Beer Versus Wine - American Style


Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink in America ,
finishing far ahead of wine, distilled spirits and
numerous other types of beverages such as hard
lemonade and other equally horrible tasting stuff. This
month I’d like to point out a few of the reasons for
this by comparing the malt beverage to the product of
the grape as they relate to several aspects of American
life. Whiskey has been left out because in general
distilled spirits are not considered to be beverages of
moderation. For every lover of single malt scotch, for
example, there is a stocky Slavic type urging you to
“Dringk! Dringk! You like? Taste goot, hah?”, and
forcing you to take a sip of a colorless liquid that
burns the lips, tongue, esophagus, and stomach, while
he slaps you on the back and offers another slug.
Such booze is akin to liquid fire and doesn’t belong in
our informal beer versus wine bout.


Although there are many excellent wines produced in
Northern Europe , that area is predominately a “beer”
region, and although the Mediterranean area is noted
for it’s wines, good beers come from there as well. But
there is no place like the USA that produces so many
superior examples of each, so there’s no better
setting for our tongue in cheek beer versus wine
match.

First to be considered is the basic difference between
the two libations: beers are primarily made from
malted barley, while wines are made from grapes. Even
though there are other primary bases for both of
these beverages (wheat, for example, for beer and
elderberries, blackberries, dandelions and the like for
wine), the basic difference remains the same. Even
weiss beers contain at least some malted barley,
whereas some types of wine contain no grapes at all.
Score one for as being truest to it’s roots.

           
 Beer 1……Wine 0

In America , beer is considered to be a more manly
drink. Can you just imagine Matt Dillon saying to his
sidekick “C’mon, Chester , let’s go over to The Long
Branch and have a glass of Beaujolais ”? The great
American pastimes of baseball, Nascar racing, Friday
night fights, fishing and lawn mowing wouldn’t be as
“red, white, and blue” if accompanied by a feminine
sounding Chardonnay. Beer drinkers proudly hold high
their drinking vessel, be it a can, bottle, pint glass,
stein or plastic cup. I’ve noticed that wine drinkers
seem to extend their pinkies while holding their glasses
by the stem, so as not to “bruise” the wine. The only
“bruising” that accompanies beer is when some
unlucky soul is hit over the head with a beer bottle in a
barroom brawl.

             
Beer 2……Wine 0


Beer, in addition to being a vehicle for relaxation, is a
great thirst quencher. They don’t call “lawnmower
beer’ for nothing. A frosty can of suds can definitely
slake one’s thirst and leaves one thinking about
another. For me at least, wine doesn’t do anything for
thirst and in fact only makes me thirstier. (For beer)

            
Beer 3……..Wine 0


Beer is meant to be drunk immediately upon tapping
or opening a bottle or can, thus instantly solving the
problem for which it was opened in the first place. Red
wine is supposed to be uncorked and allowed time to
“breathe” before consumption. A beer drinker would
never waste time in this fashion. In fact, I knew a guy
who would punch two holes in the top of a can, raise
the can to his lips and in three seconds suck the can
dry. No time for “breathing” there, either for him or
the beer. While the red wine connoisseur was getting
antsy watching his bottle breathe, Old Fred could have
downed a whole six pack of Schaefer. Decidedly less
time consuming.

           
 Beer 4……..Wine 0


At one time wine enthusiasts looked upon screw cap
wine bottles as something to be spurned ,containing a
cheap drink for the masses, as opposed to traditional
bottles requiring all sorts of implements to remove the
corks, which were then snobbishly sniffed, in order to
demonstrate one’s expertise on the subtleties of the
wine. Beer guys, on the other hand, welcome all sorts
of things like pop top cans, screw caps, EZ taps, in
fact anything that helps them get to beer faster.
Positive proof that beer drinkers are more modern and
welcome innovation. (In addition, they don’t sniff the
caps!)

            
 Beer 5……..Wine 0


The USA and it’s eternal ally, Great Britain , favor beer.
France favors wine.
             
Beer 6……..Wine 0


With it’s advertising signs, trays, tap handles,
coasters, logo glassware and countless other items,
beer offers many opportunities for collectors of
“breweriana” to enhance their pleasure. Collecting wine
related items pretty much starts and ends with
corkscrew.
            
 Beer 7………Wine 0


Other than Ernest and Julio Gallo and the Bartles and
James guys, there aren’t a heck of a lot of memorable
wine commercials. Television beer ads and jingles have
traditionally been among the best advertising on the
tube. A lot of them are even better than some of the
insipid network shows. People remember beer jingles
from forty and fifty years ago. No one remembers a
wine jingle.
           Beer 8……..Wine  0


A cooler packed with ice and cans or bottles of beer
makes a prettier picture at a picnic than a bottle of
wine.
             
Beer 9………Wine 0


As explained in previous “Beer My Way” articles, there
are all kinds of things one can do with beer besides
drinking it. ( washing hair, killing slugs, etc.) and the
packaging of beer allows us to make potato guns,
targets, and  dog poop scrapers, balance uneven table
legs, and arm street gangs, to name a few. What the
hell do you do with an empty wine bottle other than
stick a candle in it?

             
Beer 10……….Wine 0


Beer wins by a 10 to zip shutout over wine!!!!!




Cheers!

Dan
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