Our contributor Jim Gaffigan knows what he likes ... and would like you to know all about it:
I like beer. This may not surprise you by looking at me; I am an overweight American male in my early 40s. Alright, late 40s.
Alright, let's just say I'm an overweight American male who likes beer. Not just any beer. I like a quality beer that can help me forget that I'm … well, not in my early 40s.
A beer preference is personal. At family reunions my brothers will always make fun of me for liking "fancy beer." "Jimmy and his fancy beer." As far as I can tell, what makes my beer preference "fancy" to my brothers is that it requires a bottle opener, but I'm aware my beer palette is anything but complex.
Now, it seems every city, town and hamlet I visit has its own beer made by locals: Specialty beers, microbrews, craft beers made by community artisans. And I have to tell you, without exception, they're all bad.
I'm not exaggerating! No, I don't care how creative the cute beer name is that has to do with local folklore. I don't care how beautiful the hand-drawn label is of a cactus wrestling a penguin.
The main problem is, well, they don't taste like beer. I guess I'm a traditionalist. I don't want a beer that tastes like chocolate or oranges or avocados. I want a beer that taste like … I don't know, beer.
How did we lose our way? Are we that bored with beer? I don't know about you, but I'm tired of fielding questions for waitstaff like, "How hoppy do you like your beer?" "I don't know – how many hops are in a good-tasting beer?"
Recently I had a bartender try to sell me on a beer that had "a Jolly Rancher kick to it."
Oh, America … what happened?
More commentaries from Jim Gaffigan:
For more info:
Story produced by Sara Kugel.