Sunday, May 15, 2011

Seven Reasons Beer is Better Than Wine

Note: I do like wine too. It's a nice accompaniment to a big bloody steak (sorry vegans) or a cheese plate and some deep conversation. However, most of the time I'd rather have a beer. Here's why.

1.] Cheap Beer is still good, Inexpensive Wine is just cheap
Am I a beer snob? Probably. Am I a beer prick? Well, not quite yet. Not everything I imbibe has to be ten bucks a bomber and have been dry-hopped, barrelled, cellared and generally fiddled about with more than Heidi Montag's frontal topography. No, from time to time, I just want a beer: Lighthouse Lager, Double Decker, even an Okanagan Springs' Porter.

The best part? As I've pointed out before, the price difference between something like Central City's Red Racer IPA and -scourge of the Earth- Alexander Keith's Yellow Fizzy Insipid-ale is like a buck a six-pack. If that. Here in BC, drinking good beer doesn't break the bank.

Wine though? Different story. You can get a pretty good South American wine for around ten bucks, but it will inevitably contain more sulphites than the tailings from a copper mine and be more acidic than a grapefruit dunked in battery acid. Not that you can't get one or two good ones with a little research, but grab at random and rue the day.

Try to stay local, and it gets worse. I don't think you can get a good wine in BC for less than twenty bucks; certainly not a red. Stateside, things are different. Up here, we pay too much and get too little.

2.] Wine is for Parties, Beer is for Par-tays.
I want you to imagine two separate gatherings, identical except for one thing. At both, intelligent people are milling around in semi-casual attire: nibblies close at hand, gentle music in the background, the murmur of erudite conversation. Now give Control Group A a number of bottles of wine and Control Group B a coupla casks.

In about fifteen minutes, Control Group A will have drifted into little cliques where various individuals will be relating their views on the world while everyone else is standing around not listening, but rather reloading anecdotes that highlight their own importance. The conversation will be philosophical, nebulous, fatuous and more than a little back-stabby.

Over at Control Group B, somebody just kicked on the Beastie Boys. Time-travelling dance off!

3.] Beer hangovers don't last as long
After fairly exhaustive research, I've come to the conclusion that beer will still love you in the morning. Oh sure, after excessive consumption you may arise cotton-mouthed, fuzzy-headed and smelling like a phoenix that just emerged from an infected mashtun, but the day's not over. A good strong jolt of coffee, perhaps a brisk walk and a pail of Adam's Ale, and away you go. Not so with beer's vinious cousin.

Drinking too much wine (aside from the sleepy-time problem) is going to leave your frontal cortex in the same condition as the Mojave after repeated lightning strikes: scorched earth. All those unpleasant little long-chain polyphenols have set up shop and are going to be clomping around in your fore-brain all day, tripping over neurons and stomping on your synapses with great big hob-nailed boots. You may have waxed philosophical the night before, but I can assure you that sweet F-A is getting accomplished come daylight.

4.] Beer is for hockey, Wine is for Grey's Anatomy
I say hockey, but I really mean any sport up to and including figure skating. You don't sit down with a white wine spritzer to watch Kessler carve up the opposing defence like a Sawzall vs. the Christmas Turkey. Aside from competing yourself, the great appeal of sport is the unifying camaraderie of watching the home team win or lose.

Beer is all about camaraderie and bonhomie. It's a social drink in the best sense, and has nothing to do with inward-looking emotional narcissism. Plus, Scrubs was better.

5.] You can pay for things with beer
I got a flat the other day: some idiot must be driving around Victoria with an open sack-full of wood screws hanging out the back of his pickup, dislodging a cloud of tire-puncturing metal with every jolting pothole. New tire? $150, plus I'd have to do all four, Subaru's AWD system being fussy about that sort of thing. Not a problem; I had it plugged and repaired for a six pack.

Now, had I offered my mechanic a nice Merlot, he'd probably have plugged me instead. Yes, you bring a bottle of wine when you're arriving at your bosses' house as a guest (unless your boss is cool and you can bring a Singularity instead), but beer is currency and it gets cars fixed, boxes moved and ditches dug.

6.] Hammer, chisel, tape measure, socket wrench, Beer
I've got an enormous collection of tools. They're called the San Jose Sharks. Only joking.

I don't actually own the team.

But I do have a giant toolbox filled with every conceivable manner of wrench and socket and plier and spirit level: everything one might want to be piled on top of the one tiny screwdriver you actually need and will now spend four hours trying to find. The most important tool in the box? Beer.

It's well documented that beer is more effective at auto repair and DIY home-improvements than any other tool. yes, you can use beer to pay for things, but it's also a nice way to pay yourself a salary for a job well done. Also, nothing soothes skinned knuckles like an ice-cold can.

7.] Beer makes Friends, Wine makes Frenemies
Like I've mentioned twice already, beer is a social lubricant. Want to insinuate yourself into a new workplace? Go out for pints on Friday. "Hey, let's go for beers!" is very different from, "Hey, let's go for wines!" In fact, I don't think the latter's ever been said.

If this was a wine blog, I would expect that people would be reading these posts in a very different mindset. "Aha!" they'd cry, and then would come the rattling tap-tap-tap of keystrokes as other bloggers raced to correct me on my usage of terroir or to inform me than the seasonal variation on the 2003 vintage was not due wholly to the three-week early cold snap, but was also the byproduct of four cloudy days on consecutive Wednesdays and the mass eructation of a herd of passing Holsteins during a temporarily Easterly prevailing wind of 4.7 knots combined with a light pattering of guano from a lesser-reticulated sparrow named Harold.

Instead, I started this blog with no other aim than to have a little fun and drink some beer, and as a result have met brewers and bloggers, enthusiasts and experts, people passionate about the brewing industry and punters who just like a good pint. From time to time there's some good-natured joshing, but mostly we just get together to drink good beer and enjoy it. There's no chivvying about being right or wrong or exactingly correct about terminology: it's just beer, and that's the beauty of it.


  1. Thanks for the link..I think

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  3. Nice. That said is leading the charge on reforming BC's ludicrous alcohol alcohol taxes and antiquated regulations. Also there's some cool wine/ales out there.....well they have grapes anyway. DFH Midas touch with the Muskat grapes is divine.

  4. Now in the world beer and wine are the two main term which have competition.Some like beer and some wine.Thanks for the post.