A few days back, I met someone awesome for the first time and we had drinks at a Café in Abuja. It’s known for having really good cocktails and coffee mixes on menu. She ordered a ‘dirty white boy’, a coffee, milk and cream mix, (I know, who the hell names these drinks right?), and I, a beer. Without being asked, I hastened to convey my love for beer but couldn’t quite explain properly what draws me to it and makes me choose it over probably every other alcoholic beverage, even over my beloved Cap’n Jack and Skyy (that’s really good vodka).
At home today, nursing a bottle of Star, the words came to me. I’d just come in from the shopping complex close to my house, where I’d walked to buy tomatoes. I was thirsty, so before cooking, I opened this bottle, and sans glass, stood in front of the fridge and chugged down almost a quarter of the contents in one swallow.
I belched loudly, smiling. The ice-cold goodness had travelled straight down my gullet, cooling my parched tongue along the way and hitting my stomach with authority and command, generating that spine tingling feeling from that often glossed over spot, you know that part, back of the head, a few metres from your neck, just under the sharp point we called ‘Ogor’. Only three things give that feeling – the hum from a barber’s clipper on your head, a Beer, and very good, sloppy, …. Err… ‘brain’?
How do I extol beer further? Tough, but I’ll try.
Ever walked into a bar on a hot afternoon during a heat wave and a visibly sweating, from-the-freezer, cooling-the-air-round-you cold bottle of lager is placed before you? I’m sure your thirst gets sated even before you drink.
Or perhaps I can tell you about beer’s worth as a conversation enabler? Smoother of pathways, leveler of class, first of its name? I kid you not. See below:
Want to ask a legal but unofficial favour from a colleague and don’t know how to approach him? Take him to a bar and buy him beer. Thank me later.
- Going to a party and don’t know most of the guys you will meet there? Go with a case or two and carry it into the party late. You’re the MVP from then on. Or at least until some other guy, probably named Buchi, buys an even bigger case and brings it in, but there you go.
- Offended me, and don’t know how to say sorry? Just take me to a good bar and buy me cold beer. Sometimes ‘brain’ works, too, but only from a specific gender, and in specific dynamics. You’re safer and surer with beer.
- Worried about meeting your Significant other’s brother, favourite male cousin, close male friend(s)? Venue is inconsequential here. Just buy beer.
- Got enough balls to attempt to meet the proposed father in-law? Err…. Maybe not always a beer here, just in case he’s that guy for whom no one is good enough for his baby-girl. He’ll turn the beer to prosecutorial evidence.
All the above is on assumption that they all drink beer. I do, in case you’re wondering, even though I’m sure you aren’t. If they don’t, don’t bother, they aren’t worth the trouble. Wait, I jest.
Seriously though, beer is healthy. Surprised? Beer has less calories per serving than alcoholic wine or sugary soft drinks. In fact, moderate and responsible beer consumption has been proven to have nutritional value and is actually good for you on the long run.
Can I take a minute to say hello to the ladies who drink beer? Especially in our gender defined society? I like it a lot. I’ve always opined that my life partner must be a left handed, artistic, geeky yet sexy, smart, freaky doctor, preferably not from my tribe, but above all, one who enjoys beer. Tall order, I know. Maybe that’s why I sometimes feel I’m probably doomed to die single. But there’s something uniquely appealing for me about a woman that drinks beer, and writes, and draws, and is a nerd, a freak, a…. Buchi Shut up.
I do need to point something out though. This post isn’t for those who use alcohol in general as a means of escape, or as a tool for working themselves up to abuse either themselves or others, especially domestically. That’s despicable and we the association of beer drinkers disassociate ourselves from those ‘arrants’. Nor is this for those who, despite their medical condition, refuse to stay away from alcohol. If you belong to these groups, please desist and get help.
This isn’t also for those without self-discipline who expend all their money on alcohol, or for those who, every Saturday or Sunday evening, head for their favourite spots, with shirts often unbuttoned, flabby, pregnant bellies open for the public’s unsolicited viewing displeasure, and sit down to quaff cartons of beer, enough to run a bottling plant for a day. You people make us look bad. Stop already.
Nope. This is for the blue and white (even brown) collar workers, artisan, entrepreneur, writer, geek, teacher, and of course, the doctor. I write this for the bar owners, who are pillars of the community much like Moe in The Simpsons. I mean, where else would Homer and Apu go? This is also for those watching football in bars (and trolling, just doing ‘bants’, not griping like @Sirkastiq on twitter about Arsene), the average Emeka, Musa and Funke, who, after a hard day’s job, enjoy relaxing to a beer or two, who are creating value, unwinding, socializing and forming bonds with like-minded lovers of beer.
So, tell me, what’s your poison? Are you a wine connoisseur, Hennessey enthusiast? You like Jack the Captain? Or are you like me, do we all love that cold, rich, smooth, sometimes brown, sometimes green bottle of soothing awesomeness, which contains just the right amount of bitterness to keep us going?
Are we united in our love for beer?