Spot The Moron!
Summertime is here. Yeah, yeah, and the living is easy. Good God,
Iím writing in song cues. Letís try this again...
Itís Memorial Day weekend as I write this (thatís better),
and summerís here, either officially or unofficially; I heard both on
NPR today. Last year about this time I encouraged you to do your stupid,
cowardly, mainstream-beer-drinking friends a big favor and stop buying
light beer for them when they come to your house. If itís your picnic,
why spend your perfectly good beer money on that stuff? Theyíre eating
your potato salad, they can damned well drink your beer. Morons.
Well, guess who the moron is this summer? Itís you, buddy.
Yeah, you, the guy buying all those choice bottles of local porter, west
coast IPA, German weissbier, maybe even a growler of kŲlsch...youíre
the moron. Youíve got three or four coolers packed with ice and really
cool bottles of really cool beers, maybe you even scored some cans of
the excellent Daleís Pale Ale or Old Chub (and I heartily encourage
you to do so if you havenít). Ya dope.
Do I have to spell it out for you? D-R-A-F-T!!! What did you
spend on those four coolers full of bottles? Donít even like to think
about it, do you. If you bought four cases of middle-of-the-road craft
brewed beer youíre in for $120, and if you really mixed things up,
maybe got some Belgians, youíre even higher. Maybe $200? Sheesh. A
half of something really good costs under $100, thatís the equivalent
of more than seven cases of 12 oz. bottles!
Get draft for your picnic, you dope. Draft beer really is
cheaper. You pay a deposit, sure, but you get it back, itís a deposit.
You may have to pay a rental for a tap, but think a bit: you can buy a
tap for about $35, and youíve paid for it the first time you buy draft
instead of bottles. And you pretty much only need a Sankey tap these
days, not the "twin-prong" Hoff-Stevens.
But screw cheap, letís talk about easy. Spend fifteen bucks on
a tub, stop at the beer store and order something good, pick it up, buy
a tap and 60 lbs. of ice with the money you saved by not being a dope,
then go home and tap that bad boy. Done! And you are now cooler
than Brad Pitt skinny-dipping at the North Pole, serving outstandingly
good draft beer at your picnic. Hell, you could even go sixtels and have
two different draft beers. Buddy, you are practically a bar.
And the best part comes the day after. Look: no mountains of
stinking bottles or cans, no growlers to wash, no broken glass. All you
have to do is slap the glasses in the dishwasher, dump the tub and hang
it up for next time, run the empty keg back to the beer store so you can
collect your deposit, and youíre done. What the hell is so hard
You got any geekly arguments? Like about how you want more
variety at your events? Buddy, itís a picnic, a barbecue,
itís not a geek event. People are going to be talking about the
weather, or sports, or clothes, or the kids being out of school, not the
wonderful beer selection you found. Say you got a keg of Bellís Amber,
or Deschutes Black Butte Porter, or Blue & Gray Fred Red, or
Tabernash Weiss, or Berkshire Steel Rail Pale, or Stoudtís Pils...is
there going to be a problem? Are any of those not good enough? If
itís a problem, like I said, get two sixtels. Or do like a
friend of mine did: get a pin of real ale, condition it, pour by
gravity. Youíre a legend.
Keg too heavy? Get a friend to help carry it.
Ice and tub too much hassle? What? They let you put on a picnic?
If you canít handle ice and a tub, why not check into the retirement
Afraid you might not be able to finish off a keg, donít want to
waste beer? Insist on sixtels. Many small brewers use them now, some
places will custom-keg whatever beer you want in them if you ask nicely
Ė or grovel amusingly. Tap early, pace yourselves, eat, and youíll
be fine. Besides, if you pump it up properly at the end of the day, it
will last till the next day. No longer, though.
Another thought. Do you recycle in your neighborhood? Do you
really believe in it? Then you cannot do better than buy draft beer.
Growlers are the only thing even close to the environmental friendliness
of kegs. Kegs are stainless steel with minimal moving parts and have a
service life of 35 to 45 years. They are the ultimate in
recyclable containers. Point this out to your guests, or better yet,
make a whimsical sign to this effect and post it by the keg. People will
feel even better. Drink up and save the freaking planet!
Are you thinking about it now? You really should. Because draft
beer is delicious, and summertime is here, and the drinking is
easy...and youíre not really a moron, are you?