Here’s a deep-dark secret about me that only you and the rest of the English speaking world know. I named this blog, “Had a Few Beers” because I’d had a few beers.
I like beer and when I’ve had a few, sometimes the shit I think about during those moments seems funny or interesting to me and I want to share it.
Other times when I have a few beers I go straight for the porn, but that really limits the blogging topics doesn’t it?
But the thing is, when it comes to beer, I’m boring. I have Plebian tastes. I’m like a person in a restaurant-sampling club that constantly wants to go to McDonald’s.
Restaurant Club member #1: Next week we should sample some Malaysian cuisine.
Restaurant club member #2: That sounds fun, but I’d really like to try that new Somali restaurant everyone’s talking about.
Me: You know the fries at McDonald’s are always fucking delicious. We should totally go there.
When it comes to beer I’m a creature of habit. I want that redundant experience. I want the same taste, I want the same flavor. I’m not looking for the next great summer wheat ale brewed in a virgin’s slipper high atop Mount Beeralvania.
No way, fuck that shit. I want my shitty, redundant, predictable beer experience thank you very much.
That said, much like wine (which I never drink), it doesn’t stop me from learning a bit about different beers or from wanting to understand the differences, the nuances, the complexities and varieties out there. I’m interested.
I know I’ll never be anything close to an expert, and who cares.
Which leads me to Germany and the multitude of different beers this part of Europe offers. They got everything from boring pilsners, to smoked beers to the strongest strongest beer in Germany. I’ll give them all a try.
We moved here in 2007. Almost immediately upon arrival I began to hear about something magical brewing in Bavaria. A beer that was only available in certain parts of the region. It was dark in color, yet somehow light in taste. It left you refreshed while somehow seeming to be thick. It cured cancer, blindness and, if applied directly to the genitals, could issue in an era of world peace.
It was good stuff, or so I’m told. I’m a lazy fucker when it comes to my taste in beer remember?
It’s called Winkler Bräu and among a certain set of Americans here in Germany, its a legend.
Soon, among almost any group of Americans I worked with, a business or pleasure trip to Bavaria automatically meant you were obligated to bring back Winkler Bräu. It was as if you were mandated from a higher-power. Should you make the 3.5-hour trip one way, it was your job to return everyone’s empty racks of Winkler Bräu and bring back full ones. Failure to do such was an affront to all that was good and just in the world.
I’ve literally stopped on the way home, tired after a long business trip, and Googled the nearest location that carried it. Sometimes I would end up driving miles out of my way to secure the many racks of beer I was expected – nay, mandated by God – to return with.
Bringing back Winkler Bräu is just that important. Forgetting a rack of 20 beers for a buddy can end friendships, wars have or should have been fought over it. You just don’t fuck around when it comes to bringing home the golden nectar.
Because my wife loves it too I picked up a case for her when I was there last week and when I heard a friend was going this week, I dutifully passed on the EUR 20 necessary to purchase another case. Because apparently you just can’t have enough Winkler Bräu in stock.
And again I don’t even drink it, I just understand that people love it.
Turn to this week. One of my co-workers has something called the “internet.” I don’t really know what that is or what it does, but he seems to have a fine command of it.
During the exchange of euros with those fortunate enough to travel to the promised land in search of Winkler Bräu, he belts out the following:
“Hey, you know that they sell that shit right down the street right? Look right here on Google. You just punch in your address and it shows you where they sell it. They sell it right next to my house, why do you all drive four hours to get it?”