I have the luxury of being a week late with this Session post and therefore able to review John's Session roundup and his reaction to how others tackled the subject. Seems John wanted us to go all in with this whole "fizzy, cheap, yellow" thing – not hide behind statements like "Helles is awesome in Munich" or "I drank my weight in Pilsner Urquell in Prague." Which is a pity, because I would enthusiastically offer up both declarations.
No matter. You want cheap beer, you say? Confessions of a macro drinker? You've got the right guy.
I feel no shame in admitting that I've had more than my share of "mega-swill" pass through these kidneys. Like most American males, I cut my teeth on whatever was cheap and plentiful (and alcoholic, let's not forget) – Natty, Beast, Icehouse, High Life, whatever. Does Malt Liquor count? Make mine OE 800. When you're on a budget and have simple tastes, such things will do.
Oh, but why should wealth and sophistication mean we put those days in the rearview? Well into my craft-beer and homebrew days, I have maintained an occasional habit of reaching for the frostiest, fizziest, yellowest, corn-and-riciest beers around. Often I'll go through phases, "committed," almost, to a particular cheap brand until it starts tasting heinous and the novelty wears off. Then I move on. I don't always keep crap beer stocked next to the "real stuff," but periodically some makes it into the fridge. I'm not ashamed.
My tendency toward going low grade is much stronger when drinking outside the home. Here are some times when I am not ashamed – not ashamed, mind you – to take off the beer-snob hat:
- At tailgates. For most of the football season here in the SEC it's about 130 degrees. You tell me Busch Light isn't refreshing as hell then.
- At dive bars. You say Natty Light is $1 all day, every day? I'll take 20, thanks. PBR on special? Sign me up.
- At others' houses/parties. Free Bud Light? Let's see – I have a hand, a mouth and a bladder. I'm in.
- Just because. Miller Light is on special and drinking it gets me an extra Bingo card? Fine.
- When I'm in for the long haul. At hardly more than 4% alcohol by volume, the light stuff keeps thirst at bay without packing the wallop of an equal quantity of 6.5% IPA. Sometimes inefficiency's a good thing.
- When in Rome. Red Stripe, Bohemia, Jupiler, Kronenbourg – all acceptable (and maybe even a little tasty) in their native lands.