As with most things in a narcissistic anthropologists life, our emerging passions become contextual obsessions of sorts. We believe that if we have an affinity for something, then there must be a rich cultural significance around it – and we will stop at nothing to find and share that anthropological enthusiasm with our fellow humans. Because they deserve to know and love the things we hold dear.
It is no secret from those who know me that I enjoy a well-timed and finely crafted (or sometimes just cold – or sometimes just in a glass) alcoholic beverage. I developed a passion for the craft cocktail during some fieldwork on spirits trends (I know, life is hard) several years ago. My wife introduced an appreciation for wine. Well, really mostly wine drinking while she does the more serious “appreciating”.
Over the past few years, however, another benevolent spirit has entered my world. Beer has been finding it’s way into my restaurant and bar patterns – from cocktails made with beer, to food pairing and ultimately a refreshing addition of variety into my imbibing and social routine.
So it’s only appropriate that I have now been engaged as a professional social scientist sponsored by Lets Grab a Beer http://www.letsgraba.beer to do what I do best and “dig” in to the cultural history and present social context of beer.
I hear you. I keep getting the really tough gigs.
But here is what I promise. I will continue to periodically share my findings along with my anthropological perspective on the interesting topics surrounding beer drinking behavior and why you should care.
Again, you’re welcome.
So lets start with a few fun things I have learned thus far in my social exploration of beer:
Perhaps the most affirming cultural context of beer is this fact (or what some might call a convenient data coincidence) that I found recently: neatly packaged in the infographic below connecting beer to the founding ethos of our American way of life: Democracy! That’s right – in most free (or at least partly free) countries, you also find that the most commonly consumed alcoholic beverage is our freedom-loving foamy friend, Beer. At least according to the sound logic presented in the comparative “beer” an “democracy” maps below:
Then there’s my favorite quote about our fine fermented friend, which comes from one of our founding fathers, Ben Franklin, who said: “Beer is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy.”
But wait, I have one moreexciting fact! did you know that April 7th is National beer day?! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Beer_Day_(United_States? That’s right. Our great United States and the powers that be recognize this national treasure as something to be honored with a day of focused appreciation.
In light of this context that is no doubt worthy of celebration, I have decided, in my narcissistic wisdom, that I ought to write a toast to honor our sudsy buddy in appreciation of its irreplaceable place in our lives and on our bar tabs. So here it goes:
An Ode to Beer
In our hearts and minds
Of rituals we hold dear.
Like finding friends
When the workday ends
To share an ice cold beer.
In any season
For any reason
Be you rich or poor
Taking time to stop
We pop our tops
And enjoy just one more.
To suds with class
We raise a glass
For a spirit tried and true.
Whether lager or ale
We say “all hail!”
To America’s favorite brew!
Be sure to incorporate this as a toast when you buy your first round of beer on National Beer Day. Or tonight.
And thanks again to my sponsors at http://www.letsgraba.beer !