No idea how to start this post in a clever. Basically, I’m taking this weekly challenge from WordPress’s Daily Post for something to do. I like writing, don’t you know?
I haven’t really touched on being a Christian and drinking alcohol yet on this blog, and eventually I’m going to have to. It’s just the nature of the beast. I’m not going to delve into it quite yet, but I do want to talk about how I started drinking beer and why I continue. The alcohol is largely irrelevant – except, maybe, that I have to limit my intake – to why I drink it. I just drink it because I love it. So, without further ado:
WHY I DRINK BEER:
1. It is delicious. You can disagree, and you would be wrong. If you drink alcohol, I would be willing to bet there is one beer that you can like. Nora doesn’t really like beer – especially nothing dark or bitter – but even she loves Three Philosophers. Beer has a flavor, a scent, a being about it that just touches the palette correctly. It’s a beautiful thing.
2. Because Curt gave me a Corona at a campfire. My camp friend Curt is a beer drinker. My camp friend Rachel is a beer drinker. I went camping with them (and another friend) in the Palisades State Park. There is the best campsite ever there. We had a fire going in the awesome natural stone enclosure, Curt bought Corona, I had one, it tasted delicious that night. The beer I had before just tasted bad; that night, something flipped a switch and all the sudden I understood beer. It took me a few more years, a few good friends, and just drinking beer to understand it but at that moment, I knew I liked beer. It was good.
3. Beer is stable. Smithwick’s is older than America. Weihenstephan Brewery is nearly 1000 years old. The world has changed so much in the time that these two breweries that I love the beer from have been around. Countries have risen and fallen. Peoples have disappeared. Science has given us more effective ways of killing each other. Religions have been created. Wars have been fought on a global scale. Beer has survived and thrived. The purity laws are still in place; the spirit, and the practice, of the purity laws is still alive in well in even new breweries that are funky and fresh. Beer is stable in an unstable world.
4. The Variety. I love bourbon but I know, when I open a good bottle of bourbon, what I’m going to get. There are subtleties and emphases in the different brands and different distilleries, but as a whole bourbon tastes like bourbon. Beer does not follow that rule. Even brews that follow the Bavarian Purity Law (plus yeast given that we know it exists now) can be so radically different that almost seem like different drinks. Have a Guinness, a sour witbier, and a super-floral IPA; each is beer and yet they taste so different using the same 4 ingredients.
5. The Creativity. Coffee Stout. Banana Nut Brown. Summer Shandy. Chocolate Porter. The letter of the Bavarian Purity Law in modern times is to use only the four ingredients: water, malt, hops, and yeast. I believe the spirit of the law is more freeing: using only natural ingredients, with the four being necessary for it to be beer and additions to transform the taste into something more. Don’t go crazy, “Do No Harm” as Alton Brown would say, and be honest about it. It needs to be beer, but it can be something more.
6. Because I like to talk to people. It is amazing how many of the world’s problem 6 guys and two pitchers of beer can fix. It is amazing how much a father and son can grow in their relationship over a couple bottles of beer. It is amazing how much complete strangers can find something to talk about if they are drinking beer next to each other at a bar. Beer is universal.
7. The Community. Sierra Nevada is hosting Beer Camp Across America. Basically they are inviting all the craft breweries, which means effectively all of their competition, to come pour beer with them. Name another industry that does that. There is a love that goes into beer and those who love making beer tend to enjoy one another. And good beer is good beer, no matter who made it.
8. Because I can.