For my subject, I’ve decided to focus on hype, and before I go off and read what everyone else has written, I’m going to throw my tuppence-worth into the mix.
Hype, in many ways, is both self perpetuating and a double edged sword. Without hype, there are many beers (and other products), that I simply wouldn’t be aware of. Likewise, without hype, a number of products that I have found to be disappointing may very well have been satisfactory.
The Westverletren 12, which I referenced in my introduction post to this session a few weeks ago, falls victim to that issue of not living up to it’s hype. I certainly enjoyed it, yet I feel that the preceding hype of it being “The best beer in the world” led to it being disappointing.
In the months leading up to this, I had wanted to try an experiment to try and see how descriptions of a beer can affect opinion. In it, I would have given a group of people the same beer twice. On one occasion I wouldn’t have said much, other than describe the beer. On the other, the beer would be an award winning beer, loved by people around the world, complete with added superlatives to describe it.
Alas, I was unable to find the time, or suitable place, to do such a thing, and so I can’t say what I found, yet I’m sure such experiments have already been carried out elsewhere.
If you’re reading this, please do read some of the contributing posts to this month’s session. You should be able to find most of them in the comments to the announcement post, here.