If you are anything like me, which I pray you aren’t, then you probably cannot contain yourself much longer. There is a buzz in the air that does not happen all that often and when it does, you just have to do what you were meant to do. That buzz is 50 cent beer. Yes, that’s right, beer for half a buck and it is quite good. Of course, you have to be willing to walk inside a certain chain of stores where stuff is listed at a dollar (I refuse to name the store because I am selfish).
I have no problem doing this, just ask my wife. She only hopes that when I go purchase this wonderful amber ale I crave, I also do not walk across the parking lot and into the local Goodwill to buy some more t-shirts and shorts. Few things in life give me greater pleasure than someone complimenting an article of clothing I am wearing in her presence and then seeing the look on her face when I brag about it coming from Goodwill. Granted, this happens about once a year, but still, it’s worth it.
Back to beer. I do not get what others see in spending half a pay check on some fancy crafted beer that goes to great lengths to ruin the taste by adding stuff that has no business being in beer. Pumpkin, oranges, chocolate, and almost any other ingredient you can think of added to hops and barley is just a good way to turn beer into a pour man’s appletini.
Several years ago, I attended San Diego State football games and couldn’t help noticing the $8 they charged for one particular brand of beer. The same beer was four bucks a six pack at my local Big Lots. Then again, if you are going to buy an $8 beer, you might as well enjoy the $36.00 large pizza the stadium was selling. Thanks, but no thanks.
Wine snobs have existed as long as I have been alive, but for the life of me, I don’t recall when America jumped the beer truck and turned into beer snobs. I get the argument of beer in a can vs. beer in a bottle (bottle only for me). I also can appreciate less filling over tastes great and even dark beer over golden hued. Heck, I even understand why some prefer their beer at room temperature (Ice cold if you are getting one for me).
Now, the beer section in stores is filled with locally crafted beers made for the beer drinker who appreciates the hard work and time put into creating something expensive. If you are taking the time to distinguish whether or not your beer you are sipping was fermented in a wood barrel or someone’s bathtub and whether or not the hint of mint is too much or just right, you are not drinking beer. A beer that lasts five minutes in my presence is either too warm to drink or an IPA that goes down about as well as rat poison (All IPAs are rat poison).
Among the big boys in the beer industry, it seems as though light beer is the favorite of Americans. This is odd because most Americans who drink light beer would be better off drinking regular strength beer and just stop eating the nachos and chicken wings they shove down their throats if they want to lose weight. Still, I enjoy an ice cold light beer on a warm summer night. For me, I just want the carbonation without having to drink a soda.
My wife has a problem with gluten so lately we have been purchasing gluten free beer for her to enjoy. I have tried a few and will say I actually enjoy Red Bridge. Still, I prefer my Pacifico and other beers over hers so she doesn’t have to worry about me drinking her stuff. However, if I want her to keep her mouth off my beer, it is up to me to keep her supplied with her own.
I also don’t get why people will get together at a sports bar to drink beer and watch a ball game with friends. This makes no sense. You pay way too much for the beer and food, have to leave a nice tip, stick around and sober up so you don’t get a DUI, and you have to put up with those dicks dressed as Darth Raider at the table next to you just to watch a game on a big screen. Spend a year drinking Trader Joe’s cheap stuff and you will have saved enough money to treat yourself to a 65-inch big screen of your own.
By now, you are probably thinking I am one cheap bastard. You will get no argument from me. I am so cheap, I have considered saving a few empty bottles and keeping them on ice in the freezer just so I can pour some of my favorite beers from less expensive cans in them to enjoy. Think about it. A 36 pack of Coors in a can will run you about the same as a 24 pack of bottles. I am not a mathematician, but even I can smell the savings to be had there.
For now, I will just try to remind myself to get down to score some more very nice tasting beer at $3 a six pack while they last. They’re in the back of the store right next to the $4 Pinot Grigio that isn’t too bad.
Jim is a life long resident of California and retired school teacher with 30 years in public education. Jim earned his BA in History from CSU Chico in 1981 and his MA in Education from Azusa Pacific University in 1994. He is also the author of Teaching The Teacher: Lessons Learned From Teaching. Jim considers himself an equal opportunity pain in the ass to any political party, group, or individual who looks to profit off of hypocrisy. When he is not pointing out the conflicting words and actions of our leaders, the NFL commissioner, or humans in general, he can be found riding his bike for hours on end while pondering his next article. Jim recently moved to Camarillo, CA after being convinced to join the witness protection program.