Loving beer isn’t just about drinking the one-offs, the famed rarities, the high-octane, super-stouts or insane IPAs. It’s not just about looking for the next tick, the next Top 50 beer, the latest hyped-release from your favourite brewery. Loving beer is more than that. And, sometimes, bad beers are good.
Most of us started our drinking with lager, I’m sure. Tins and bottles with mates, drinking when we shouldn’t have been, learning about life, growing up, getting drunk and being silly: learning life-skills while holding a container of beer.
We can look back on the beers we grew up with with a fond despair. We wouldn’t drink many of these now but there’s still something about them which we are inextricably linked to. Those cans of cheap lager, pints of snakebite and black, bottles which have been chilled in a bath tub full of ice, strange beers because they were going cheap at the store… There’s something about these beers which makes them important to us. They may be trashy choices, but you just can’t help loving them. And there’s probably one which stands above all the others.
It’s this trashy beer which is important. It’s the beer which it seems you alone love; the beers which you shouldn’t like but just do; the fruit beer, the lager, the novelty beer; the one which always makes you smile, but not necessarily the one you’ll shout about. You’ve got one or two hidden away somewhere, just in case, or there’s always the temptation to pick up a couple when you see them in the store or a bar.
For me it’s Desperados. It’s fizzy, it’s sweet and you need to put lime in it to make it taste better. These are very bad traits in a beer, but I don’t care. I love Desperados for the memories I have of it: drinking bottle after bottle at university with mates; sharing kegs of it on my birthday; another keg we drank in a swimming pool; getting up at 6am on my 21st birthday to drink a bottle with my best mate; always getting excited when we found a new bar which sold it; the time we forgot to buy lime and had to use a lemon; the beer night when it rated higher than some world class beers because we all love it so much. It’s important because it’s a relaxed beer, drinking it from the bottle, tasting that tang of lime juice with the first mouthful, drinking it with friends.
I don’t drink Desperados often but when I do it just floods back a lot of happy memories. Beer can do that; it has the power of a time machine to transport you back to any where and any when. Do I love the flavor of it? Sure, but I like the memories more.
What’s your trashy beer?
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