Jun 242008

Generic beer

Generic beer

I’m not particularly proud of what I’m about to tell you. It’s not something I like to talk about, and I wouldn’t say anything at all, but I’d rather you hear it from me than someone else.

I drink Bud. Miller, too. And an occasional Coors.

There, I said it. Yes, I write a brewing blog, consider myself a beer connoisseur, brew all kinds of strong, flavorful styles, and yet I still sometimes pick up a can of watery, fizzy macroswill and actually drink the contents.

There is a definite stigma that exists in homebrew and craft beer circles when it comes to BMC. It seems many beer aficionados absolutely despise our domestic light American lagers, and I wonder what impact this confession will have on my beer street-cred. To some, it would be like finding out your favorite gourmet chef eats at McDonald’s, but I don’t see anything wrong with it. None of these macrobrews would ever make it into my favorites list, but I think they can be appreciated for what they are, given the right place and time.

Like, right now. I’m sitting on the train fresh out of work, sipping on a Budweiser as I write this post. It’s thin, it’s ice-cold, and it doesn’t have any malt or hops character to speak of. It’s brewed with rice. It’s just about everything I wouldn’t want one of my beers to be, but it’s cheap and it hits the spot for a quick on-the-way-home brew. Forgive me.

Another “right” time for BMC is when you’re trying to beat the heat at a summertime baseball game. BMC and baseball are two great American pastimes, and they go together very nicely. Besides, the beer guy at Yankee Stadium isn’t exactly hawking Dogfish Head or Rochefort, so I’ll take what I can get. If I’m going to sit in the sun watching a bunch of guys make millions of dollars throwing a ball around, I need a beer. Any beer.

Sometimes, it is also necessary to quaff a BudMillerCoors when attending a social event. If I am at a bar and have a choice of fine beers to choose from, you’d better believe I am ordering something a bit more highbrow. However, I occasionally find myself at a hole-in-the-wall dive or a relative’s barbecue where BMC is the only offering. I will accept it with a smile on my face, knowing I can drink four or five Coors Lights and still drive home.

I do have my limits, though. I recall a night spent visiting friends outside of Morgantown, WV. We went to “the bar” – appropriately named, since there was only one to speak of in town. I was thrilled to find $2 Heinekens on offer – they’re usually three times that price at home. Imagine my surprise when I was ridiculed after ordering one for drinking “the expensive stuff” – the rest of the bar was enjoying 25-cent cans of PBR. You would’ve thought I’d ordered a bottle of $500 champagne. I kept ordering my Heinekens, causing more grief for myself, but I just couldn’t bring myself to drink Blue Ribbon when Heineken was effectively at fire-sale prices.

So, there you have it. I don’t think it makes me any less of a beer lover. If BMC is all you ever experience in the world of beer, I think it’s a bit sad. That’s not the case here – I know what good beer tastes like, and I’ll keep brewing and drinking it for as long as I am able. In fact, I think BMC helps me appreciate the good stuff even more – it cleanses the palate, like water or a bland cracker.

Come on, join in. Confess your worst beer secrets here. I promise I won’t make fun of you, and we can all laugh and cry together.