Beer: It just keeps giving
Winter has finally grasped the Midwest in its evil, cold clutches and my brother-in-law and I note that, without beer, that grasp would only be more depressing. That got me to thinking….beer is a “giver”……..it gives us so much over the course of our lives! If you are mature enough to have graduated to craft beer enthusiasm, I hope to you have you nodding in agreement by the end of this article.
Let’s have a look. For legal purposes, I will begin my review at age 21, because we all know that no one among us would consume beer, underage, at epic high school parties conducted while parents were conveniently away. Nor do we have to acknowledge that the beer that flowed provided us with the liquid courage to talk with that awesomely hot girl from our U.S. History class(I wonder what happened to her….seriously!). And, I don’t have to admit to actually enjoying that stolen swig of adjunct laden goodness my uncles were consuming on a Saturday afternoon. So, I will ignore that portion of giving by beer. Moving on….
College. A time of new experiences and enlightenment, academic challenges and wisdom seeking. Yeah, right, I am talking about off campus keg parties! At most of these parties, beer gave, and gave, and……..gave. The cost to partake in this unlimited supply of beer “gifting” was a mere two dollars. I challenge anyone to find such value in any other market these days. Those keg parties taught us so much more than the courses we were enrolled in. Lessons regarding how many Busch Light Drafts one could consume before having to heave it all up were held on a weekly basis. Lessons in creativity via how many dice games could be invented to increase the consumption of beer were routine. Why, even sporting challenges revolved around beer, with the advent of beer pong! For many of us, this marked the first time that taste sophistication began to form and someone walking into a party with Heineken, Moosehead, or Corona were greeted with looks of wonderment.
Married Life. No way did the beer giving stop upon graduation from college. Beer became even more important to nurture us in our suburban angst. Jobs to hate, grass to mow, children to chauffer, all led to grown men hiding near their garage work benches swilling the malt barley goodness while evading those marital duties. Many new friendships were formed with our fellow male, and occasionally, female, suburbanites over a six pack or two. This is where craft beer really begins to take its hold. Gone are the days of consuming eighteen beers in the course of an afternoon or evening. Those days are replaced by evening consumption of 2 or 3 quality craft brews…….let’s face it, beer not only gives, it knows HOW to give. At a time when we need to watch our waistlines and curtail our states of inebriation…..beer answers the call with higher ABV’s and more filling solutions, satisfying our thirst with substantially less quantity. We semi-willingly exchanged intoxication for sensible, yet delicious consumption.
Middle Age. This part is still being written, but the potential that lies ahead is awesome. Waiting in line for a rare one-off beer…..checking Twitter, Facebook and various web pages for the release of our favorite seasonal. Sitting in a brewpub with fellow beer enthusiasts enjoying the latest offering of local craft brew…….beer….just…. keeps….on…..giving…….you nodding YOUR head yet?