Salon writeup

Now that Budweiser is no longer ‘American’, there seems to be a rush to find the next great American lager.

I’ll admit, when I read this story, my first thought is: Really? There’s a race to win the best worst beer in America, made by Americans?

Why, exactly, is THAT?

I get that a cheap, easy drinking beer is useful to have, because beer should be enjoyed by as many people as possible. I actually think it’s part of the culture of beer to be enjoyed by the masses. You bring beer to BBQs and just hand them out to guests. At parties, if it’s in the fridge that beer is fair game and nobody gets to complain if you drink it. Unlike wine, (which I personally enjoy) there isn’t a history of elitism as strongly associated with beer, and there aren’t prohibative costs as with whiskey or other spirits.

Beer should be for everyone, I think. Granted, not all beers are for all people, but that’s a matter of taste. That said, why is there a race to the bottom? “Let’s make sure we’re the top of the shitty beer heap!”

I guess it’s because there’s money to be made there, but if you want a cheap beer for a hot day, why not have a good one? Is spending an extra quarter in order to get a beer that tastes much better and is less brutal on your body really that big of an expense?

Hurm. Maybe that should be an experiment; I buy a half-rack of Session, some potato chips, and on the next hot day, drink it. Of course, the next hot day in Portland may never come, but what the heck, right? We barbeque here too, in full defiance of the sun.

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