It’s back. For as long as there’s been bars and working stiffs, there has been the shot and a beer. Usually reserved for more working class establishments, it is starting to show up more and more on bar menus. Some of you may be thinking: “What are you talking about? I’ve been ripping back Fireball and slugging Lites around the world since I got my fake.” What you were enjoying my friend, was a shot with a beer. A shot and a beer is whole ‘nother beast.
The advantage over the other is strictly financial. You could always order a shot with a beer as well, but depending on where you live and drink, a shot will run you somewhere between $5 and $15, the same goes for a beer. What I’ve started to see more often on the menu is a “shot and a beer” coming in at around $5 to $10 depending on the bar and location. This is pretty much a 2-for-1 deal, usually the best on the menu. For regular drinkers such as myself, this is a welcome relief from the steady pounding on the punching bag that is my bank account.
There’s something pleasant about the sentiment of a shot and a beer after pulling a long day at the job no matter the color of your collar, and ripping down a shot for that instant gratification. It’s a nice period at the end of your day that signifies a transition from work to play. It brings a new energy to part of the evening that belongs to you when you can focus on things that really matter, like getting laid and trying to forget about the looming pile of work waiting for you on Monday.
Whether you are drinking with friends or drinking alone, it’s always a power move. You set the tone that you’re not here to screw around. You’ve worked a hard day and embrace your dependence on alcohol and make it your own by ripping down a shot without hesitation then enjoying your beer. You don’t care for the slow awkward time in between your first sip to when you settle into the groove of things. You’re time is valuable, and you’re trying to get into the thick of it. This becomes more relevant as the years of drinking raise your tolerance to that of an old viking king, and a proper buzz doesn’t kick in until your Uber home is waiting outside.
Most of the time, the bar will aim for a blue collar vibe and serve up something along the lines of a PBR and Evan Williams. Sometimes they will experiment and mix it up with higher end stuff, maybe some local brew and a bourbon no one really heard of, but the bartender with the suspenders and horn rimmed glasses swears by it. Sometimes they let you pick your poison, in which case you get whatever your heart desires. Have fun with it, mix and match, find something that works for you. Fancy a Blue Moon and Jägermeister? That’s fucking gross dude, but rip it and sip it with authority, and no one is going to say a word.
As for execution, it’s pretty much all game. Classic form will have you follow the name, shot and then beer. Want beer then shot? Go for it. Maybe sip both at equal or varying rates. Hey, it’s your journey, bud. Some notes on the “classic” form: Don’t reach for that beer until the empty shot glass has been down for at least 5 seconds. Any sooner and that beer is technically a chaser. Chasers are for ripping shots of Popov in the dorm week one Freshman year. The only other rule is the shot can never be mixed with the beer before consumption. As soon as that shot glass clunks at the bottom of your pint, you are officially in bomb territory. Your collar has gone from blue to popped, and it’s stuck that way all night.
So why is it showing up more? Studies are still ongoing and limited by funding for my bar tab and Uber fares, but the current working theory is the Hipster fascination with the blue collar. Whether it’s PBR or a liberal use of denim, Hipsters love anything related to the working man. Yeah, they can be smug and pretentious, but put the shot and a beer alongside well fitting pants and more coffee shops as perks for putting up with Hipster culture. .
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