Dad Stuff, Part 6: Good, Cheap, Ice Cold Beer

I miss the old days when beer was beer. Beer was mostly Bud Light or Miller Lite (well, actually where I’m from it could’ve also been Budweiser, Strohs, or Schlitz . . . I think those were the brands because those were the sturdy cardboard boxes I kept my Hotwheels in).

I’m as guilty as the next middle-aged-white-guy with a job and find myself almost embarrassed to have Budweiser ….in a can (gasp) …in my fridge. Lately, I feel like I have to apologize for it. Like, “oh, I keep Molson in my beer fridge only for when my father-in-law comes over …can I offer you a Roak French Toast Stout . . . don’t you just LOVE Roak’s take on a stout?”

In my head I’m screaming, “nooooooo … that Molson is MINE!!! And I want it. I want you to want one. And we can drink it fast and have a second. And a third.”

Good, cheap beer is American! It smacked me in the face this Fourth of July weekend as I was sitting on a pontoon boat and feeling soooooo full that I didn’t even want another 16 oz. can of Contemplation Honey Ale by Brewery Vivant. In fact, I physically couldn’t have another. My belly was full.

And I thought, shit, beer should be bottomless on a hot, summer day. Ales, Lagers, IPAs, Stouts, and Porters cannot be enjoyed 6, 8, or 10 at a time. No. That’s where classic American cheap cold beer reigns supreme. Everyone always talks about going to Europe and loving the beer. Fine. Enjoy it when you’re in Europe. But here? Where baseball is our national past-time? Where backyard grilling and purposely getting fat is a tradition? Well, so is cheap, cold, American beer.

So I’ll spend the rest of the scorching summer determining which of the light beers is my favorite and make sure my fridge is always stocked with it. When you come over …we’ll have one or two and we won’t tell your Beer Club friends. I have this idea where a friend will stop by with a 12 pack, we’ll throw it in a cooler of ice, and we’ll drink and laugh and tell stories. Or, someone will invite me over and I’ll bring the beer. Two six packed that I’ll be carrying in the plastic six-pack rings.

Some call them “yard beers”, defined as the perfect type of beer to drink while working around the house. I also think of a “yard beer” as the type you’ll have chilled in a beer fridge in your garage and happily offer to a neighbor and complain about wealthy athletes, other neighbors, maybe politics, the heat, and work . . . and before you know it you and you’re neighbor will have polished off 2 or 3 light beers while talking over the back fence in your yard.

They must be in cans. Oh, and price-per-beer is a major factor. Gotta be CHEAP.

Here’s the candidates (so far)

  • Michelob Ultra, 95 calories, 4.20% ABV
  • Busch Light, 95 calories, 4.10% ABV
  • Natural Light, 95 calories, 4.20% ABV
  • Miller Lite, 96 calories, 4.20% ABV
  • Coors Light, 102 calories, 4.20% ABV
  • Miller High Life Light, 107 calories, 4.10% ABV
  • Bud Light, 110 calories, 4.20% ABV
  • Labatt Blue Light, 111 calories, 4.00% ABV

So I’ll spend the rest of the scorching summer determining which of the light beers is my favorite and make sure my fridge is always stocked with it. When you come over …we’ll have one or two and we won’t tell your Beer Club friends. I have this idea where a friend will stop by with a 12 pack, we’ll throw it in a cooler of ice, and we’ll drink and laugh and tell stories. Or, someone will invite me over and I’ll bring the beer. Two six-packs that I’ll be carrying in the plastic six-pack rings.

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