# FOMO and the Instagram IPAs
by Anthony Gladman
by Anthony Gladman
Just a thought, but is there such a thing as too many beers? I know, I know, it sounds heretical. Beer is good so more beer must be better, right? But lately I’ve wondered… Don’t get me wrong, I love a short-run seasonal beer as much as the next beardy white guy. Just look at my Instagram and you’ll see plenty of them on parade. Only lately I’ve started to ask myself whether certain breweries aren’t pushing this a bit too hard. You can see the advantage for them to do so: less time holding on to a beer means more throughput – more beer going out of the brewery doors – and ultimately more money.
I see these beers all over Instagram: tall cans next to stemless tumblers filled to the brim with little or no head, looking more like orange juice than beer, out in the bright sunshine against a perfect blue sky (where of course such heavily hopped beers will very quickly become lightstruck – or skunked if you prefer). It’s easy to buy into the hype. Some of these beers are glorious and the hunt for them is part of the fun. Just watch my Untappd unique count climb! Except of course there’s no way one person could drink all of these sexy Instagram IPAs. It would be a serious challenge to my wallet, to my liver, and to the amount of hours in the day. So it’s almost inevitable that I end up with some degree of FOMO. (Fear of missing out. But you knew that, didn’t you?)
If this sounds like you too then one answer is to remind yourself that for some beers to stand out it is mathematically necessary that most do not. If everyone is special, no one is. There will be plenty of middlingly pleasant beers in this crowd, but because of the rush to get beers out of the breweries and down your neck there will also be some that have not matured and sometimes not adequately fermented; that suffer from raw hop flavours and overly aggressive bitterness which, if given time, could have rounded off into something more pleasant. If this crowd of also-rans was a little thinner I doubt many people would care, or even notice.
And of course there’s much more to the world of beer than the latest juicy IPA or funky sour. The classics are there for a reason and won’t go away any time soon. I’m looking forward to exploring some German styles, and perhaps a few Belgian dubbels as the weather gets colder and the nights darker. And if it means passing up on that can of Chubbles or whatever? I think I’m OK with that for now.
Anthony Gladman is training to become an accredited Beer Sommelier. You can follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Untappd under the username agladman. Get in touch if you want to arrange a bottle trade or share in London (UK).