So is this nostalgia a bad thing? Not really. Beer is nostalgia: things ain’t what they were; you used to get a good pint in here (sometimes with the phrase once upon a time added, which imbues the statement with the quality of a fairy tale); it doesn’t taste like it used to (maybe nothing tastes like it used to); in my day (which suggests that every day is an endless collection of many days; there is no such thing as a day — Borges posited that there had only been one man throughout history in a poem whose name eludes me at the moment). The beer that sits eager and anticipatory in the glass has the ability to take us back in our own personal time; bugger the biscuit that Marcel Proust nibbled on and led him to spending years in bed writing A la recherche du temps perdu, a glass of beer has the power to take the drinker back time and time again, whether it’s to a pub, meal, meeting, sporting moment or even just a moment of discovery. This is beer’s strength but it is also the way that it cannot escape from nostalgia. Mind you, the future is overrated, while being modern means nothing. I’ve seen breweries use phrases along the lines of ‘Modern beer for modern people’, which is as meaningless as pubs that have ‘bar & kitchen’ attached to their name; though no one has yet used something like ‘yesteryear’s beer for people living in the past’. I wonder why.
This is inspired by an essay I am working on at the moment that looks at memory and beer hence its rather inchoate nature