Beer is awesome. Beer is the first drink that man ever created (sorry, wine peeps, it’s true.) There are beers for hot days, cold days, rainy day, days when everything has gone to shit, and days when everything is right in the world and you are on top of your game. Beer goes with everything, especially more beer.
And, to make an almost perfect drink even more perfecter (technical term), we have access to craft beers across the world. There is excitement and innovation in the beer community like there has never been before in the last 150 years. (For example, my brother in law, a master homebrewer, soaks a couple of oak blocks in MaCallan’s 15 for a few weeks before adding them to his English Porter. It adds a whiskey cask dimension that is out of this world. At a healthy 9%.)
Unfortunately, all of this delicious innovation is being consumed humans. And, as we all know, humans are occasionally horrible creatures. Communities of beer drinkers have decided to be snobs about their beer and deciding for everyone else what small selection of beers are acceptable and look down on all other beers. Or, worse, they pseudo-analyze and fetishize the different components of a beer ( “This beer is comprised of yeast that was snatched, molecule by molecule, out of the air by a Buddhist monk with a pair of Old Ivory chopsticks. On the moon.”) and look down their noses at any poor beer that would dare to be considered “domestic.”
The world is full of different regions and cultures and those different regions and cultures developed their own beers to suit their regions and cultures. What do you want on a hot, sweaty day like you’d find in central Mexico? You want a thick, syrupy porter or do you want the crisp light relief of a lager? If you are getting out of the office on a foggy day in San Francisco, do you want something spiced? Something Red? It’s your choice because every beer goes with light fog. If you’re in the middle of an 18th century sea voyage to India and your dark ales are all getting ruined because refrigeration techniques haven’t been invented yet, do you want to drink spoilt beer and potentially die or do you want to add some astringent hops, lighten up that ale, and have a cask or two of India Pale Ale at the end of your journey? If you are stuck at the ass-end of Scotland and you haven’t seen the sun for three months because you’re dodging daily thunderstorms… just… have all of the drinks. You deserve them. Start dark and go light, but drink all of them. Jesus.
There are so many different types of beer because there are so many different places and ways to drink them. It is YOUR mouth, your palate, your enjoyment. Don’t let those snobs who care more about the labels on the bottle than the beer inside of that bottle stop you from drinking the beers you want to drink. Try them all, make a note of your favorites, drink your favorites, try others, add more to your favorites list. If you love drinking a porter in 110’ sunshine in Mexico, good on you. I will cheers you with my PBR and then we’ll have tacos. Because tacos.
Jeff has been a professional writer, bartender, and clown, sometimes all at once. He grew up along California's central coast before disappearing into the wilds of San Francisco. He appeared sporadically in those foggy mists as a featured artist for the Ramshackle Farm art gallery, a founding writer for Mockery Press, and an actor and clown on the Embarcadero and in a number of local theater companies. He tended bar in a range of dive bars before heading East to travel Europe and drink in those sights, and he does mean "drink". After his bank account and his liver required a break, he dropped back into the City and was astonished at how much rents had gone up.
Jeff currently resides in San Francisco and is the proud protector of two apartment-sized animals and a rent controlled apartment lease.