I shouldn’t have to even write any of this, but I think it needs to be said. I’ve been drinking beer for quite some time now. I wasn’t one of those people who started off with the flavorless yellow beer known to most people as American Macro (though Beer Advocate politically correctly changed it to “adjunct”) Lager. I actually started off drinking Sam Adams and Pete’s Wicked back when Pete’s was independent and an excellent brewery (I do miss them, they made a killer brown ale). I would occasionally drink the cheap stuff when I was at parties and that’s all there was. Then I switched to a phase of my life where I would refuse beer if it wasn’t craft. I’m now at the point where I just want beer and will drink it.
Fast forward to yesterday. I was at a graduation party for a cousin of mine. In the past, they’ve had some craft beer at events at their house, but this time they had a keg. I suppose it was to provide the most beer that the majority of the people would drink, but whatever their reason, it was Bud Light. I’ve never been a fan of light beer. I think Coors Light was the only light beer I ever liked. I choose full flavored, full calorie beer. I laugh at the Miller Lite “triple hopped” marketing scheme, because 3 times 0 is still nothing. But with nothing else to drink (I’m not a fan of liquor, except for some frozen drinks), I drank the beer. I suppose I could have had some water or just drank soda all day, but I chose the beer.
I didn’t particularly enjoy it, though it was ice cold and pretty flavorless (I see why people drink a ton of it, it doesn’t really do much to the palate). I also didn’t hate it (likely because it was like fizzy slightly flavored water). But it made me wonder why people always steer towards the norm.
Let’s rewind about a week now. I was at a wedding for a friend of mine. Granted, the crowd was a different age, but the beer selection was quite different, though he had more than he needed. His options were Sam Adams Summer Ale and Long Trail Ale. Neither are in-your-face flavor bombs, but they do have flavor (and color and aroma). I don’t know if his choices were those because that’s what most people drink or because that’s what he wanted, but whatever his reasoning was, he picked beer that people drank (everyone was drinking Long Trail). Most weddings have a pretty lousy beer selection full of the usual suspects with a Sam Adams thrown in for people who like “fancy” beer. My own wedding had beer that was relatively local to RI (Sam Adams thrown in for good measure, but they’re only an hour away). No one complained, and people drank a lot of beer.
What I don’t understand is why people are so unwilling to try something new. Is it fear that their guests won’t be happy? Is it fear of breaking routine? Whatever it is, I just don’t understand the reasoning. I remember a college party I attended about 12 years ago. The only beer they had was a keg of Saranac Pale Ale. They were kinda hippies, and hippies were known to drink the microbrews. What stood out was that it was different. The common beer of choice at UConn was Natural Light (aka Natty Light) because it was cheap and easy to drink.
I guess my point is this… If you’re having a party and buying beer, try something new. You might be surprised by what your guests will drink. There are craft beers that even “light beer drinkers” will enjoy. But regardless of what you pick, I will almost never pass up a free beer at this point in my life.