The Beer Drinkerís Image


To many who donít drink beer, the term "beer drinker" conjures up images of an uneducated slob who does nothing with his free time other than go to bars and watch sports. They think of Homer Simpson, Archie Bunker or Al Bundy. They might consider social beer drinking to be appropriate only for fraternity parties, ball games and fishing trips. People who are educated and refined drink only "sophisticated" adult beverages such as brandy, martinis, or wine that costs at least $25 a bottle; whereas if you drink beer, then you must have all the intelligence and social graces of a salmon.

A beer drinker might be a doctor, an engineer or an athlete; a man or a woman; a college student, a centenarian, a Baby Boomer or a Generation Xer; Hispanic, Asian, Black, Caucasian or Native American; civilian or military. Whatever the demographic group, beer drinking is not merely about guzzling and getting soused and having sex with whomever you happen to be standing (or lying) next to. Oh sure, that does happen some places (e.g. Congress), but there are many millions of people who consume suds for much better reasons.

First, thereís flavor. Drinking beer does not, as some people think, mean that you have no taste. The range of beer flavors is every bit as wide as that of more "classy" drinks. There are dozens of different beer styles: pale ale, stout, hefeweizen, IPA, bock, witbier, barleywine, porter, kŲlsch, Scotch ale, pilsner, fruit beers, spice beers, and many more. There is a beer for almost any palate. Even my mom and my wife - who do not like beer in general - absolutely love some of the Belgian lambic beers. Maybe this is why I am sometimes apprehensive about people who refuse to drink beer. After all, Hitler didnít drink beer. Neither does Osama bin Laden.

Wherever thereís beer, thereís fun. Thereís something about enjoying a good brew at a social gathering that warms the soul. I donít get this from other beverages. If I drink wine, I get worried that some snob is going to ask me what kind is in my glass, and that Iíll feel embarrassed and self-conscious because Iím drinking Manischewitz. Liqueurs do nothing more for me than raise my blood sugar and make me thirsty. Strong potables, such as bourbon, are no fun at all because they burn my mouth so badly that I can only sip about three molecules at a time.

Finally, thereís the people. Most beer drinkers are friendly, fun-loving souls. My fondest social memories involve time spent with other beer drinkers. Whether dancing at parties or just hanging out with my friends, the love of beer has been a constant theme.