I love beer. I love sitting on the wooden deck outside my apartment on cool autumn evenings, as maple leaves of various red-orange hues float drunkenly to the ground around me.
I sit back, strumming a little Neil Young or Jackson Browne on my Alvarez cutaway acoustic guitar.
In between songs, I happily sip from a tall “Life is Good” glass, often filled to the brim with a local bitter malt stout or Belgian-style ale.
Nature, tunes, and brews – heavenly simplicity at its best.
Now, the fact that I, a lowly college student, enjoy a nice glass of beer every now and again probably doesn’t come as a shock to any of you. Booze and college kids go together like ham and cheese or Pam and Tommy.
But what may surprise you is the fact that I hate – let me stress, LOATHE – cheap, crappy, watered-down, fizzy, pissy-looking beer.
I won’t name names, as college kids tend to be terribly protective of their favorite brews, despite how horridly heinous they may be.
But one thing is certain: people need to expand their tastes.
How would you like to go through life knowing only the taste of a McDonald’s cheeseburger, never wanting to try anything new or hating everything new that you tried?
Sounds stupid, sure, but lots of people get hopelessly and stubbornly stuck in their routines. The problem is, though, that as college students, you shouldn’t have already found the one thing in life that personifies perfection in your world.
How can you consciously sit there and tell me Budweiser is the ONLY beer you’ll drink? Do you know how na’ve that sounds?
So here’s my challenge – my plea – to those of you LEGAL DRINKERS who are hell-bent on sticking to a game you’ve already beaten a million times:
Try a new brew.
Not just any new brew. Switching from Colt .45 to Private Stock does not count as moving up the alcoholic hierarchy. Try something COMPLETELY different.
For example, if all you’ve been drinking is “light” beer, why not try a nice dark stout instead? Most people have a hard time making the switch from light to dark at first, but like any skill worth its weight in YouTube videos, practice makes perfect.
And yes, beer tasting, or rather, developing a taste and an appreciation for alcohol as something other than a means of getting wasted, is indeed a skill. It takes a significant amount of time, effort, and patience – as in sip slowly, don’t chug – before you really begin to master it.
But of all the skills I’ve ever had to work on, learning to appreciate a fine bottle of booze is near the top of my personal favorites (right behind biting my nails).
Now, I’m not encouraging underage drinking, and I’m not trying to appeal to a particularly pathetic college stereotype that only reads stories about “titties and beer.”
I am, however, hoping some of you will find the will and the maturity to stand up and try something new responsibly while you’re still young enough to get away with it.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I hear an icy cold IPA calling my name from my fridge.