals wouldn't have liked it etc etc).

I might be wrong though, I'll have a look.

regards

fatbloke

p.s. and no, I don't really give a toss who's actually correct, but I recall reading and understanding it the way I've explained so it's "spiked my curiosity".......

wayneb
07-22-2009, 05:26 PM
FB, you are indeed correct, and that was the point that wildoates' son was trying to make to her brother, apparently to no avail.

Just another example of how those "oldtimers" can be absolutely sure in their convictions, and absolutely wrong. ;D

I, for one, never plan on growing old! ;) If I'm wrong and called on it, I don't mind being corrected... at least not most of the time. :rolleyes:

wildoates
07-22-2009, 07:31 PM
FB, you are indeed correct, and that was the point that wildoates' son was trying to make to her brother, apparently to no avail.

Just another example of how those "oldtimers" can be absolutely sure in their convictions, and absolutely wrong. ;D

I, for one, never plan on growing old! ;) If I'm wrong and called on it, I don't mind being corrected... at least not most of the time. :rolleyes:

What Wayne said. Don't listen to my brother...last I heard he was living on a tent pitched on a raft floating on the American River, so I can't vouch for his credibility.

:)

Bryon
07-23-2009, 02:29 AM
The problem as I see it is this. Because they are drinking crap, they have too much time to sit around and talk crap. If they were drinking the good stuff, then there would be no need to sit around and talk crap. And as we all know, if all you do is sit around and drink crap, sooner or later you become full of crap. At witch point people get tired of your crap and start telling you that you don't know crap.



I'm a plumber by trade. I talk crap for a living. It's my job. It's what I do.

wildoates
07-24-2009, 03:02 PM
I have to laugh because I just watched a video on you-tube that made liberal use of that word, and it was great!

But your point is well-taken. At our big party over Memorial Day Weekend, my son and his roomie brought a lot of their homebrew to share with the fam. Now, I don't like beer at all, but to me it tasted just like beer should--based on my tasting of many craft brews that my son and daughter prefer. The younger people tended to really like it, the older generation stuck for the most part to their Bud light and such.

I don't know if part of that was due to the bad reputation homebrews have had quality-wise in times gone by, that they don't favor the sort of hoppy beers my son made, they don't think my son can make anything worthwhile (long ol' story), dunno. But they either wouldn't taste it at all, or would taste it and then go back to the cans.

Who cares? Not my son. He just figured that meant more good beer for those who would appreciate it, and he and his roommate have continued to make the kind of beer they like, both for the sheer pleasure and satisfaction of brewing it themselves, and to save a whole wad o' cash. Good beer ain't cheap, unless you make it yourself.

He did what we all need to do, as I said earlier...give respect where it's due and don't sweat the little things.