Thursday, February 24, 2011

Drinking Beer

Traditionally, beer is for men. And although I have learned to accommodate its taste, I will always think of it as a man’s drink. Here’s why:

It’s gross.

Why else do girls always request wine coolers for their “first” drink as a teenager? We females can admit that beer tastes horrible!

It’s one of those types of food like broccoli or spinach that when you have it for the first time, you cringe. It’s like when you were kid at the dinner table refusing to eat your vegetables, and your parents are forcing you. Your parents prod you on and encourage you to eat them saying, “It’s really not that bad!” You look at your parents incredulously because you would have to be insane to say that.

I remember being about 10 years old and finally fed up with the lies. I speared a broccoli, shoved it in my mouth, swallowed, and then defiantly demanded to my parents, “There I ate it, now tell me the truth, does this actually taste good to you?” And my parents, realizing that I was too old for the game of “We love vegetables”, reluctantly admitted to me, “Well yah, it doesn’t taste great, but we’ve learned to like it…”

Yes! Finally some truth than deception!

Back to beer – you will never EVER hear a guy admit that beer tastes bad. When questioned, he will skip right to the part of “it’s an acquired taste”.

I had my first real pint of Guinness in Sydney, Australia. Nick was really excited to take me to Scruffy Murphy’s – this famously classic Irish pub in the middle of Sydney Central. Scruffy Murphy’s is notorious for its cheap $5 pints of Guinness – what more can a 21 year-old Irish-American male want? 

So my first time there, he orders me a pint, and I have true intentions to drink it. I can’t help but be excited, because the whole trip there, Nick can hardly contain himself about showing me this brilliant gem and treasure of the pub scene. We arrive, head straight to the bar, are served 2 pints, and “cheers”. But I literally gagged.

“Ugh, this is disgusting!”
“I love it!”
“But it’s so bitter?”
“Well it’s a stout.”
“How can you drink it?”
“I love it!”
“No, seriously.”
“Ya, I’m serious, it’s great!”
“You’re lying, this is awful.”
“It’s an acquired taste.”

I mean really, just admit to me that it’s gross. I promise I won’t think less of you as a man. Instead I will acknowledge that you are sane. I just want to be on the same page.

I think it’s totally a societal expectation in America for men to like beer. It’s a macho thing.

To me, beer is the broccoli in the story, and society is the parent telling me I must consume it. If not for the pressure, I severely doubt that beer would ever be my drink of choice.

What I think of Beer

Over time, I have learned to drink beer, but only because I don’t want to be a social outcast. Especially since Nick has made it very clear that gagging over a beer is a major party foul.

I will admit it’s kind of a guilty pleasure to be able to have beer with guys. Maybe it’s the fact that I can have whatever Nick’s having and not have to order a sugary girly cocktail.

I mean, what guy wants to be with that girl who can’t drink a beer?


Rex_Mole said...

When I was old enough to drink I use to think beer tasted gross. However, after a few years the taste does grow on you. Sorry, I have to agree that beer is an acquired tasted.

EmilyB said...

Thank you Rex! That's all I wanted.

frontdeskblog said...

Emily, you speak the truth. The only time that I actually like beer is when the World Cup is on and I have a pizza in the other hand. I do, however, really like broccoli, but I loved your comparison of the two.

@Blkcat69 said...

I love this whole post. I seriously was crying laughing by the end. I agree that beer is an acquired taste. The thing that gets addicting about beer (besides alcoholism) is the verities of tastes that brewing produces under different traditional conditions. Beer is great but I have also had some cider that was out of this world. Personally, I'm a Jack man.
I like how you have learned to adapt even though you have this love/hate relationship with this "male beverage". BTW i have met girls that could kills guys in a beer drinking contest...
Another thing that I wanted to point out was your breakdown of broccoli vs. beer. Very funny. There is definitely some truth to this. But social gender expectations is my que to exit, so I'm going to wrap this up. Very good entries. Your tags are well done as well and will surely pay off.

Christopher Selland said...

Well if cooked right, broccoli can be quite good. I personally must honestly say that most beers are pretty weird tasting. I wouldn't say it tastes good, but I've definitely come to appreciate the drink. However, I have definitely come across some very tasty beers and ales. But, I do understand what you mean in general.