The other night, I spent twenty minutes in the beer aisle at Kroger paralyzed. A classmate was throwing a post finals ugly sweater party, and I wanted to get beer that would be in my budget but also respectable. That is when I realized I no longer bought beer based on what I wanted.
If I were buying based on what I wanted, I would have gone with a tried and true Bud Light. I love craft beer as much as the next person, but sometimes it’s just a Bud Light kind of night. Finals were over and my goal was to get shitty. I knew I would only taste the first few beers anyways if I bought “good beer.” I wanted nothing more than to get a light beer made for chugging and hammer them back until I forgot everything I spent the prior three weeks trying to drill into my memory. A few years ago, I would have never second guessed that decision, but times have changed.
Going from a small state school to a private law school was a huge transition, but I never considered the different standard in alcohol among my peers. Even when they throw a kegger it is always from a local brewery instead of the Natty Light I had come to expect from all kegs at that point. I knew that if I were to get my beloved Bud Light I would be judged and mocked the entire night for not bringing real beer.
On this eventful Tuesday night, I had a choice: do I buy beer for me, or do I buy it for those around me? And not in the same way that I used to drop of a cube of Keystone at the frat house. In the end, I chose a 12 pack of “good beer” that cost as much as a case of Bud Light. Did it taste good? Yeah. Was my next morning not as awful because I only had half as many beers? Most likely, but with craft beers it’s hard to be sure. Am I a little disappointed in myself for not following my heart? You bet.
Hopefully, one day I will have the courage and strength of will to stand up to the double IPA drinking crowd by drinking light beers irresponsibly fast again. I simply long for the days when a beer run was simple, and there was no pressure to conform. I know I can’t be the only one..
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