beer googles

Beer and cake are the most heavenly foods on earth. How do I reconcile my worship of a bitter, carbonated nectar with my equal rapture in the presence of the sweet, dense manna? Hell is having to choose between them.

But I can choose, and I choose beer. Nearly every day. But beer has a stigma: it’s undignified, manly, aggressive, unlike its more refined counterpart, wine. It’s associated with frat parties and thick-necked guys and redneck softball teams, where the outfielder has a cigarette in one hand and a can of Natty Boh by his feet. Tell someone you drink a glass of wine every night with dinner, and she’ll tell you how healthy it is. Now tell her you drink a beer every day at 4:00, and she’ll think you’re an alcoholic. Even though beer is good for you, but soda is not, beer still loses; no one thinks you’re a drunk if you have a can of Coke with lunch.

You should know that when I talk about beer, I don’t really mean beer; beer is, typically, lager—that piss-water-colored stuff that tastes nasty. I always mean ale. I like hoppy, bitter, light brown beers—no food-thick stouts with weird additives like chocolate. Give me some Flying Dog Doggie Style or some Harpoon IPA or some Rogue Dead Guy (perfect for Good Friday) or the holy grail of ales, The Brewer’s Art’s Resurrection (perfect for Easter Sunday).

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like the alcohol in beer. Coffee tastes delicious, but most of the people I know drink it for the flavor and the caffeine. Look, in a world that’s as fucked up as ours, we need all the legal drugs we can get. Back when I suffered from insomnia, my therapist told me I should live like a starlet—popping uppers for breakfast and downers for dinner. And I do. Did.

On Monday, I took a beer-drinking hiatus, at least during the week, so of course I can think of nothing but beer. I quit because it’s obvious I have a problem. That’s right: I can’t fit into my fat jeans. My problem isn’t an alcohol addiction. If I had to pick from among Budweiser, Miller, Coors, or even Yuengling, I would abstain. If all you had was wine, I’d chew gum.(Possible exception: Riesling. Hey—I was raised on Maneschewitz, which spoiled me for Merlot.) Don’t even mention diet beers. Blech.

Last night, my husband cracked open a Resurrection. Curses! I went upstairs and got in bed to wait for The Good Wife. The defendant had a drinking problem, and there was a picture of him with a beer in his hand. Last night I dreamt I was cooking eggs for breakfast—while drinking a beer. This morning, I found a pair of Flying Dog caps in the silverware drawer. I am Flying Dogfaceboy.

It’s going to take the patience of Saul and the faith of Job to get to Friday with two six packs of Resurrection in the fridge. I like beer. A lot. But there’s something I want a little more.

I want to fit in those white dragon pants.

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  1. Dawn January 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

    It's like you read my mind. I love beer. I also love my "former figure". So I'm also having a beer hiatus. Good luck with yours!

  2. Cybergabi January 19, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    The thick-necked guys all drink Miller Light these days. So there.

  3. Anton February 3, 2011 at 11:49 am #


    I have not read the post yet, but recognized the Flying Dog in your eyes. I think that's the best beer I've ever had. Double good – Double Dog.

    Posting this and going back to reading.

    P.S. Can you say this is a "dogface" beer?

  4. Anton February 3, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    Nice! But still think that dry red wine is the better drink. Well, I can always make peace over a FD barley wine 🙂

  5. Elizabeth February 6, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    I spent a long weekend once in an end-of-the-world place called Sopchoppy, Florida with a bunch of reporters. A hurricane was coming, but no one cared. The guy who made breakfast (greatest biscuits I've ever tasted or at least it seemed that way then) was a reporter who covered the capital, Tallahassee, and was sort of good looking in a Mark Twain-ish way. He drank beer while he cooked breakfast. Actually, we all drank and played poker most of the day, and then walked down to the Sopchoppy River to see if it looked like the storm would bring the river to the house. Someone said, "It's one mile to the river and four miles back." Everybody laughed like hell at that, although looking at it now, I'm not at all sure what it means. Ah, well, that was 35 years ago, in what seems like another country, and besides, that group of cowboys is long dispersed to the high winds.

  6. Leslie F. Miller February 6, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

    Hmmm. I think it means that you head down there stoked with anticipation, maybe drink a beer or smoke a doobie when you get there, and have a whole bunch of fun. When it's over, you're just going home. Takes forever.

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