My Favorite Beer

beer1-800pxYears ago, while driving through Southern Minnesota to meet my future in-laws, my wife issued me a warning.

“Don’t be a snob,” she said.

I didn’t think I was.

I told her that.

“I know you,” she said, “you are going to grumble about the coffee and the beer.”

“What makes you say that?”

She took her eyes off the road long enough to fix me in her gaze. “Folgers and Bud Light?”

Oh My!

Our arrival was met with the obligatory cup of Folgers. Later came a can of cold Bud Light.  I graciously accepted both. Who wants to come off as a snob?

When they came to visit us a few months later, my wife issued another warning.

“They are not going to like your coffee nor your beer.”

“Wait a minute,” I said, “when we went to their house, I accepted what they had to offer, why can’t they accept what I have to offer?”

It only seemed fair.

“Because real people don’t drink what you drink,” she said.

I couldn’t understand the logic.  It didn’t seem fair – but after we moved to the land of weak coffee and watery beer, I came to appreciate those things.

In a place where everyone knows everyone and where everyone’s parents knew everyone else’s parents for all of their lives, tradition stands for something.   It is not that people are unwilling to change, it is that they expect change to prove itself first.

It is not that new things are bad.  Far from it.  But newness can be addicting and like any addiction – become an end in itself.  Craft beer is great – but do we really have to add pumpkin spice, cranberries and God knows what else?

Where does such madness end?

So when someone offers you a pumpkin-spice/cranberry beer topped with organic cracker crumbs and a shot of espresso – the logic of digging in your cultural heels at Folger’s and Bud Light becomes abundantly clear.

I still drink the same snobby stuff that I always have and frankly I don’t care what anyone thinks about it – and people around here are good with that because while I have yet to prove myself, I have at least proven myself to be not all that bad.

There are still those who say my tastes in coffee and beer are snobbish but at least it is a snobbishness they have become familiar with.

But times and tastes are changing.

I don’t have to drive as far to find my favorite coffee and the local liquor store stocks some pretty good craft beer and a lot of people that I know around here are drinking snob coffee and snob beer. Still, I must remain mindful.

Recently, a neighbor came over and I offered him a beer.

“I dunno,” he said, “the stuff you drink tastes like what I use to Sealcoat my driveway.”

“Yeah,” I told him, “and the stuff you drink has less taste than my well water.”

“Speaking of your well,” he said. “I hear you are having a problem with it.”

“I got a case of Bud Light cooling in the garage,” I told him, “let’s head in there and I will tell you all about it.”

Author: Almost Iowa

34 thoughts on “My Favorite Beer”

  1. I really liked this story. I’m a total beer snob but I completely understand that it’s just the way I am and other people may not be the same way at all. That being said if you claim to only like the macro brews and I bust out a can of a dank, juicy and super hoppy Northeast coast style IPA I’m totally going to offer you some.

  2. Well written. Everyone has their snobbish interests and mine is definitely craft beer. I’d rather not drink a beer than a Miller Lite but it’s mostly because I enjoy variety and have grown to crave the full flavored beers that the craft beer world offers. I’ll drink what I like and not bother others that want to stay in their ways and drink the cheap stuff. It’s all preference. Cheers!

  3. What I hate is all those drinks that are not coffee but people claim they are coffee. If I want milk, I will drink milk. If it’s got milk and sugar in it, it is not coffee. It’s mud.

    1. Craft beer is a term for small breweries. They are popping up all over the U.S. Same with brew pubs. My son and his high school buddy started a small distillery in a town about 50 miles south of the Twin Cities. It is all part of the same trend.

  4. I admit to being a bit of a beer snob (to the point of making my own), but that’s almost normal here in Portland. The thing that struck me about the beers in Germany was the bars and restaurants had so little variety, usually the same four styles from one brewery. I liked them, but much of the beer I make for myself is in the family of the English/American browns/ambers. As for the cheap watery stuff, the hipsters around here seem to prefer Pabst. As for the really out there stuff; fruity, sour, over the top hops, or blacker than a coal digger’s knee, I happily leave that to the uber snobs and have no problem if they think my tastes are akin to Bud Lite.

    1. English/American browns/ambers

      My favorite beer is a brown ale… although I have to be careful about ordering browns because often it is a light amber with burnt caramel to give it color and “flavor”. Ugh.

  5. When we first moved to St. Louis, a friend of the family introduced my husband to “905 beer.” It was a beer brewed and named specifically for the discount liquor store that sold it. My husband didn’t care for the taste, but he sure liked the price, and we had six packs of that stuff in our fridge for years. When he could finally graduate to his beer of choice, Bud Lite, I knew we had made it to solid ground, financially speaking. (But when we have company, I always make sure I stock “real beer” for his friends, who share your opinion of lite beer.)

    1. I had a friend who bought a pallet of “close out” beer. Bad mistake. He kept inviting friends and neighbors over to help him drink it. He should have considered the effects on his social life.

  6. I have some kind of beer allergy. Half a glass and I’m praying to the porcelain god. What’s the deal? Even so, I enjoyed your stories. Coffee – my fave is java chip. True story, I was in my late mid-60s when I drank my first cup. It was caramel, I think. While on a trip a friend convinced me to try it.

  7. I survived living in the midwest and was fortunate to be able to travel to Germany. I took an active interest in beer. Miller Lite was the choice of my drinking companions. I always thought it was carbonated defrost and they described my beer as turpentine. They also drank Stoli while I was a gin drinker. We always stocked each other’s preference but I must say they had a better deal. Fun post. Thanks

    1. I have traveled to Germany several times and can say honestly, that I have never had a beer there that I truly got excited about. I prefer the English beers.

  8. Of course you realize that, in some circles, Bud Lite is snob beer. Remember Schaefer? Grain Belt? Pabst? Old Milwaukee? Back in the day when a “good” beer was one that was one on special for $1.49 a six-pak, Bud Lite might have gotten us to fork out $2.50.

    1. I remember those brands…. The go-to beer when all you had was 80¢ and a pocket full of lint was Shell Brewery’s Fox Deluxe. It was a terrible beer but it got the job done. I think I still have a can of it rolling around in the bed of my truck… but all the printing has rubbed off, so I am not sure what I have. All I know is that I have a can in reserve.

  9. I’m OK with just about any beer. I don’t really see the point of drinking Bud Light, but if it’s all that’s offered, I’m good. The stranger concoctions I find in many craft beer outlets, make me shake my head. I’m not usually a fan. I do like the beers brewed by some local breweries, and when I travel, I tend to try something local.

    As for coffee, don’t mess. Coffee, regular coffee, that’s what I want. nothing fancy. I get that look whenever I have no choice but to go to Starbucks and I order “a medium coffee with milk.”

    1. but if it’s all that’s offered, I’m good

      Sharing beer, coffee a meal with a group is a social exercise, it is a good time to say, “I’ll have whatever you all are having.” Unless it is pumpkin spiced beer of course.

      1. Ahem. I requested that my second daughter bring pumpkin spiced beer from the Stone Cellar in Appleton, Wisconsin, when she came for Christmas. So some of us like that particular beer.

        I am now a beer snob too (favorite is Hop Dish from Lift Bridge in Stillwater) and can no longer drink well water beer.

        1. You have to figure that things like pumpkin spice beer exist because there is a market for them. As for myself 40 years ago I walked into a little village pub in Kent England and they gave me a warm brown ale. It was a spiritual experience.

  10. I hate that when I order a beer I have to make sure they don’t put fruit in it. What’s the world coming to? I guess I am somewhere in the middle of your beer snobbery – but I’m willing to accept you just the way you are.

    1. I never accept fruit in my beer, even a slice perched on the rim of the glass. But an umbrella, I’ll take that anytime. You gotta love them little twirly paper umbrellas, except never in winter.

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