Just like every other craft-beer drinker, I love beer with a hearty, complex flavor. I love the smokiness of a rich, earthy porter, the startling bite of a bold IPA, the subtle fruitiness of a smooth wheat beer. But I also just love a cold American lager – cheap, from a can, with no bells and whistles. Some people are apologetic when they pass up the Cigar City and Terrapin for a Sam Adams or a Blue Moon (made by Coors, people!), but I say there should be no shame in drinking plain old American beer. Here are five good reasons you shouldn’t feel bad the next time you sheepishly choose a Stella when your friends are insisting you should drink Swamp Ape.
1 Macrobrewed beer is usually cheap.
When I lived in Baltimore, I used to drink National Bohemian, the most basic of lager beers. It was also the cheapest of beers in most of the beer stores I would frequent, and if I had only a five-dollar bill in my pocket when I was on my way home from work, I could bring home a six-pack and still have change left over.
2 At the risk of sounding like that commercial, it’s less filling.
Remember when Miller ran that “Great taste, less filling” ad campaign for Miller Lite? Whether you really think Miller Lite – or any light beer – tastes great, it is really less filling. How much less filling? A lot of macrobrewed light beers are less than 100 calories, including Miller Lite, which comes in at 96 calories for a 12-ounce can. If you are watching your weight, you’re often looking at the choice between no beer or light beer, and in my book, light beer wins every time. Yes, there are some light craft beers that are lower in calories, too … but they are way less common in your average bar than the ubiquitous Buds, Millers and so forth. So sometimes, a light macro’s got to do.
3 You’ll probably drink less of it.
If it’s just beer, and not OH-MY-GOD-I-LOVE-THAT-BEER, you’re probably not going to drink as much of it. And, let’s face it, some of us could stand to maybe drink a little bit less once in a while, amirite?
4 It pairs well with yard work and wings.
It doesn’t pair all that well with a lot of things, but I’ll go to the mat for a Yuengling lager as the best companion for manual labor or hot wings.
5 Your in-laws (or parents) are coming over.
If you have in-laws who adore craft beer and will even bring a six-pack of Jai Alai with them when they visit, well, good for you. Most of us have parents who not only don’t like craft beer, they provide running commentary on your beer choices. All. Weekend. Long. When they are coming, we buy them what they like – and for just a few days, we like it, too. It’s just easier that way.