Don't Call It "Good" Beer, Either

I know the horse is well and truly dead, but I have a few more licks to get in. The subject is this amorphous category we sometimes call "craft" beer even though it's an inadequate and misleading term. What we really care about is "good," but as Tim Webb writes in the September print edition of BeerAdvocate (perhaps the best mag available), this is no improvement:
"The problem is the British fixation, enshrined in CAMRA's policy, on the notion that for a beer to be 'good,' it must contain live yeast."
He adds Reinheitsgebot and the Brewers Association's definition of craft brewery as other definitions of "good." Indeed, we have some fairly well established, idiosyncratic definitions of what it means to be good, don't we? To Webb's three I've add a few more:
  • Small, independent (Brewers Association)
  • Hoppy, strong (American beer geeks)
  • Alive and naturally carbonated (CAMRA)
  • Made with traditional ingredients (Reinheitsgebot)
  • Perfectly consistent and fresh (macros)
  • Cold and "refreshing" (macro drinkers)
  • Popular (all breweries)
Nowhere to be found in this list is a satisfying definition (never mind a universal one) of what good beer is. Webb concludes his article with the obvious: "The closer you come to defining good beer by a technical specification, the further away you move from being able to appreciate it."