You know that beer (and food matching) is starting to make headway when you see terrific articles like this appearing in mainstream media.
I don’t know of James Smith and with the few ‘beer writers’ in Australia I suspect he’s not a ‘specialist’ beer writer. (Willie Simpson is about the only one who can really claim to be a beer writer as if it’s a full-time occupation rather than a sideline.) But it’s a wonderful piece that conveys how good beer can be and how well it matches with food – a surprise to many.
It’s a funny thing but there is a section amongst beer writers who fume when a non-beer writer writes about beer. I don’t know what the motivation is for this view, but I suspect there’s more than a little bit of the “one true church” about it. You need the high priests to interpret the Gospel of Beer. Outsiders can’t possibly know the truth about beer and the masses need guidance from the ‘Church’ to live a life in beer.
The thing about beer is that, unlike wine, it doesn’t have those sorts of divides. It’s not owned by an elite cadre, it is for everyone. More importantly, the more widely it is written about – particularly in such an enthusiastic piece – the better it is for beer. I wish more mainstream journalists would write about it.