An Unscientific Ranking Of The Best Beers

I’m going to start leaving this at the bottom of each of my articles as a measurement for the profitability potential of my writing. I don’t think I’ve amassed anywhere near enough of a readership for Patreon or anything subscription based like that so until then here’s a totally voluntary way for you to let me know you think maybe I wouldn’t starve to death if I did this for a living

Before I get any further I should clarify. This isn’t an article about the best tasting beers. That’s simply too subjective a topic to ever get anywhere and plus I lack the articulation skills necessary to explain what makes me prefer one over another. I don’t know why I like Coors more than Bud Light, I just know I do. I am however willing to have that conversation if you read this column and would like to get at me here or on social media. This is a piece on the various beers we encounter in our life, like the first one we ever snuck, or the last one shared with an old friend. This is a piece explaining why that coldish cooler of domestics when you’re fishing just always seems better to the frigid cans served at sporting events. This delves into the psychology (no it doesn’t, I have an English degree, not a Psychology degree) of the beers we enjoy and what it takes for a moment with a pint, a can, a tallboy and a longneck to really capture your heart. These are in the order I thought of them in and not their order of significance so don’t hit me with some asinine argument about their placement.

Honorable Mention: The After Work Beer. We’ve all had one (hundreds) of these. You get home from work and almost reflexively you go to the fridge and grab a beer. You’re not too sure why you just did that, you can’t really point to something specifically about the day that made you want a beer, you just did it, you simply followed the natural sequence of events of taking your shoes off, grabbing the beer and the remote and planting your ass on the couch to veg your brain of its productivity. While the sensation of the suds absorbing your day’s stress might be one of the better things we all experience in a day, it is borne from a negative environment, from a bad place, and thus I simply cannot rank it among the best beers you’ll ever have. The best beers are reserved for happy occasions, for celebrations of the people and memories we experience in our lives.

Shower Beer: I kind of hesitated to put this one on the list because for one it’s kind of middling when compared to the others in this column, and also because sometimes it doesn’t always come from a positive environment. But I added it anyway since like the after work beer it’s one we all know, and, I would hope all of you are saving your shower beers for only the truly deserving scenarios. I remember the first time I heard about a shower beer I was amazed. I’d gone sixteen years taking showers and never once did I think they were a place to do anything but shower. When I finally got up the courage to crack a can and bring it with me it was amazing. The dichotomy of the hot water and the cold beer, the feeling of productivity you get because you’re working on getting your BAC up before you’re even ready to go out, it was great. I even tried a beer called shower beer in the shower and it did not disappoint. While the shower beer might be a little too reoccurring to rank particularly high it is nevertheless a mostly happy occasioned libation that I hope you all enjoy responsibly.

River Beer: The main attraction of the river beer is hardly the beer itself. In face the kind of beer you get is pretty inconsequential, just don’t be a idiot and get an IPA or anything heavy because you forgot you’re going to be in 100 degree heat for six hours drinking twenty of them. No, the best part of the river beer is its setting. You’re on a river, how much better could it be? You are quite literally flaoting your troubles away on both the inner tube carrying you a couple miles and the dozen and a half lite beer cans you’ve been upturning into your mouth since you pushed off the bank. The biggest flaw of the river beer is it’s its own worst enemy. You have to keep up with every can you consume the entire time you’re floating because you can’t just throw them into the water at passing wildlife (seriously, don’t do that, don’t be an asshole), and they’re also a huge liability for keeping cold.

Movie Beer: While it’s hard to deny that cinemas have definitely improved their brewing capabilities and cranking out some delicious $7.50 homebrews, I’m talking about the ones you sneak in yourself. Yes, I’m twenty seven and I still sneak shit into the movie theater, rat me out if you’re that worried about it, I’m not scared of Big Movie. Movie Beers are good both for the thrill they provide in trying to get them past the seventeen year old kids selling and checking tickets, but also in trying to time their opening just right, like right when that explosion hits, so everyone around you won’t know you snuck a couple tallboys into a 7:00PM rom com. Pro-tip: when sneaking your movie beers in don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Stick to the same tactics you employed when you were smuggling flasks past bouncers freshman year. You’ll be a lot less likely to arouse suspicion since you’re a full five years past the legal drinking age, and even if they can tell you’re blatantly bringing alcohol into the movie you’re probably going to be significantly older than the person watching you do it. They won’t confront you, that’s not a conversation they want to have.

Cooking Beer: I should probably clarify I mean really mean cookout/BBQ (yes they’re different) beer, but I’m going to include any instance where alcohol is consumed while food is prepared. Something about having just enough beers to loosen up the anxiety over fucking up the food and release your creativity to try some spices you’d never put on there really boosts the ego and has you feeling like whoever you’re cooking all this shit for really is about to have the culinary experience of their lives. Plus it settles you down, gives you a good internal time clock to measure all the cook time by. You prepare the food during the first half of the beer, throw it on for the second half. When you’ve finished the first beer it’s time to turn everything, the completion of beer #2 signals the last additions and final touches to the meat and staging of the sides, and right as you’ve drank enough of beer three but not so much you need to crack beer four, everything’s done.

Tailgate Beer: Like the cooking beer this one has a couple connotations. There is the tailgate beer consumed at a tailgate for a sport, in which case the enjoyment and uniqueness of this beer comes from its complete lack of any sort of consequence as well as almost limitless versatility, combined with it usually being free. Tailgate beers are good because they happen on Saturday, a time to really rebel against your place in society and indulge yourself to your absolute limit. The second tailgate beer is the one consumed on, you guessed it, a tailgate. Tailgate beers are meditative, reflective, calming, and, at their best, in the company of an old friend whether it be memories, a good radio, a person, or your old dog under a dazzling sky. A good tailgate beer can bring one to profound clarity and reconciliation about the things in their life. It mends and resets the soul and mind in the same way as yoga or church.

Roadie/Walkin’ Around Beer: Now I can’t speak from experience on a roadie, because it is illegal to have an open alcohol container in a moving vehicle, even if it just one light beer enjoyed with the window down on an empty road under 30mph. But if I did know what that was like, I would say the pleasure of a roadie, a true roadie, not the ones slammed on the way to the party because it’s 10:15 and you don’t feel drunk enough, comes from the weight of knowing what you’re doing is legally wrong, probably socially dismissed depending who you’re asking, but nevertheless carrying of a great weight, a significant responsibility. You’re stealing your fate from the universe and driving away with it in your hands, in that open can in the cupholder, just to experience that nerve numbing moment of tranquility where everything but the now melts away and your only focus is the hypnotic passing of the highway ahead. As for the walkin’ around beer, it’s just cool. It doesn’t matter if you’re walking towards a stadium from a tailgate, towards a concert from a tailgate, towards a party from a pregame, towards the river from the parking lot, towards your house from the party, towards the tailgate from the stadium, or just meandering a certain billion dollar grocery store. Walkin’ around beers sync everything up. You walk smoother, you talk easier, your mind is flowing so you’re free to really articulate just how your team can pull off a win no one, literally no one, imagines, or to remember some items on the list or a particular recipe you’ve really been wanting to craft. Walkin’ around beers put you on an even keel and set you up for success for wherever it is you’re headed.

I know I missed some, like hunting/fishing beers, wedding beers, open bar beers, and reunion beers, but that’s what my social media and the comments section of this piece are for. I’d love to hear some more I missed as well as the memories you have of the ones I listed. Until then.

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