When it comes to cherished relationships in my life, the list unfolds thusly: wife, kids, beer. And at times, the wife and kids would probably argue, “Yeah, and not in that particular order!” Hey, to be fair, beer and I have been together much longer. In fact, the amber nectar is at the center of one of my earliest and fondest memories: I was probably 7 or 8 years old, chilling on the patio with my grandfather on a warm summer afternoon, his hand wrapped around a koozy that held his ice-cold Miller High Life. “Hey, kid,” he said, “wanna swig?” Damn straight, Gramps!
Anyway, my point is that you’ll never hear me say a bad word about beer. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for a certain class of beer drinkers. You know the type I’m talking about: the craft beer snobs who think ordering an IPA or imperial stout automatically elevates them in the grand social hierarchy—and anyone who doesn’t do likewise is the equivalent of pond scum.
To be clear: I’m thrilled that the craft beer industry has exploded to the point that this magazine deems it worthwhile to produce an annual Beer Issue. I’m also beyond jealous of the thousands of men and women for whom beer provides a healthy living. And, believe it or not, I actually do enjoy a number of craft beers. In fact, I’ll be sampling plenty of them August 22 at the Desert Hops International Beer Fest at the Cosmopolitan. But there’s also a good chance that, post festival, I’ll belly up to the nearest bar and order a Miller High Life. When I do, kindly spare me your snooty looks and eye rolls—I get enough of that shit at five-star steakhouses when I pair my rib-eye with a glass of merlot.