Can ya guess what kind of drink I most prefer? Yeah, you’re right, craft ale. I tried to like lager the best, honestly I did, but I just prefer beer (ale). Quick lesson: LAGER is different to BEER even though extremely thick people refer to lager as beer, look up the difference yourself, you’re already on the internet. When I say beer, I mean ale, when I say lager, I mean lager, got me? Good. I prefer beer to other drinks, although I’ll drink pretty much anything, I’ve been known to quaff wine and cocktails as well as spirits, and I’m a bit of a cider man too (look at me dancing around the issue of my alcoholism! Dancey dancey). Y’know why I like beer? Three reasons, and three other things I like, Personality, democracy and history. Since I’ve been drinking as I write this, let’s do the first one last and the last one first and the middle one in the middle.
History: Beer is a wonderful drink. Historically, beer is the reason for all of humanity. Brewing beer takes quite a lot of energy, including heat. People began to associate with one another so that they could pool resources and brew beer, once they were living together they could invent the printing press and the microwave and read radical magazines and go on caravan holidays and all wish that they were dead! Beer, is the reason for society. Later on in human history, Beer gave birth to the ‘pub’ as we now know it. A pub, as I’m sure you’re aware, is short for Public House, which was a historic thing when people brewed their own beer, when you brewed beer in your small farming community, you put up a flag over your house and your house became ‘public’ so long as you had beer. These flags became signs as brewing became more reliable and now we have the pub. A house which is public. Yet further on in time, Beer was the fuel of the industrial revolution. You’ll know that beer is extremely calorific, and it is the perfect industrial drink. Y’see, the perfect industrial drink needs to be firstly extremely calorific so it can serve as a meal because you’re working class and work in a foundry and the food was awful, secondly it has to be alcoholic so that you forget the misery of your life, but you need to drink it in large quantities to slake your sweaty industrial thirst from your toil making RSJs so the alcoholic content of beer is exactly right.
Secondly democracy. Democracy leads to us electing cretins to run our country because the common ballot is the very definition of ‘lowest common denominator’ but hey, equality is nice. Beer is democratic, more democratic than wine because, if you walk into any pub and look at the beers on offer, you’ll see that they are broadly the same price (designer beer has slightly fucked up this point but screw you, better than the £1.99 - £200,000 gulf in wine prices). If you go into a pub, a pint will typically be less than a fiver, which is cheap, and means you get some change for crisps or fruit machines or to play with as you pretend to listen to people witter on about whatever it is you talk about in the pub. Beer is also democratic in that it features bold and simple flavours and you don’t need a phD or a quality palate to comprehend them; wine is a drink for connoisseurs who typically sniff the crap for ten minutes before drinking it (it is, at the end of the day, a drink, not a perfume) whereas beer is meant to be drunk by people who get things done.
Thirdly, personality. The bold, simple and easy-to-grasp flavours of a magnificent pint of beer allow a lot more character. Wine is given flavour by the subtleties of the grapes, the careful cultivation of time and the precise nature of the barrel in which it is brewed. Beer is given flavour by adding stuff, chocolate and heather beers are available among others, like tea, beer can be infused with flavour because the brewing and storing process is much more robust, allowing you to just dump any old crap in with it to give it a bit of idiosyncrasy.
There you go, that’s why it’s good.
Written under duress by Steven.
(I do actually quite like wine, but I like beer more... ah who am I kidding, I’m a drunkard, I’ll drink rubbing alcohol if it’s happy hour).