I hate cheap beer. All my friends call me a beer snob. Locals in Pittsburgh all drink a brand called Yuengling. Imported from China? No. It’s some nasty low-end junk made semi-locally. Its considered “a step up” here. Many a time I’ve heard a host with Yuengling receiving the compliment, “Oh, you bought the GOOD stuff”. No one ever likes the beer I bring. Whatever. I do have one small crack in my beer armor. For whatever reason, I like Budweiser. Every time I have one, (usually at Chuck-E-Cheese of all places), I’m pleasantly surprised. It’s all about expectations…set them low enough, and they’re easily exceeded.
My first beer was a Budweiser. I was just out of high school, and trying to make some money. How? Mowing lawns! So I knock on some doors trying to drum up business, and some nut job opens a door. He’s an odd ethnic character with a hot temper. He yells at me, “The lawn I want – NO LAWN AT ALL”. So he hires me for $100 to “turn his lawn into a garden”. Oh man. What a bad idea. A bad idea that I executed poorly. I rent a roto-tiller for $20 and go to town. In hindsight, I should have first mowed and bagged the guy’s unruly lawn before destroying it. After I finished it looked like the most jacked up yard I had ever seen. His hot tempered ethnic wife comes out yelling something about “NO CABLE TV”. She unsuccessfully tries to call her husband, and then comes out yelling “NO PHONE. NO ELECTRICITY. YOU DID THIS – YOU DID THIS TO US”. Turns out I had roto-tilled through their buried cable. That’s one of the problems with being 17. At that age, you don’t know much of anything. Well, I figured I had done enough damage for one day, so I got the out of there just as Mr. Hot-Temper-Ethnic-Man got home. Lost $20 out of the deal. I didn’t have the guts to knock on his door and ask for my $100. Oh yeah, the Budweiser. Just before he left for work, Mr. Hot-Temper-Ethnic-Man put a Budweiser on the porch and winked at me, as if to say, “a little something for your troubles young man”. For lunch, Mrs. Hot-Temper-Woman cooked me some breaded pork with spaghetti sauce to go along with my warm Budweiser. I’ve been trying to duplicate that dish for the last 19 years. That was some good food and bad warm beer. Almost worth the effort.