A New Standard for Beer

The first beer I ever tasted was probably a Carling Black Label. How do I know that? There’s a grainy picture taken when I was three or four, with my Uncle Dick letting me have a sip of his beer. He was big on that brand.

Given our current culture wars and the binary battles being waged that extend even to beer, this might be the time to step away from the people who flaunt particular lifestyles. Or, if you are part of a group that’s not in the vanguard—stop hiding your uncouth behavior away from the bright lights and your Facebook profile.

I mean, what kind of country are we living in that certain arbiters get to decide the brands of beer we’re all supposed to be belting down? Given the explosion of craft beer and brewing, especially in burgs like Portland, Maine—where a new craft brewer opens every other week—or so it seems, admitting that you like “lawnmower beer” is liable to get you exiled to a place with a much lower hipster quotient.

Cold beers on the patio: the stuff of summer.

Cold beers on the patio: the stuff of summer.

Like so much of what now passes for beer cred in places like Portland proper (and similar havens of hip), I’m weary of the hype and celebrity extended to certain people simply because they drink “the right brands of beer.” I’m more likely to be holding a Pabst Blue Ribbon (or a Corona) these days, rather than something by Bissell Brothers or some other local craftster. This coming from a guy that’s posted favorably about microbreweries in the past.

I decided six weeks ago that this summer, I going to take a break from spending extravagant sums of money on overpriced (and over-hopped) beer simply because people with handles like “The Beer Babe” tell us that we should. I mean, I’m sure she’s a perfectly lovely person. But, when you can’t simply enjoy a beer without getting into PC quandaries, then it’s time to look to the past when beer came in red, white, and blue cans, and make these overwrought ramblings disappear.

Beer used to be one of those simple pleasures that didn’t require passing a litmus test.

3 thoughts on “A New Standard for Beer

  1. Reading this, I’m thinking about the scene in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella.” The king and queen are going over the list of foods for the ball and the king demands “I want the wine of my country, I want the wine of my country, I want the wine of my country. The wine of my country is beer.” The queen gives a disdainful look at the king.

    It’s always a drag when the simple pleasures of life become chores.

  2. With the pride of a “Polish” girl I never pay attention to beer hype. Nothing like an ice cold beer on a really hot summer day….Budweiser, Schlitz or Pabst Blue Ribbon….I even put mine on ice! My own little twist…..

  3. @Sally I like all sorts of beer. I learned to drink beer long before craft beer became “the thing.” I don’t dislike craft beer and have had some wonderful varieties. What I dislike is the mindset of “this is the only kind of ______ that’s acceptable” when it comes to anything, including beer.

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