3 min read

On "calling out" aka a craft beer saga


You "call out" Giovanni Tiso, on the basis of several tweets, for having a supposed "inverted snobbery complex" by outlining all the ways and means by which you and Hashigo Zake set yourselves apart from other drinking establishments and cultures.

Because you know, it's OK to slag off Heineken or Corona, because it's a shit beer, and by extension it's OK to look down your nose at those that drink it.

Now I know you didn't say that in your post, but in my opinion, there's an unspoken snobbery implicit in being able to afford craft beer, to frequent certain craft beer establishments and by extension to be the kind of person that drinks craft beer. That sort of person can be colloquially referred  to as "hipster" - as in someone who follows the latest trends and fashions.

And you've got be honest, craft beer is very trendy at the moment, very enjoyed and very popular - ergo, hipster.

It's a given that you will meet folk like this when you enter Hashigo Zake. At Goldings Free Dive or Rogue & Vagabond.

Does that mean all who drink craft beer are snobs? Of course not. Neither are all folk who drink at Hashigo Zake 'elitist hipsters'. Just as not all folk who stop and frequent the Establishment are absolute wankers.

But there are stereotypes and generalizations that we apply to the kinds of people who  do drink at these places.

Which I'd imagine portions of the Wellington community will have commented on in their free time - much like Giovanni did. About places such as Hashigo Zake, and Realm, and the Cambridge, and Goldings Free Dive. We do that, we form opinions about the places that we frequent, and that are frequented in our city.

The difference being that Giovanni did it on Twitter - and you were alerted to it. And you responded in the most public, yet old fashioned of ways... a "calling out".

As a resident of Wellington for the past 10 years, who knows Giovanni and who has drunk a few fine beers at Hashigo Zake, this seems an odd example of a local business engaging with members of that wider community. Judging by some of the comments on the blog, it's like this won't be settled unless there's some sort of cage fight, or pistols at dawn on the waterfront, or a public humiliation on the steps of Civic Square before all retire to have a quiet ale.

Even in reading your post - I'm not quite sure what you want Giovanni to apologise for - if at all. Because after your explanation of your practises and stating your point, it appears you've mainly just picked on him as someone who doesn't like you.

For the record, I drink craft beer, I don't mind a Tuatara and/or a Heinken (which I guess makes me an "apathetic consumer" for whom you have contempt - regardless of the fact you've never met me). I enjoy watching a game of rugby or football, and I can discuss the latest internet related meme. I might even yarn about sports and coding and culture all at once, while drinking an appletini.

I might drink at Hashigo Zake, I might enjoy the craic up the road at Molly Malones.

That's my choice.

It's also my choice to think or state, "Wow, hipster dicks are all over Hashis tonight" or "Yeesh, there's some mullered wankers falling out of Establishment" - and hold sweeping generalisations about both of those places, and their clientele in my head.

Because I'm allowed to have an opinion.

Just as I'm allowed to buy Yeastie Boys or a Garage Project one night at Goldings FD and then a six-pack of Corona from New World the next.

I don't have to explain those choices. Or defend them.

Beyond being a consumer, apathetic or not, that in my book, is one of the beaut things about living in this place.

That I can choose, and can express my opinion.

In the same way you can, but don't have to explain your choices for your bar. 
It's your place.

Be OK with being a great little bar in a great little city.

Be OK with not being the bar of choice for every single person in said city.

But this "calling out" people for having an opinion - that's just silly right.

Unless it's just part of some marketing angle.

Then it's just sad.

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