You Get What You Pay For

Thursday, July 28, 2005


When you want good beer, you pay for it. We all recognize that the good stuff costs money, the bad stuff is cheap and "no" stuff is free.

I am alarmed that there exist people who think the good stuff should cost as much as the bad stuff. Then there are those who think the bad stuff is good enough for everyone and the good stuff is too much for anyone and unnecessary. Finally, there are those who want to drink beer but don't see that it costs money.

The first group, the Bargain Hunters, want good beer. Everyone who needs it can get good beer. But they refuse to look at the price and only bring enough money for bad beer. The Bargain Hunters act suprised at the register that they don't have enough money. They buy the bad stuff, bring the bad stuff to the kegger, and promise to bring the good stuff 'next time' when they have 'more money.' We all hope for the good stuff in the future and don't understand that all we'll ever get is bad beer. Damn Skunk Merchants...... We're duped by the Bargain Hunters into the promise of tomorrow. Tomorrow, however, is always one step ahead of us in the future. We all grow accostomed to drinking bad beer, or so these folks hope, and never question the annual promise of a future full of Irish Stout or Belgian Wheat.

The next more devious group are the Stingy Hosts. The Stingy Host will only and forever offer you Schlitz, Natty Lite or whatever is cheapest. Let there be no bones about it, the Stingy Host sees beer as beer and why pay more for it? For them, beer is about the drunk and not about the joy and taste. You'll get The Beast and like it! It's not that they can't's just that they don't want to. There's no use to them and they don't care. If you puke, to the Stingy Host it's your own fault. The Stingy Host never pukes....but he never drinks what he offers our for these guys. They have a secret stash.

The final group is the Ignorant Mooch. The Ignorant Mooch expects to show up to the party and drink great beer if they want it or need it. If the beer is gone, they complain. If the beer is swill, they complain (but drink anyway). But if asked to chip in, it becomes "not their responsibility." If money runs low (or out) they complain that everyone is entitled to great beer. But they are unwilling to buy any beer. They have "better uses for their money."

Folks, it's a kegger. The responsible host pays for good beer. Responsible guests chip in everything they can to get good beer. What we're entitled to is exactly what we pay for. I believe the majority of people out there are willing to sheel out a few extra bucks to assure that great beer makes it to the party. The hard part is that there are demogogues refuse to go ahead and get the good beer, give us all our money back, and won't accept the money we're willing to offer in order to get good beer. They tell everyone the keg's dry and ignore everyone's offered contribution.

There's more of us that want good beer than those who don't. Don't listen to the vocal minority. Everybody chip in and let's get better beer.


Guinness Is A Uniter, Not A Divider!

Monday, July 25, 2005


Have you ever noticed that beer does not engage in negative campaigning?

Have you ever seen a beer commercial bash another?

The answer used to be "no" until Bud Light (swill...see my first post) and Miller Light (swill...see my first post) engaged in a mock political campaign, pitting the Bud horse, who never spoke, against a charismatic well-dressed spokesman holding a Miller. Bud responded with its own series of ads that bashed Miller.

Oh dark days! A sad day when beer, the beloved beverage, lowered itself to the depths of politicians and political parties. Miller and Bud, two bastions of American beer, played on our base instincts in a misguided attempt at humor.

Oh, I am guilty. I laughed. For shame! I felt guilty for laughing...until suddenly I recognized that a point I made earlier was made. Remember my contention: that light beer is swill, enjoyed by people who are noncommittal and who are afraid to face the consequences of their actions. But why? They are driven to that by mediocrity.

What do I mean? Take my example of voting. Two parties in out political system, each of whom hand us a candidate either actually too liberal or too conservative for our own taste. Each of whom hand us a candidate who, by educated programming, changes their platform to suit what polls say are the hot-button issues. We are handed, then, candidates as noncommittal about what they actually believe in as trying to enjoy beer without suffering the caloric consequences!

And so here we have Miller Lite and Bud Lite, who inundate us with constant ads until it seems our only choice, like in a Presidential race, is between two candidates we should reject, but end up tolerating as safe.

Challenge the paradigm! Drink beer that is not advertised. You'll find, as a whole, it is better. Best of all, drink beer that unites! In Ireland, everyone can agree on Guinness. Guinness unites a country. It doesn't force the country into contrived conflict like Miller and Bud. In Germany, there is a multitude of beer, and it's all good. It doesn't matter what you pick, because it is all wonderful! Nobody has to fight for market share, because they all offer something for every individual. Nobody has to tolerate mediocrity. In France, they don't even DO beer because they have a product that they've perfected; a product that has created one unifying national identity.

Don't fall into our mediocre trap! Demand quality! Demand unity!


Immigration and Beer

Friday, July 22, 2005


When France (who, while they produce great wine, doesn't really have much much in the way of beer) gifted us the STatue of Liberty, we faced her towards the Atlantic. We implored on this lovely symbol of freedom that countries send us their poor..their tired...thier hungry. But we forgot to have them send us their thirsty! Their beer!

Well, as luck would have it, as people flocked to America, they brought their beer with them. And now, other countries send us their beer! This is a special kind of immigration. Oh sure...legally, I guess it is importation. But ideally...we are gaining a heritage, some personality and an ehnancement to our own enjoyment. What goes into truly excellent beer is the same love and effort that goes into a family.

Take for instance: Hacker Pschorr. This is a German brewery that has been around since the mid-1400s. We haven't even been a country as long as they have brewed beer! We are lucky that they have seen fit to travel across the Atlantic and settle on our shores! 600 years of brewing excellence! 24 generations of consistency! This is not a product import...this is the immigration of an entire family and history.

This brings me to a poll.

Which country has sent us their most consistently best "immigrants?" Is it Ireland with their Guinness and Murphys? Germany with their Hacker-Pschorrs and Warsteiners? Belguim with their multitude of wheat beers? Anyone else? Or in this great melting pot, have we taken all the best and incorporated it into our own microbrews...are we now the best with our Sam Adams-es and Sieraa Nevadas?

Post your opinions....who brews most consistently the best (not widest variety...that's another question for another day)? One great beer after another...who does it?



Monday, July 18, 2005

Way I figure it, if blogging is easy enough for some of my friends, I can do it too.

So here I have created my own little section of cyberspace called "around the keg." Anyone who is my friend can tell you that that is the most comfortable space for friends and conversation that I can think of. Why? Beer.

Beer is America! Beer thumbs its nose at convention! Beer is loud laughter, passionate debate, and chicks in bikinis. Beer gives chubby dudes a chance. Beer is for workers and people who enjoy a good joke. Beer is for men and women who find endless humor in a solid fart. Best of all, beer is, according to an NIH study, the most-consumed beverage in the United States, consumed more by college-educated folks than any other beverage. Beer is great political was at the cornerstone of the Declaration of Independence. One of my favorite beers says it all: Sam Adams.....Brewer....Patriot. Oh, Sam was a patriot, alright. But he was a beer drinker first.

Join me around the keg for politics, literature, movies, or whatever strikes your fancy. Just be sure to mention beer in your missives.



Potential Drunks

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