in defense of good beer is
no vice, says the Publican
real beer or die ... of boredom.
Among their many unique talents, Americans
are adept at maintaining the fiction of their individuality by means
of rationalizing that a boastful allegiance to one or another mass-produced
idea or commodity denotes independent thinking. Such self-delusion
is infinitely less taxing than the all too arduous task of introspection
that prefaces genuinely free thought.
In no other aspect of life is this more alarmingly true than when
an American sets out to select a beer.
Nine out of ten Americans, most of whom are eager to pound their
fists on the bar top in an impassioned defense of their uniqueness
and individuality, nevertheless persist in lubricating their argumentative
frenzy by buying the major national brands of beer to the exclusion
of all others. In large measure, numbingly and with blind repetition,
they drink the same beer each and every day.
It is a strange ritual, but it isn't entirely the fault of the consumer.
What passes in America for"choice"; is shaped not by rational thought
or informed free will, but by pervasive forces of marketing and advertising.
These abysmal disciplines enforce and maintain the status quo for
products that are little more than the tasteless residue of a cynical
industrial process performed with antiseptic exactitude by bloated
multinational corporate entities like Anheuser-Busch, Coors and Miller.
Of course, it doesn't have to be this way. Some of us openly,
loudly and proudly dissent from the norms of American beer"culture,";
and we have no intention of going away quietly. Confronted with
a seemingly insurmountable ocean of swill, we have ignored this expression
of the tyranny of the majority and have chosen the path less traveled
- - the true, revolutionary path that leads to beer that does more
than provide lowest common denominator satisfaction for the American
desire to quaff small, easily digestible doses of alcohol diluted
in generic golden liquid, which is the product of brewing as the mass
production of a commodity, one utterly lacking artistic merit, and
something that is peddled to the masses in a way that would make the
famous totalitarian propagandists of old blush with envy.
have none of that. We demand flavor and integrity from our beer
and we refuse to settle for less, because beer is important to us,
and it is an important part of the story of humanity in a number of
ways. The saga of beer is a long and fascinating one, with chapters
that deal with all aspects of the human experience. Beer is
about science and art, farms and cities, social history, local culture
and geography. It's about the places you've gone, and the ones
you'd like to go. It's about different textures and flavors
to match your mood, the time of day, the season, and the task at hand.
Beer is all about pleasure, and it is my unshakeable belief that
the pleasure of beer is enhanced by bolstering one's knowledge of
its diversity, and applying this knowledge to everyday life.
We all recognize that life is short, and there are so many things
to do and to learn, and so very little time, but there's always time
for a good beer - - so why not make that beer the best one possible?
If we are to define ourselves in even a small way by the beer we
drink, we should do it ourselves, actively, with our minds and our
palates in concert, and not because a bikini-clad model, an animated
reptile or any other manifestation of corporate America has told us
to do it.
The daily experience of our pub flows naturally from these revolutionary
principles. We espouse the values of good beer, good food and
a good life. We encourage the art of conversation and the marvelous
times that follow from it. We enjoy the life of the pub, and
the integrity to be discovered therein, and we want our guests to
enjoy it, too.
Or, you can make it a Bud Light. Case closed.