Sharpen your pitchforks and prepare to drive me from the internet.
Like other warm blooded, American men, I love sports, sex and alcohol. While football possesses most of my heart, I’ll also drink to hockey and baseball. And, though I love bombshell engineers with blue eyes, a hard five can still find her way to my bedroom with the right timing. Until recently, I wasn’t particular about the source of my buzz. Now that I’ve tried every brand of the devil’s nectar there is to imbibe, a sad truth has washed over me.
I don’t like beer.
In my formative years, I skipped Lionshead from the keg for a bottle of whatever I could procure. At the time, I told myself liquor afforded me better success with female party-goers when I could offer shots of liquid courage in lieu of cheap keg beer. By spring semester’s “fuck finals kegger,” my trophies occupied an alarming amount of real estate above the kitchen cabinets.
Later, during my time on exec board, the pledges caught on to my subdued preference for liquor and started bringing bottles of Old Grand Dad to lineups. Those nights, I sported the basement’s only bottle of whiskey in a sea of plastic cups.
When I came of age, my typical bar trip started with the beer specials — I liked to start slow and frugal. On a weekend night, I would drain a few Miller Lites before skipping to the harder stuff. By the time I found the bottom of the third or fourth bottle, I would turn to a friend and confess that I wasn’t enjoying the beer. My denial was cracking.
When I neared 23, I began to realize my deep-seated aversion for beer may not be solely attributable to a narrow, immature palate. I switched it up. I tried IPAs. They all tasted like the positive terminal of a car battery. I experimented with the heavy domestics and then turned to imports. Molson was okay. I didn’t mind Heineken (though more than half of the Heinekens I tried were already skunked), and the Dos Equis tasted like Joakim Soria’s taint. It seemed that nothing compared to liquor. Still desperate to uncover a taste for beer, I went to a pool party last week and traded shots from my bottle of Kettle for a few sips of Occulto (the high proof, Mexican beer made from agave). I love tequila and Occulto seemed like the perfect gateway beer. But, even tequila’s little brother didn’t suit me — I turned back to the hard stuff.
Last Saturday, at the apex of my beer-hating denial, and only rocking a crisp Jackson, I ordered a bucket of Coors Lights and took the first five to the face. Midway through the fourth silver bullet, the Rocky Mountain piss was waging total war on my dinner. I spent more time doubled over the bar than I did entertaining the newly-single girl next to me who was promised her best night in two years. I felt ten months pregnant. A few sips into the sixth, nature threatened a most embarrassing scene and I made a beeline for the men’s room to evacuate every offending ounce of the shitty light domestic. Wiping the excess from my mouth and dabbing my glassy eyes under the flickering bathroom lights, I finally came to terms with my dislike for beer.
I reassumed my perch at the corner of the bar once I regained my composure. I was ashamed of what had just happened, but, I strutted out of the bathroom with an indifferent smile, beads of sweat forming on my forehead, skin clammy and eyes still welling. I told the girl I was just really broken up over the penultimate Bachelorette elimination, pulled another $20 from the ATM and ordered a strong island for me, a kamikaze for her, and shots of Fireball for two other girls seated nearby whom I tagged “plan B” and “plan C.”
I stuffed a napkin in my wounded Coors Light, pushed it to the bar trough and drank nothing but liquor for the rest of the night. And I woke feeling fine the next day, in part because most of the beer found the sewer before it found my liver. That day, I finally came out of the beer closet and accepted my disdain for beer. I expect my bar tabs will increase, but maybe my fitness will benefit. No more packing my body with a gallon of Rolling Rock when a few double Jack and diets will do the work.
I’ll miss the beer drunk. It’s a unique buzz, and, in retrospect, my only reason for drinking the shit. But, I’m breaking up with beer. I can’t stand the bloating, the dry mouth, all the trips to the bathroom, and, above all else, the taste.
Revoke my man card. I don’t care. We’re through, beer..