We can thank decades of watered-down macro beer juggernauts portraying the average drinker as puerile buffoons in TV ads. Monkey see, monkey do — life imitates art, and now grown men are being yelled at for allegedly having a cold one on an off day. Beer can be sophisticated and not just a vehicle for “Animal House”-like rambunctiousness.
Relatively speaking, beer is an easier beast to understand than, say, wine or liquor. Beer comes from one of two families – ale or lager – whereas wine’s pedigree depends upon a laundry list of factors.
My grandmother, also a newspaper columnist in her time, got into genealogy somewhere in the 60s, I believe. She found out we had an ancestor that came across on the Mayflower. The distinction turned dubious as he turned out to be the first — ahem — murderer among the English settlers. Please don’t look at my family funny after you read this… that was a long time ago and none of my family has ever gone to jail that I’ve ever heard about.
I had just returned from Frankfurt, Germany, in the summer of 1991 when my dear old dad first made the offer.
I was there on an exchange program and had been dazzled for a month by the history, architecture, food — and, well, the beer. It seemed an integral portion of life over there. Every town has a brewery. Heck, it’s even served in