For the love of lager
By Dave Kelley
Ahh, lager. Gold like the dawn, cold like a glacier, crisp like the
whack of a nun's ruler across your knuckles...
Yeah, I like lager. And I'm not ashamed - even in the face of a
million brew-newbies arguing the difference between Hallertauer and Cascade
when the only hops they've ever seen have been on a checkerboard. Why do I
like lager? Let me count the ways...
I like lager because... If it weren't for lager (i.e. Budweiser,
Miller, Coors, Stroh's, etc.) most of us would never have tasted, enjoyed,
and learned to love beer. They may use Guinness to wean babies in Ireland,
but in the U.S. - until about 1985 - the lagered pilsners from
BudMillCoors was all we had. And, by God, we liked it.
I like lager because... If not for lager, there would be no soccer
hooligans, aka "Lager Louts." This means that without lager, there would be
nobody (hooligans) for American football fans to feel superior to. Let me
demonstrate: Jaz (Manchester United fan who's had 19 lagers): "Let's set
the ref afire and pillage the city!!!" Gonzo (guy with his head shaved and
painted to resemble a Green Bay Packer helmet): "Uhhh, how about another
brat?" Thanks to lager, the American standing shirtless in freezing rain
looks positively civilized.
I like lager because... Since most American lagers don't have a lot
of body, they taste best when they're ice-cold and you can slam 'em right
down, making them absolutely perfect for drinking in the shower after
mowing the yard on a hot summer day. I'm tellin' ya, a cool shower and an
icy six-pack is my idea of heaven on an August Saturday.
I like lager because... It's cheap, and where I come from, thrift
is a virtue. I love a brilliantly crafted microbrew more than almost
anybody I know, and if I'm only planning on sipping a pint or two, I'll
usually go for the good stuff. But when it's a college football afternoon
with the guys, I'll take the $11.99 case of Swill Lager, thanks.
I like lager because... I have to. Why? Because when I'm invited
over to a non-beer-geek's house, nine times out of ten he's got a fridge
full of megabrewed lager, and I can either drink that or go dry. So why
fight it? Gimme another cold'n'frosty, pal. And put it in a frozen mug,
I like lager because... It's available in cans, and you can put
more cans than bottles in an ice chest. And if I'm heading out for a long
day of fishing or golfing, you know I'm bringing a filled-to-the-brim ice
chest along. Also, you can drop a can - full or empty - and it won't
shatter, so a canned beer is a safe beer.
Finally, I like lager because it's beer, and anything that's
recognizably beer is a good thing in my book.
Say it loud, I'm a lager lover and I'm proud. And you should be, too.
(Originally published in Tap Time News)