The reputation of Pabst Blue Ribbon in 2022 is more for nostalgia’s sake than for any prestige that it might hold in a world of craft IPAs, ciders, stouts, and porters. Around here, they price It low for hipsters to drink it ironically. But the Tibbetts seem to be enjoying it. And who were they? Well, Lawrence was an opera singer, actor, and radio host. His mustache never suited him, and he evidently drank heavily for years. In fact, he fell in his apartment and hit his head on a table, which proved fatal. I doubt anyone here has ever heard of him. But Laurel and Hardy did.
Keeping up with new Hallmark movies is exhausting these days, whatwith new movies every Friday, Saturday, AND Sunday (which cuts into Bible Study), and sometimes new movies back to back at both 7pm and 9pm. We can’t keep up. But watching hundreds of Hallmark movies means we’ve seen dozens of gingerbread houses being constructed (mostly poorly) in family homes, B&B’s on the verge of bankruptcy, and town festivals. Sometimes simply building them brings two foes together.
But IRL, I’ve never made a gingerbread house. I’ve spent Christmas with different families in different cities, and I’ve never even SEEN a gingerbread house in a person’s home. Do people even eat them? Aren’t they messy? Do they wind up in the Glad bag on December 26th?
But today I saw Miller High Life’s take on the seasonal hobby, and I have to say I’m impressed. Who needs a house when you can have a dive bar?
It’s no joke, and it’s perfect for 2021. Despite all the fear and oppression of American liberty, some industries have banked record revenue, like Big Pharma, Domino’s, and beer. Pfizer reportedly nets $268 million PER DAY and counting, as long as more and more boosters are required. And they will be. Granted, beer hasn’t seen vax $$, but nothing makes folks want to drink more than living through the 2020s.
While many restaurants have folded during the pandemic, we’ve seen craft beer pubs pop up all over our city, and adjacent cities as well. The parking lots are always full, despite pint prices that were $4 last year, now doubled for ales like Electric Jellyfish. Beer is in, man, and it won’t quit. Sure, not Miller High Life. God in heaven, not that. But dive bars? You betcha.
And you just know that when that Gingerbread man enters, everybody knows his name. Who wouldn’t want to grab a pretzel cue stick and play some billiards under actual working lights? Maybe take a load off on some peppermint stools. The kit even offers syrup to drizzle on the floor.
To the marketing geniuses at Miller High Life, I raise a glass of cheap, bland domestic ale to you. Just this once. God bless us one and all.
In Douglass Crockwell’s “Winter Evening At Home,” we see that Dad has just finished popping popcorn over the coals of the fire, and Mary has offered a pan of it to be salted by her beau. Everyone is enjoying a chilled glass of ale. What a fun after-dinner treat while they watch Arthur Godfrey. But what’s got Dad so forlorn? Is it because Mary is growing up so fast, and this is her last winter at home before she moves to Michigan to attend university? Is it because his right arm is sore from holding the pan off the ground, and he doesn’t have the energy to pour it into the bowl? He ought to be proud, since he clearly didn’t burn even one kernel. Quite a feat, Dad! Maybe he’s rethinking that low profile carpet and wishing they’d gone with a plush.
Or is it because Doris isn’t here to witness any of it, and she so loved popcorn? Why, that was her chair, only 14 inches off the ground because she was so petite. She even sewed the seat cover. But what a firecracker, that Doris! Remember how Dad was so reluctant to wear the vest she gave him for Father’s Day because he said yellow was too “showy”? Now he regrets his words. Goldenrod isn’t showy; it’s just right. It’s the color of popcorn and beer and wintertime cheer. And Mary’s hair color! So let’s all raise a glass to yellow!
It’s funny how ideology goes back and forth: margarine is better than butter, then butter is better than margarine. Egg yolks are good, then they’re bad. Beer is better in bottles, then cans, then back to bottles. But in June of 1938, the consensus was cans were cool. Cans, you see, did not expose beer to harmful light.
She’s not listening to a word about Ken’s board meeting. Why? Because Old Forester, that’s why. It’s not called Old Banker for a reason, Ken.
But Meg’s not the only with her eye on the prize.
Behold, Irish eyes are smiling. And why wouldn’t they be? It’s a lovely day to be outdoors in the piney woods, jaunty green hat askew, sporting a thick gold wedding band, smell of beef charring in the air. Somehow, there’s an endless tap of beer in the park. Keep it flowing.
Why? Because dextrins and maltose and B-complex vitamins, like your doctor said. It does a body good, and pairs well with burgers and horseshoes. Cheers to healthful values!
Perhaps your grocery shelves are bare of bottled water thanks to the numero 19 virus . The good news is that it flows in the pipes in your home. Is it nasty? Put a couple filters on it, like we do. We have the best-tasting agua in the neighborhood.
But should your water supply run low (perhaps you are out and about, as the CDC has scolded us not to, even though it’s Spring Break, and most breaks have now become four weeks instead of one, and no sane teenager is going to stay home for a one month vacation, so off to spread some virus they shall go), remember that Coors Light is basically the same thing. Just worse.
The coalminers above are relaxing with pints in a colliery club in Yorkshire, England. Colliery is a word I’ve never used, so I had to pull out my big, red Webster’s dictionary (no offense to Merriam) and look it up. A colliery is a coal mine and all the buildings and equipment which are connected with it. This building in particular served ale. And I couldn’t help but find the resemblance of this man (and his collapsed smirk) to a certain mid-century actor.
Do you see it? NORTON!
Ed Norton liked a good drink.
Enjoy this peek inside the post-war colliery and think about these men, how exhausted they must have been, lungs full of coal dust, and how they gathered to blow off steam.