Five reasons blokes never tire of beer
For over 5,000 years (longer if you ask the right beer-drinking anthropologist), beer has been a part of civilisation.
In fact, according to the same anthropologists, beer may actually be the reason we became civilised. The theory is that upon the accidental discovery of brewing, clans of ancient humans stopped their nomadic hunter-gather-follow-the-mammoth lifestyle and settled in order to grow the grains required to make more beer. (Bread may have been part of the equation as well, but don’t forget that beer goes well with pretzel bread, so, yeah, there’s that.)
But as the millennia have ticked over, beer has increasingly endured a bad rap by many in the media.
Soccer hooliganism? Lager louts!
Sydney lock-out laws? Because you can’t handle your beer!
Violence in the home, workplace or local sports event? Beer is to blame! (Shakes fist…)
I’ve long been a firm believer that we don’t have an alcohol problem; we have a dickhead problem.
Alongside mead, a beer-like drink made by fermenting honey, beer is the oldest alcoholic beverage and has been the social lubricant for generations of useful and productive humans. It’s time we took back all that is good about beer and celebrate and embrace the rightful place it holds in society.
Therefore, I give you my top five reasons blokes never tire of beer.
Weighing in at a very reasonable and responsible 5 per cent alcohol by volume (ABV), beer is the alcoholic drink of moderation. Unlike wine (11 to 18 per cent) and spirits (around the 44 per cent mark), beer allows for “sessions”, which stimulates and encourages prolonged and in-depth social intercourse at levels far greater than that which other beverages can achieve. Only beer can provide the platform whereby a roundtable debate can be settled by one of the participants offering irrefutable evidence in the form of a reference to an episode of The Simpsons. That just won’t ever happen over tea and scones.
Beer is a delicious amalgam of malt for sweetness and hops for bitterness. These elements are all brought together by the mysterious magic of fermentation created by yeast and captured as a carbonated liquid. It is this confluence of opposing flavour forces and bubbles that results in a drink that is just so darn thirst-quenching. No one has ever, in the history of all mankind, spent two hours on the wrong end of the Victa 4-stroke in 33-degree heat and, when finished, turned to his wife and said: “Geez, darl, I could murder a Pinot Noir!”
Only beer can provide the platform whereby a roundtable debate can be settled by one of the participants offering irrefutable evidence in the form of a reference to an episode of The Simpsons. That just won’t ever happen over tea and scones.
Every now and then we all go that one step too far. After all, how can we know exactly where the boundaries are if we don’t ever push ourselves towards their limits? We need to allow our children to take risks; like removing the training wheels just before they’re really ready. Beer is the training wheels of the alcohol family. You can have a few too many, pull up a bit ordinary (it gets harder as you get older) but beer will still welcome you back later that day. With open arms. Harder spirits kick you while you’re down, make fun of you and then draw eyebrows in texta while you’re passed out. You know who I mean, don’t you, Tequila?
It pays the bills.
Australians drink quite a bit of beer. As a country, I mean, not necessarily as individuals. We are also ‘happy’ to pay a fair chunk of the price of a pint in tax. In fact, we are behind only Switzerland or Lichtenstein, I can’t recall which, in terms of the price we pay per capita for our beer. Compare that to the Czech Republic. where beer is cheaper than Coca-Cola and it’s enough to make you cry real beer tears into your schooner. But that does mean that, as a drinker, you are making a not-insignificant monetary contribution to the economy. Well done, you.
And finally, and once and for all…
It’s good for you.
Don’t ever listen to the naysaying, busy-bodying, finger-wagging academics who continually come up with reasons to ban beer. It is already low in carbs and one of the higher sources of silica for strong bones. It has important minerals and vitamins and other medically goodly stuff that our body needs to thrive. Studies have shown that sensible, moderate and regular intake of beer is actually good for you. It has fewer calories than wine, spirits, orange juice and even milk! It also has antioxidants which, although in significantly lower levels than red wine, are actually far more absorbable by the body. Red wine? One study, on rats, decades ago found that wine has antioxidant value… provided you drink the equivalent of something like 30 bottles of the stuff. And you are a rat, presumably.
And for those who need any extra encouragement to go out and share a beer with friends tonight, I leave you with one more reason blokes never, ever tire of beer.
It tastes like beer.
Pete Mitcham is a father of three, media personality, keynote speaker, beer expert and regular contributor to The Dad Website.