When Did Beer Become Wine?

         Now there are such things as beer snobs. I hate beer snobs.  When did “free and cold” get replaced as everybody’s favorite beer? Is there any sacred ground left on earth? We now live in an age when it seems all food and drink has to be gourmeted or enhanced. It is like when pizza went off the deep end. Now pizza joints will put any damn thing you want on it, such as cookies or a fried egg, and charge you a good chunk of change. 

         You look in the beer aisle nowadays at your local super-duper market and you are faced with a wall of choices that baffle the mind.  I am an average smuck who doesn’t have time to try every swill that some pothead invented in his garage. Now it is on the shelf with a fancy smancy label and a price that says, “I am higher priced because I made this with ultra-super-secret  hops.”

            I offered a beer to one of these snobs at a poker game and the little snoot asked me if it was an IPA? IPA stands India Pale Ale.  It is basically a beer with a weird aftertaste which I think  taste like a bar rag or stale beer nuts. I told him it wasn’t an IPA but it was cold and tasty and I would even pour it in clean glass for him. Again he asked what type it was and I read the bottle and it said it was a pilsner. He said, “No Thanks, I’ll have some wine.” Go have your wine and I hope it gives you mouth warts.

         Okay, I get it; some folks thought years ago that beer needed some more sophistication. The traditional brewers were giving us too much of the same thing. Then along came imported beer with its exotic names and fancy taste. Sure it was good but you could buy twice as much of the American suds for the same price. Maybe it is the generational thing where you don’t want to drink what your dad drank. He probable drank Schlitz from a large can and that thought gives you images of his shameless extended beer gut. Sorry pops, they didn’t have light beer when you knocking them back in the 1960’s.

         Along come some guys who wanted us beer drinkers to expand our minds and our palettes. They started making batches of experimental formulas and told us you would be cooler if you drank their brew. I saw a bottle of beer on the shelf that said it had oatmeal and blueberries in it. Why is Quaker Oats making beer? What’s next, A1 Steak sauce will introduce a beer that has real meat inside?  This kind of indignity should be outlawed and banned in most states and can only be sold on the east coast in limited quantities.

        For me, drinking a beer is more of social experience not some sipping and swirling and sniffing adventure.  Drinking beer at the bowling alley, or after a softball game and at a concert with girl on your shoulders is what I associate it with.  Okay, maybe not the girl on the shoulders, but a lot of other good times like hanging with some chums and eating hot wings.

         Beer has always been the one thing that most adults can say they tried and remember times when they had a cold one with a buddy. Beer is your friend, not some hoity toity high minded freak show who can’t lower himself to drink what you are offering.  So next time when you see a super sale on Pabst Blue Ribbon, throw down some cash, lower your expectations and call up some cohorts. I will guarantee it you won’t have to have any Chablis wine chilling in your refrigerator.