I like beer the way it is, or was, as it is getting harder to find beer that tastes like, well, beer. And, no, this is not guest written by Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh.
There I stood like in some strange new world, wondering if I missed the correct aisle and ended up in the organic juice section of the grocery store. Instead of seeing the typical beer terms one might expect to find while perusing the many selections, I was seeing mango, pineapple, grapefruit, blueberry, pumpkin, and of course lemon and lime.
Sometimes one might think they are in the coffee aisle as well, what with the Dunkin’ Donut coffee porter or the Blue Mountain coffee stout options.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I really have a hankering for a good glass of juice or some berries or even coffee. But call me old fashioned, I kind of like the taste of beer the way it is.
What is it with our society that we constantly must take something that’s already pretty much perfect, like pizza for example, and then tinker with it until it is almost unrecognizable. Do we really need Cheese Wiz steak and cheese pretzel stuffed crust pizza, or a bacon cheeseburger pizza?
That’s what it feels like is happening to beer. Beer was and still should be an economical way for us working stiffs to unwind after a hard day’s work, but instead we are trying to elevate it to wine status with special craft brews and tastings and all that jazz. Good grief, to borrow a phrase from Charlie Brown’s reaction to all that commercialization of Christmas.
In reading business news, all this regal craft brewing is contributing to increased beer prices across the board as well and micro-breweries are popping up everywhere, becoming almost as common as convenience stores. Some of them are fine but too many want to serve their overpriced beer with overpriced “elevated” pub fair or even worse, fine dining! Just a decent fish and chips please, and thanks.
And what’s with the hipsters and PBR? Their fascination with this once cheap alternative even has Pabst Blue Ribbon’s prices on the rise.
They did receive a scare though during the legal fight with MillerCoors that could have ended their darling favorite. Fear not, just when the jury was in deliberations, the companies re-entered the courtroom and told the judge that they had agreed on a settlement to keep PBR brewing at least through 2025. Phew.
I’m not sure how long this “craft” brew phase will last or when Amazon will take note of this craze and somehow get in on the action; please don’t Amazon. I can just picture it now, somehow a crazy mix of craft brews and delivery drones and who knows what happens then? It’d be like something from a Kurt Vonnegut story.
So micro-breweries and craft beer tastings and special executive chef pairings of the latest seasonal limited super-duper edition brew with just the right main course is all fine to a certain point, but it’s just too much now.
Speaking of pairings, what does beer pair best with? An ice-cold mug. Cheers!
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