Dank, Bro.

One of the hottest descriptors for beer to come out of the last two years is ‘dank’. Specifically, it’s used to describe hop characters that are particularly resinous and reminiscent of marijuana. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the term and it’s druggy overtones. You know what else is described as ‘dank’? Memes.

The term ‘meme’ was coined by Richard Dawkins and refers to essentially a little package or unit of cultural or ideological ‘data’ that may be transmitted from person to person like a gene through generations (or perhaps like a virus through populations). That’s the high-minded academic definition at least. In practice, a meme is a funny photograph, frequently with a caption, often used as a witty response to any discussion on the internet.

This is low-culture at its lowest. But sometimes the combination of an evocative image with a few simple words can be one of the most eloquent single pieces of communication you’ll ever see.

Now is this surprisingly long discussion of memes a thinly veiled excuse for me to use my blog to post a bunch of things that make me lol? You betcha. So here it is. A selection of dankest ‘craft’ beer memes for your enjoyment.

Good memes express something that resonates with people. Like when you’re visiting a small town, and you’re damn sure you won’t find any good beer in the local shops, but then you do:

On the other hand, some memes can express something deeply personal. Like my reaction every time Garage Project releases another weird beer packed full of exotic ingredients:

OK, let’s be honest. this is my REAL reaction every time Garage Project releases another weird beer packed full of exotic ingredients:

On other occasions, I don’t have strong opinions. This is me every time the whole “East Coast IPA” debate kicks off:

This, however, is my reaction when I read the Beer: The Beautiful Truth website:

Speaking of DB Breweries, here’s my reaction when Tui announced they were going to start making small-batch experimental beers:

A lot of my strongest feelings about the brewing industry come from talking to people who want to start breweries. Particularly when I hear a homebrewer talk about ‘turning pro’:

One of the great things about memes is that while they express universal emotions, they can be adapted to very specific audiences and milieus. Here’s one most brewers can probably relate to. You know when you’re trying out a new Pale Ale recipe and you get just the tiniest hint of something buttery hiding in the background?

And if we’re on the subject of beer recipes, how many brewers will confess to this little white lie?

Speaking of white lies; how many brewers that make clean, American-style Wheat Ales will pull this one?

And finally, here’s me every time some tries to once and for all define ‘craft’ beer: