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Beer. I like it all. Beer fanatics seem to prefer darkish, hoppy, bold brews, and I won't deny that they're good, but I'm not going into any rhapsodies about them. For me beer is something light and refreshing. I like German brews, Czech beers, cervezas mexicanas, ya know? Lagers and pilsners.

While I won't turn one down, I don't understand the Pabst Blue Ribbon fetish. When did the artistic types in Brooklyn decide that PBR was cool? How did drinking PBR become a badge of hipness? I think if I'm going to drink cheap beer I might just as soon have a Miller High Life.

Some random beer thoughts and memories:

Growing up in Michigan, beer was a big part of my social life, and I drank oceans of it. What made a get-together into a party was a keg. But one of the reasons I started studying Spanish was that I was invited to a some sort of Latino party, and the people were dressed up, there was food and dancing. Nothing like the Mancelona parties where, in our T-shirts and jeans, we stood around drinking beer and talking while the AC/DC or Led Zepplein tapes played. At that party in Lansing, I thought, "I need to learn the lingo so I can mingle." Not that I stopped drinking beer. Au contraire!

More than 25 years ago, I was taken to a pub in Kent that was really somebody's house. The old man would go downstairs to draw your pint, then serve it to you from the side door of his house. You would then drink it at picnic tables in his yard. That was good beer! (or ale, or whatever it was). What I didn't understand was arbitrarily closing the pubs at 10:00. In Spain, a more civilized country, there are more bars per capita than in any other country in the world, And there is never a time when one is not open. Plus, there are almost always tapas to accompany your drink. (Granted, Spanish beer, while not bad, is nothing to write home about, but the vino is divino).

My brother and I once rode bikes half way around Lake Michigan. In Wisconsin, there are often taverns on every corner. At an intersection, there could be as many as four. Often they are simply houses with an "Old Style" sign.

My first trip to India was in 1992, and at that time India was protectionist, so the only beer available was a local brew called "Black Label" (and it wasn't Carlings). It tasted like charcoal. Now, I'm no big fan of Heiniken, but I have to admit that the Heinken I drank on that Air India flight from Delhi to Frankfurt was one of the most delicious brews I've ever had.

Beer tastes best when you're hot and thirsty.


Gran Torino

In the last years before leaving Michigan I was a Bud man all the way. The beer most seen in Alice Cooper's grip.
Then I thought I up-scaled a bit in Key West by drinking Red Stripe.
Since living in Maine I have become a beer snob. I have been a staunch supporter of micro brews from Maine, and a couple from Vermont.
However, sometime this last winter I went on a low budget beer diet and tried PBR. I actually liked it and came to love it.
I don't know why, besides the price. It gives a different kind of buzz. I can stop after 2 or 3 and be fine, or drink the whole 12 pack.
I don't know if I would still like Bud or not but Pabst has the same cool factor for me that Bud used to have.
At least when I move home to Michigan some day, there will be a beer in the stores that I will like.
Before, I had a fear of leaving Maine and my Shipyards, Seadogs, and Geary's.

Re: Gran Torino

Yeah, Jim, if your ever move back to MI, you can drink Kalamazoo's finest beer, (and it's fine) Bell's.

I wonder if you drank a Bud today it would be the same Bud that it was back in the day. I think coffee is next.

Re: Gran Torino

and just to be sure, I drank some PBRs yesterday. It gave me a nice happy buzz for the afternoon and left me sober in the evening. I like that. Kind of like focusing a little buzz where you need it without being incapacitated later when you would rather relax with a cup of tea. And my highest compliment to any cheap but enjoyable beer is, It don't suck!

btw, Clint Eastwood drsnk PBR in his movie Gran Torino. That was when I decided to try it for shits and giggles. (shits not included.)

Re: Gran Torino

Once upon a time they quit making Stroh's in Detroit. I bet Clint would have been drinking Stroh's if they handn't wimped out. Maybe not. I used to drink some PBRs way back when, but they taste different now (better, maybe), probably the same thing happened as with Strohs: PBR was made somewhere in Wisconsin, the company was sold to a bigger corporation, who started making them nationwide to a different recipe. I'll give 'em a try. lately I've been drinking "Modelo."


I'm a wine fanatic, I admit. But beer tastes good after skiing...

October 2017



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