Daddy, What Should I Drink?

I’m glad you asked, son.

See, as you grow older, there’s going to be kids out there who will pressure you into different things, like stealing candy bars, recreational  cocaine abuse and European electro-pop. You listen to none of that noise; your ol’ man knows what he’s talkin’ about.

One thing the kids will try and make ya do, after you go to college and become old enough, of course – but probably before that – is drinkin’ beers. [*pops a bottle of Magic Hat #9*]

You see, son, the kids – when they first get that ol’ feelin’ to take a taste of that sweet nectar for the first time, they’ll start pressuring you into keg stands and shotgunning contests and a bunch of other nonsense that really takes away from the beer drinking experience. They’ll push you hard to drink clown beers like Ol’ Mil’, Coors Light and Keystone. Son, you have none of that. I didn’t raise no boy with no unrefined taste.

See, beer is to be savored. It’s a drink.  Unlike life, this drinkin’ business ain’t Hungry Hungry Hippos. You don’t win the game by drinking the most. You win by calmly sipping the icy cold suds as the sun beats down on your face in the summer time, and the ladies walk up to you and say, “Wow, I’ve never seen that before. What are you drinking?” Then you give them a sip. Always remember to share. It’s good character and starts conversations.

You’ll probably start out drinking some pilsners and lagers or some light ales. That’ll get the palette primed. You’ll drink those for a couple years before moving to some darker toasted lagers and some heavier and hoppier ales. And those will taste great for a while, too.

Then, when you’re finally ready, I’ll pour you your first stout or porter. You come back anytime when you’re ready, and I’ll keep something dark roasted and full-bodied in the fridge for you.

Once you’ve had that, and it’s OK for you, then you can drink anything I just mentioned. You’ve officially mastered the art of beer tasting.

Some people will knock you and call you a beer snob, but those are the same folks who drink Orange Juice from concentrate and wear baseball caps when they go out to dinner with a lady. You wouldn’t drink purple drank and you wouldn’t get into a fight just to pound somebody. That’s not who you are.

You’re going to grow up and be distinguished. You’ll be a gentleman. You must drink the part.

“Dad …”

Yes, son?

“I meant right now. I’m thirsty. May I have a glass of water?”

– originally published 3.24.2009 at The Love of Beer


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