In Defense of (Shitty) American Beer

“Thank you, microbreweries, for making my alcoholism seem like a neat hobby.” – Jimmy Fallon

The fact that there is such a thing as “beer snobs” is both oxymoronic and deeply disturbing.

In the never-ending battle between snobs and slobs, us slobs were fortunate to claim some of the most awesome things that our society has to offer. Things like beer and Doritos and pants that are neither jeans nor pajamas.

You, detestable snobs, got snooty country clubs and crappy wine and stupid truffles (the gross mushrooms, not the delicious chocolates).

It was a fair deal.

But now the snobs want to muscle into our territory with their fancy, expensive, micro-brewed, overpriced craft beer.

Thanks anyway.

I am here today to sing the praises of mass-produced American-style lager. And I’m not talking about the ironic hipster love for PBR. I’m talking about genuine appreciation for regular beer.

In my nineteen years of above-the-legal-drinking-age, responsible, moderate-consumption-with-a-designated-driver drinking of beer I’ve tried just about every style and brand of beer. I’ve got nothing against stouts, pale ales, India pale ales or wheat beers.

(I do have something against those horribly overrated beers from Belgium. Whoever said that monks could brew good beer anyway? And what exactly are you trapping? Are there gerbils in my Chimay?)

But given the opportunity, I’d rather just drink a High Life or a Bud or a Coors Banquet (Molson and Labatt’s are fine too, my dear Canucks).

“But they’re brewed with adjunct grains like rice and corn,” you say smugly.

Guess what? I’m not a farmer. I’m not Michael Pollan. I don’t give a shit which grain they use to make my beer. And let’s be honest – both corn and rice are much better grains than barley anyway. Barley is gross. It’s on the bottom-tier with quinoa and the other loser hippy grains.

“But they’re made by giant, evil corporations,” you say conspiratorially.

Listen up, Ralph Nader. When you’re living off the grid and writing your manifesto you can rail about evil corporations. But a wise man once said that corporations are people. And while that wise man is kind of a douche, the truth is that corporations, like most things in life, are both good and bad. They make stuff. They employ people. They help build cities (e.g. St. Louis) and they help the government to overthrow peaceful island nations (e.g. United Fruit & Hawaii). Just because a corporation is big doesn’t mean that it’s evil or that it makes a bad product.

“But they’re lower in alcohol content,” you say drunkenly.

Exactly. What’s wrong with that? I’m not saying that I want to drink that weak-ass Mormon beer, but 5% alcohol is fine by me. I mean, it IS morning and I AM at work – just how drunk do you want me to get?

“But it tastes like piss,” you say superciliously.

First off: how would you know what piss tastes like, pee drinker? Har har!

But seriously, American lager is a distinct style that is rooted in European pilsners. And while it certainly has a lighter, milder flavor than ale, it’s crisp and clean and drinkable.

I don’t know about you, but I like drinks that are drinkable. It’s kind of in the job description.

I like to conduct a little experiment whenever we throw a party. I offer both expensive craft beers and cheap American beers. I put out fancy truffle-infused hors d’oeuvers and pigs in a blanket. And then I observe what people do (with the help of the videos cameras secreted throughout our house). Inevitably, the Miller Lite and the pigs in a blanket are big sellers. And as the night wears on more and more people extol the virtues of living the high life, because deep down inside all people love cheap American beer and tiny hot dogs.

Be proud. Be confident. Admit the truth: you, just like me, love shitty American beer.


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