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If there’s one consistency across the articles I’ve written here, it’s that I clearly have a love of and semi-dependency on alcohol. I feel comfortable admitting this because it’s pretty obvious that my fellow content creators and the commentariate do, too. I pay close attention to Nick’s drink lineups, because he’s a liar when he says he’s not a life coach. I’m also told that the weekly stories posts from the past weekend feature lots of drunken hilarity. I do not read these, because I don’t give a shit about you.
Like most of you, I originally focused on quantity over quality. As a part of this focus, I also kept my eye on the ABV of any drink, to ensure I was getting the maximum bang for my buck. Living in Tennessee, that usually meant looking for liquor produced in-state, as they were not subject to a couple of anti-competitive taxes that upped the prices of imported spirits. Handles of Evan Williams in Memphis are mad cheap.
Fast forward a couple of years. Out of college and employed, I was able to spend a little more to catch a buzz. I also started noticing that higher quality alcohols would minimize this heretofore unknown terror known as hangovers. This led me to branch out from the tried and true brews from the big three producers and begin experimenting with drinks that have grown into what is now known as the craft beer movement. The more I dabbled, the more I learned what I enjoyed.
I think you know where I’m going with this. Yes, I’m a beer snob, and yes, that makes me better than you.
It’s not that my palette is more refined than yours, it’s just that I have the ambition and derring-do to expand on my experiences and venture outside my comfort zone. This is what makes me a beer-bellied Hercules, and you a coward.
Why would you want to ingest round after round after round of the exact same beverage that’s been mass produced to the specifications of the lowest common denominator? That’s not an insult to the people that drink it, that’s just math when it comes to producing something that a billion people will buy. We are all special and unique snowflakes that have special and unique circumstances. If I just got done mowing the lawn on a hot day and I had three fried eggs for breakfast, maybe a Mike Lima isn’t perfect for me. But maybe, just MAYBE a witbier with hints of sunflower is.
And that’s the point. By expanding our repertoire to include the obscure and frightening, we are able to make more educated and nuanced decisions. With the explosion of available varieties, there is now a beer for every circumstance, and that’s something to be celebrated, not shunned. Are you next to a fire after a solid day on the slopes? That’s a stout sitch. At a ballgame in July? Come on with a kolsch. Fishing expeditions are almost always better suited with a sesh IPA.
Now I’m not here to denigrate people who prefer a macrobrew above others, I’m here to denigrate those that don’t know why they prefer that. As far as American pilsners are concerned, Miller Lite isn’t all that bad. I’m on the record as a fan of a good ol’ fashioned fatweiser. But if you’re just drinking beers purely to drink beers and say ‘dilly dilly,’ you’re an idiot, and yes, I’m better than you. How would you even know what beer pairs best with post-coital flag burning? You wouldn’t. (It’s the Tommyknocker Green Chile Lager, btw)
Anyways. The great warrior poet Curtis Jackson once said, “sunny days wouldn’t be special if it wasn’t for rain. Joy wouldn’t feel so good if it wasn’t for pain.” Similarly, some geek once said that variety is the spice of life. The point is that if you rest on your laurels, you’re resting. If you actually show a little effort in life, you’re worth having a beer with..