Thursday, 31 May 2007

Beer Foamy!

According to Slate magazine there's a war over wine vs. beer and, in America, wine is winning. Hey guys, can't we all just get along? Most hmm-worthy, though, is this paragraph:
Part of beer's populist appeal—and its edge in the beer vs. wine war—has always been its absence of cant about its main point: to provide a little (or a lot of) happy intoxication. You can appreciate wine, but you drink beer, the saying goes.

Huh? I guess America has no real equivalent of CAMRA. England is fully capable of producing beers that fit either catagory —to be drunk or to be appreciated— and quite a few —Timothy Taylors Landlord, Black Sheep, almost anything you buy in a bottle at the local offy— that meet both criteria. If Americans really believe that wine has more taste and character than a beer, and, well, they do drink Bud, they should get themselves to a beer festival as quickly as possible and sample the full range of bitters and milds and ales on offer. It'd do them good.


Vince said...

The Slate piece oversimplifies just a tad. OK, Americans do drink Bud, and I for one would like to apologize for that. But there are plenty of quality microbrews available around the country, often in supermarkets. Ales, bitters, the works.

Paul said...

I oversimplified to make a point too. I did know that America has some very fine microbrews and is capable of producing some great beer. As a bit of an admission, I really enjoyed Yuengling when I was in Philadelphia, it had flavour and a bit of body and I enjoyed it as a "session" beer. Let the questioning of my taste begin.

Looking back on the Slate article, though, I'm not sure what point the writer's trying to make. I sort of had it down as just a "shifting cultures" thing, ie "real men used to drink beer but now everybody's in touch with their feminine side it's OK to drink wine", but it avoids having that much fun with the idea.

Plus there's the whole idea that there a "versus" at all. I drink beer, Hirter, again a small admission, mostly at the moment, but I enjoy a glass of wine, too, enough to, say, make a stab at the grape type of something I was drinking. I also used to be moderately knowledgable about whiskey, though a couple of costly nights-in a whiles back mean I have to be careful in that area. I don't think I'm special in that at all.

Most of the people I think of as friends would probably go out of their way to find a pub that served a "decent pint", it is about the flavour and the colour and even mouthfeel and aftertaste just like wine.

Sometimes, though, I do just want to tie one on...