“Beer is the fountain of happiness; we should not question its power, but blindly frolic in its foamy ways.”
Beer, commonly called the "water of life" or "logic potion," is a bubbly, appetizing, piss-colored fluid that sustains life and is the result when barley, hops, spices, and water are mixed with magic.
“Yellow, fizzy, delicious, yellow, fizzy, delicious, yellow, blurry, fizzilicious.”
In 1842, the experiments of Louis Pasteur proved that beer possessed abilities to "help white men dance," and "help ugly people get laid." Since this remarkable discovery, beer has risen in prominence in worldwide culture, unfortunately leading to such excesses as the 1970s disco movement and beer pong.
The British have many different words for beer, as Eskimos have for snow and African Americans have for young women. They use words such as lager, Pilsener, and swill to carefully define each batch, to showcase their self-image as connoisseurs (that is, closet Frenchmen). Any liquid selection made at a British pub, however, has the advantage of being safer and more nutritious than ordering food there. The British like their beer warm and flat. This simplifies the conversion to vomit.
In the United States, by comparison, the single word "beer" covers many things that are not beer, including diet beer ("light beer"), which has 75 calories instead of 100 but makes you consume 150 calories to get the same buzz.
Beer is one of the four essential food groups and is at the very top of the "nutrition pyramid."
Beer is the most important item in the Western diet, surpassing even pizza, buffalo wings and pastrami sandwiches with jalapeño peppers, Tabasco sauce, and Fritos. It is as beloved to Americans as ketchup, with which it ought not be mixed. It is also used as currency in many nations, and as foreplay before sex.
Brewing a potent batch of beer has always been painstaking and time-consuming, except for a few years in the vicinity of Detroit, Michigan when the Stroh's family conducted experiments in "flash-brewing."
Beer cans never say how potent the beer is. There was a brief exception to this too, and the Supreme Court ruled that, although government could make brewers put an awful lot on the label that people don't want to read, it could not keep them from including stuff that people did want to read. As usual when the American people acquire a new right, they promptly lost interest.
Drinkers around the world know that beer is much more potent on the opposite side of the border. They would rather get a passport than get a forty-ouncer of malt liquor at home.
Beer in American culture and politics
“Why does beer go through you so fast?”
American beer is brewed in gigantic factories in the Rocky Mountains (and in other similarly scenic places, such as Milwaukee). Near the brewery, there are always pastoral landscapes of glaciers, the aroma of pine trees, and the Silver Bullet locomotive.
Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal" revived the tin industry. Since Tin Lizzies had become outdated, the tin had to be used for something else, as did Lizzie. Fortunately, Roosevelt also put an end to Prohibition, which had devastated the bottle-making industry. The tin was used for a new invention: the beer can. This was the decisive "wonder weapon" of World War II, since the Allied beer cans were lighter than the bulky German beer bottles. The GIs still got supply when the Krauts got dry.
Postwar American culture came to be dominated by the beer can. In the year 2000, George W. Bush, became President after a campaign that culminated with a debate about the benefits of beer when navigating the curvy roads around Kennebunkport. His successor, Barack Obama, went further in 2008 with the slogan, "Yes, we can!"
After the elections, Obama's plunging popularity, happily, did not affect the popularity of beer. Indeed, after a white policeman caught an African American professor trying to break into his own home, Obama held America's first "beer summit," using the amber liquid to tranquilize his guests for another tedious discussion of the legacy of slavery.
No one can mention beer culture without thinking of sports — especially gymnastics. Ever since Mary Lou Retton wore a Budweiser leotard in the 1984 Olympics — aware that most television viewers do not so much read but look at the pictures — beer has become intertwined with the gymnastics culture, to the point where the pommel horse in the 2004 Olympics was shaped like a Michelob Ultra bottle.
Beer around the world
Factory production of beer is a relatively recent development. Originally, beer was brewed, one barrel at a time, by monks in Mediocre Britain.
In Britain they make a beer from warm tap water and call it 'ale' or 'bitter'. It is like drinking warm bath water. Two pints of that and you will run to the toilet and recycle it for the next unwary customer. So to make sure you don't go through that experience, always ask for a 'lager' in a British pub.
Germany and Ireland compete for the title of the originator of beer. Whilst the German produce a fine, sophisticated drink similar to lemonade that overwhelms the drinker with great taste of brewed Weet, the Irish relish a substance similar to sweet but bitter; that is, liquid bread that tastes exactly like a dandelion. Ireland's notorious beer Duel is often used in its tradition of capital punishment.
Belgians often use beer as a weapon to commit robberies, and as an alternative to productivity to achieve job promotion. Belgian beer is also a useful tool against English football hooligans (who, after a few hours, are too drunk to find the stadium). When football is out of season, the Belgians add ingredients such as orange peel to disgust the British and keep it all for themselves.
When on holiday in France, tourists should avoid the phrase book, which translates beer as la bière. Ordering up a byrrh will always satisfy, and will make one forget that the order of l'escallope wasn't hardly seafood either.
In Australia, drinking beer is done with "me mates" and begins with the rousing call of "watch under!" This toast, like "Fore!" in golf, is a useful warning to bystanders to stand clear to avoid being spattered. Australian beer is uniformly delicious, except for Fosters, which in Australian, means "fit only for export."
Beer can be made at home using only 5 ingredients: Water, barley, hops, yeast, and unlimited bank balance. Many brewers get sucked into home-brewing by the attractive price of only $20 to $30 for 2 cases of "craft" beer. This is a lie. Once "they" hook you, you will buy more and more unnecessary equipment to impress your friends even though you don't have any friends because you spend all your friend time making more beer.
The beer making process begins with bringing water to a "mash" temperature, drinking a beer, steeping grain for about an hour, having another beer or two, removing the grain, one more, then adding bitter hops. All that is then cooled and thrown into a fermenting vessel (called "fermenter", duh), adding a fungus called "yeast," then waiting a few weeks for the yeast to perform some sort of magic that results in beer. No home brewer really understands this process.
Most popular brands
Beer drinkers everywhere develop extreme loyalty to their favorite brand of beer. (This, however, does not rise to the level of going without if it should be unavailable.) The following brands are the world's best sellers:
- Budweiser is a slightly-worse-than-tasteless American lager with a renowned German name. The decision of the Budweiser family, four centuries ago, to license the brand in America — that is, to pocket chump change, ensuring that the makers and their descendants could never bring their best product into the world's biggest market without immediately being ridiculed for low quality — is taught in German business schools along with New Coke, the Hindenburg, the Titanic, and the Maginot Line. (Sadly, the marketeers of Lowenbrau skipped these classes as well.)
- Chimay Blue is a popular Belgian beer, though it is not blue at all, but the label is. It is ordered at bars by people who range from effete to effeminate.
- Der Vieselpiß is the favorite beer of Germans. They enjoy its smooth texture despite a musky aftertaste and do not concern themselves with the list of ingredients.
- Sucia Modelo ("Dirty Model") is a Mexican dark beer with an earthy taste reminiscent of finding oneself face-down on the edge of town at dawn. Oddly, the version sold in the United States is indistinguishable from Corona, which is indistinguishable from Coors, which is indistinguishable from Pabst except that the headaches are milder.
- Tabula Rasa ("Blank Slate") is a fine American lager that takes its name from the psychology term for the state of the human mind at birth. The name is a testament to the extreme potency of this beer. Its slogan is, "The Wicked Potent Beer.™" Three or four bottles and you stop wanting to visit Canada.
- John Smith's. A British bitter. You'll feel bitter after parting with your American dollars for this eye-drooping experience. My suggestion, let John Smith drink his own porridge.
- Shit I Make In My Basement is widely known as "Best Beer in the World" by some homebrewer named Jim. This is an elusive brand but can be found if you know a guy named Jim who brews beer in his basement.