Wednesday, April 02, 2008

More from the front lines combating the sad scourge of swill.

You will recall that on Sunday, I described a revolutionary discovery in the emerging discipline of beer drinking psychology.

The Kubler-Ross model and the sad scourge of swill.

During the course of my long career in selflessly assisting beer drinkers to overcome their attachment to mass-market swill, I’ve received many comments, and these suggest that the process of surrendering long-held (although sadly errant) beliefs about beer indeed brings many people to a place resembling that of the "Five Stages of Grief".

Some readers detected a note of self-congratulatory smugness in this comparison … and they are quite correct in noting it. I take a certain pride in my ability to influence lives. Wouldn’t you?

But I digress. Prior to last night’s “makeup” fundraiser for Jeffersonville Main Street at Kye’s II, a gathering necessitated by an ice storm in February that caused the postponement of the originally scheduled event, I dropped into Buckhead’s Mountain Grill on the waterfront in Jeffersonville. The ostensible reason I did so was to reconnoiter the barroom terrain for future reference, something I’ll have more to say about at a later date, because after years of uncertainty, we’ve decided to sell NABC beers to Buckhead’s.

However, this strictly mercantile factoid is not the real point of my thoughts today. Rather, I’m still thinking about the notion of recovery from swill, and how unintentionally hilarious the process can be from the perspective of the attending therapist -- which, of course, would be me.

Specifically, I was seated at the Buckhead’s bar, and eventually looked to my right. There sat a man who for many years has come into my own pub and loudly praised the craft beers we sell.

However, yesterday he was caught in the act of hoisting a bottle of Miller Lite in much the same fashion as the actors in the brand’s current spate of television commercials, during which the manufacturer of this eternally insipid liquid encourages the adoption of something approximating the Mussolini-era fascist salute to celebrate the many medals Miller Lite wins in an international beer competition that has written its category guidelines to exactly describe the stunning negation of anything approximating beer flavor, something that Miller Lite has always represented.

Of course, it all has far less to do with “style” than with the fact that Miller annually joins its fellow megabrewers in underwriting the competition.

Back at Buckhead’s, with my lapsed customer spiraling downward less than ten feet away, it might have been an awkward moment, except that he looked away from me every time I tried to make eye contact. Knowing that the key is to hate the sin and love the sinner, I wasn’t offended at all. Rather, I was flattered at his obvious discomfort.

Then again, perhaps he just dislikes me apart from my choice of beer, and that doesn’t bother me, either. Sometimes those of us in the vanguard are vilified. It happens, and there’s always Belgian ale as solace.


Niniimaa (Louisville) said...

Huh? Please clarify this sentence fragment. What does NABC beers encompass?
>we’ve decided to sell NABC beers to Buckhead’s

Niniimaa (Louisville) said...

Nevermind, I read it like you were selling the brewery to them...gotcha, beer to them.