Why do drinkers like lagers in the Czech Republic and ales in Belgium? Why are there more women in American pubs than in Britain's? Beer isn't just a beverage or a product, it's an expression of culture. These are the best posts observing this dimension of the beer world.
Don't buy the hype. In an increasingly confused marketplace with thousands of breweries and tens of thousands of beers, groupthink has identified certain winners. They're almost certainly good, but there are so many more out there that are also good--and possibly even better, or at least more suited to your preferences.
What humans prize is inversely proportional to what is common. Is this a need to desire what others don't have? Do we have a gene that tells us the rare is useful to survival? Whatever the reason, it's an iron law, and one we follow, in the manner of self-parody, back and forth across the decades.
There is a cafe in Brussels. It is close and cozy, feminine in a way that is unlike pubs anywhere else I've visited. The walls are so coated in objects and pictures that you are able to confirm their existence largely by inference. The tables are small and dainty, as are the chairs.