In college it was the go-to. It was the staple of a good time. It was the industry standard of hard blackouts and sexual doubts. It was light beer.
To me, a keg of light beer was a better wingman than any of my friends ever could have been. It was a reason to keep the party going long after it was socially acceptable to still be drinking. It gave me the confidence to talk to the girl across the room who I was initially too shy to approach. It was the catalyst for change in my life. Granted, that change was more turning my abs into an ab and enabling high-functioning alcoholism, but I still have nothing but respect for the crisp, often lukewarm beverage.
The keg or 30-rack of light beer took college from good to great, but as a recent postgrad, I feel vulnerable going to buy light beer now. A look of confusion and “really?” comes over the liquor store cashier’s face when I pick up a case of Natty or Busch.
Sure, Bud Light is still an acceptable solution to this problem, but there’s just something about that smooth pilsner made with all natural ingredients (the one and only Natural Light) that really just butters my biscuits. It harkens back to a simpler time, when dating meant marriage and being “exclusive” meant dating.
How much easier postgrad life would be if all you needed to get someone to go home with you was the innocent phrase, “I’ve got a half a case of Keystone back at my place, wanna hang out?” Nowadays, I’ve got to have my bed pre-made, my room cleaned, and a bottle of wine on tap, all just to have a fighting chance.
To me, light beer is the pinnacle of the college experience. It speaks to all of the terrific experiences and lessons that you learn over your four years there. It is the perfect metaphor for everything that college is meant to be. However, trying to continue the trend of ordering the cheapest item on the menu is served with skepticism and disdain in the postgrad world. I have been looked upon as immature (true), poor (truer), and — for lack of a better term — cripplingly unintelligent, just for ordering an ice cold Busch latte at the bar.
To me, that’s unfair. You should be able to order whatever it is that you want when you’re out or picking up some booze for the weekend (or weekday). I’m not saying that the other options aren’t great. A mixed drink or a high-quality IPA really hits the spot, but on some days I just need to satisfy that craving. Light beer is the great equalizer that we can all look upon to remember the good times. It could just be my friends and me leaning more towards the degenerate side of the alcoholism table, but I firmly believe that with enough cheap light beer, you can change the world. You can turn an ordinary night into something legendary.
All it takes is one or two or twelve pale yellow 12-oz cans of liquid to turn things around. Plus, on the flip side, if things don’t go so well or you’re not coming off as smooth as Keith Stone, just grab a couple of friends to get your legs and crank out a keg stand to erase the memory from your brain altogether.
Regardless, it’s up to you. Maybe it’s my body’s subconscious way of telling me I’m not quite ready to grow up yet. Regardless, when the time comes and the options are presented, I’m picking up that case of Natty every damn time..
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