Jim Gaffigan makes the case for beer that tastes like beer

Jim Gaffigan on beer

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.

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Jim Gaffigan, who is definitely not in his early 40s. CBS News

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? 

      
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Story produced by Sara Kugel.