When I was a freshman going to rush parties, mixers, house parties, tailgates, and a slew of other events that exist solely so large numbers of college kids can get together and drink, we inevitably consumed large amounts of alcohol. I am not unique in this fact, as most of you reading this will agree.
As a freshman, you probably chose the cheap beer because it was both cheap and readily available. Hell, at some parties (more frequently if you’re a female) it was probably free. As you grew older, maybe you branched out and developed a palate for beer. Maybe you got fancy with your craft beers, small batches, and imports. Maybe you now consider yourself a connoisseur or aficionado with your fancy Belgian Wheat from Whole Foods. Screw you.
Well, today I read some distressing news on USA Today that informed me that many of the beer brands with long traditions and followings have seen fiery nosedives in sales during the past few years. Some of the beers on this list are not surprising, but others simply blew me away.
You mean to tell me Budweiser sales have dropped nearly 30% in the past six years? Every Clydesdale in the country is weeping right now. MGD tanked by over 50%?! Say it ain’t so. These are beers that got our fathers and grandfathers through wars, years in cubicles under the watchful eye of middle-management, their own college years, and most of all, your childhood! Now you mean to tell me that these brews are so unprofitable, they’re practically on the verge of extinction?
My friends, it is our duty to support these brands. Many of these beers come with long histories of Americana, despite the fact that half of them are foreign owned these days. These beers sponsor nearly every professional sport in the nation! You think NASCAR or the NFL would be the same without the likes of Busch, Milwaukee’s Best, or High Life? Think again. An America in which there is no “Miller Time” is a dark America, indeed.
Personally, I blame the craft beer trend for the drop in sales. The rise of hipster culture and the idea of some bearded dude in canvas overalls and flannel painstakingly laboring over a small vat of Oatmeal Stout while simultaneously saving the rainforest and listening to Noah And The Whale has caused us to forget that this nation was raised on mass-produced liquid gold from Milwaukee, WI.
I’ll bet you an entire case of Budweiser that your favorite dive bar still sports swag from the golden age of American Beer. Whether it be in the form of a neon-framed clock, poster of a girl in a high-waisted bikini with big hair, or those hideously painted mirrors – I’d even go so far as to bet your granddad’s workshop probably has at least one of the above.
What I’m trying to get at here, in my typical long-winded fashion, is that these beers are institutions. The day will come when the craft-brewing trend will fade, and those of us who stuck to the classics will be waiting to laugh at you as you drive all over town searching out your fancy Norwegian Pilsner that now costs $50 for a six-pack thanks to import duties. I’ll be drinking a Budweiser that I bought at the gas station down the block.