What's so great about beer?

SheSaidSheSaidSheSaidSheSaid Washed Up
edited May 2012 in Less Rokk More Talk
Seriously. I'm not one of these militant, teetotaller "straight-edge" people, I just don't get it. (Though I have been told many a time, when the subject comes up organically, to "get off my high horse" if I mention that I don't drink) But I will pull out a cliche and say it seems like the whole world wants to get me to drink. Whenever I join a group of people to watch an event of common interest, like a baseball game or a bicycle race, inevitably someone talks about the beers they're knocking back, like it enhances the experience. The Seattle Mariners blog I frequent even recommends a "series beer" with every preview for each series the Mariners play. Even on this very website, one of the "Band Wanted" threads is called "Eat, drink, and be merry." Beer-lovers often echo Benjamin Franklin's commonly-cited quote that "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy," even though this was probably taken out of context.

I'm not saying it's a bad thing, I just do not get it. I have tried beer a couple of times. It tasted like aspirin in liquid form, and who the hell likes the taste of aspirin? Its aftereffects made me sick - literally. So we have a drink that tastes like pills, makes you fat if you ingest too much of it too regularly, made me throw up, and I'm not even touching on inebriation because I've never been there and have no plans to (and beer-lovers have told me they love it even without getting drunk). What am I missing that has people speak of it like it's the nectar of the gods?

Comments

  • SheSaidSheSaidSheSaidSheSaid Washed Up
    edited May 2012
    RockBandRocker;4743533 said:
    I guess the answer to SheSaid's question is:

    Ultimately, it all comes down to what the individual person finds "tasty"/"delicious".

    Mmmk. Now I'm gonna wax philosophical like I was drunk off my ass :p

    Are we all tasting the same thing? The taste I taste, I can't possibly conceive of anyone finding it pleasurable. Do people find that taste, which I find downright repugnant, enjoyable? Or do they get something different out of it? And this isn't just about beer - I have the same thoughts about just about all classic sandwich fixings. Mushrooms, tomatoes, pickles, mustard...all of it makes me want to retch. Yet they're popular for a reason, so do people like that feeling that makes me feel like retching, or do they get an entirely different experience, one that I might agree was pleasurable if I got it?
  • edited May 2012
    The amount of pleasure derived from experiences and sensations does seem to be subjective, yes. That explains why one person can like a particular type of food/drink/music/book/film and the other can hate it. But whether the experience or sensation itself is subjective (ie: different for each person) is something we're simply not yet able to tell, because we lack the ability to truly describe sensations. I have no idea of knowing whether what you perceive as 'blue' is what I perceive as 'blue' either, for all I know it's what I perceive as 'red'. It's an old philosophical conundrum.
  • RockBandRockerRockBandRocker Love Is A Battleship
    edited May 2012
    SheSaidSheSaid;4743541 said:

    Are we all tasting the same thing? The taste I taste, I can't possibly conceive of anyone finding it pleasurable. Do people find that taste, which I find downright repugnant, enjoyable? Or do they get something different out of it? And this isn't just about beer - I have the same thoughts about just about all classic sandwich fixings. Mushrooms, tomatoes, pickles, mustard...all of it makes me want to retch. Yet they're popular for a reason, so do people like that feeling that makes me feel like retching, or do they get an entirely different experience, one that I might agree was pleasurable if I got it?

    No, we don't all taste the same things.

    First, everyone's tongues have different taste receptors and some are more sensitive to the taste sensations (sweet, bitter, sour, salty, and umami/savory) than others.

    Second, if you have eaten or drunk something in the past and the experience was far from pleasant, you can develop taste aversion, so that when you are presented with that item again you will find it disgusting and want to retch.


    (Who knew that I'd ever need to pull from my memory and use anything from those Biology and Psychology classes I took? Stay in school, kids. You just might learn something.)
  • topperharleytopperharley Son of Statler and Waldorf
    edited May 2012
    I'm in the same boat as S^4. I don't drink beer - or alcoholic beverages in general - because I don't like the taste. Could I acquire a taste for it? Probably. I thought Diet Coke tasted foul when I was in high school, and now I quite like it. But acquiring a taste for alcohol is not something I have any interest in or desire to do. I've never felt like I needed to get drunk or even buzzed to enjoy an activity, and I have plenty of other options for something refreshing on a hot day or to wash down a meal. There are other reasons, but I won't go into those.
  • Dadasaurus RexDadasaurus Rex Rawwwwwwr!
    edited May 2012
    For me beer was an acquired taste. It was also a progression in that I could not stand any darker beer when I first started drinking it. At about 30 I had a roommate that only drank darker, heavier beers and insisted i just give them a try for awhile...he was such a beer snob he insisted on paying for it, so who was I to argue.

    After a couple of months my taste had changed drastically, so much so that lighter, lager type of beers just tasted terrible to me. Usher in the era of Ales, Porters and Stouts (coinciding nicely with the micro beer boom of the late 80's and early 90's in Seattle/Portland area) and I became a beer snob too. Red Hook Red Ale was my favorite.

    Sometime in my early 40's beer just began to make me tired, now I don't even drink the stuff except in dire thirst cases and it is always only 1 or 2 ...number 3 = nighty night. Still love the taste of a good premium beer, (fave is Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale or a Guinness) It just doesn't make sense to drink something that just makes me tired.
  • Lawdog1521Lawdog1521 Squirrel Chasing Expert
    edited May 2012
    I mainly drink to forget and to make sex tolerable.
  • sillystousillystou Headliner
    edited May 2012
    I hate the taste of beer. I also do not like the taste of wine.

    I do however like drinks such as bloody caesars, tia maria, baileys, etc.
  • WitticusWitticus VERY DEEP
    edited May 2012
    I never drank beer until I began doing trips to Europe. In many parts beer is cheaper than water so drinking a beer at an eatery became a way to save money. Also I find US beer terrible and typically go with vodka or X Rated. But really alcohol is all personal opinion.
  • Lawdog1521Lawdog1521 Squirrel Chasing Expert
    edited May 2012
    I was a tea totter until around 30, for no other reason than I didn't like the taste. Then in an effort to broaden my horizons I, out of the blue, took up wine. I found it intriguing how flavors could vary so vastly. Practically any flavor imaginable can be imparted on it just by the way it's grown. It even changes flavor the longer it's exposed to air. After experimentation I found to enjoy experiencing these subtle differences.

    From that I moved on to hard liquor. And while that also has it's subtleties, it has the bonus of getting one intoxicated much faster. :p As many of you may have noticed, when inebriated I can be a tad... goofy. (As my WAYDRN RB radio show can attest too) As goofy as I am naturally, adding alcohol to the mix can be a fun diversion. However, since it does amplify my personality, I'm very careful with it. I don't drink in public. Between my smart ass mouth and my love of a good fist fight, it wouldn't be very wise to do.

    And for the record, oddly enough, while I am a lush, I still don't care for beer. :)
  • Dadasaurus RexDadasaurus Rex Rawwwwwwr!
    edited May 2012
    Lawdog1521;4743712 said:
    ...And for the record, oddly enough, while I am a lush, I still don't care for beer. :)
    Yes ^ though I still like it, it does not like me. Wine is my choice now. I guess the sugar keeps the old guy from getting tired.
  • Lawdog1521Lawdog1521 Squirrel Chasing Expert
    edited May 2012
    Dadasaurus Rex;4743742 said:
    I guess the sugar keeps the old guy from getting tired.

    Was that a penis reference?
  • sillystousillystou Headliner
    edited May 2012
  • bigmfbigmf Tiny Hulk Smash!
    edited May 2012
    I very much like the taste of beer. I've made my own. My brother likes gin and tonic, which tastes like chemical warfare to me. We both like scotch.

    Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
  • Dadasaurus RexDadasaurus Rex Rawwwwwwr!
    edited May 2012
    Lawdog1521;4743747 said:
    Was that a penis reference?
    Well I guess inadvertently, yes. If three beers means sleepy time for Rex and 3 tumblers of wine means still strong like bull.
  • EhfahqEhfahq Headliner
    edited May 2012
    What's so great about beer?

    The taste, the variety. The craftsmanship. The long history. The social aspects. The different feelings it gives you, the health benefits.

    That's fine that you don't like beer. It is puzzling that you don't understand why other do.
  • sillystousillystou Headliner
    edited May 2012
    Ehfahq;4743927 said:
    the health benefits.


    I'm sorry, but what? If we were talking about wine, then yes, I would agree with you... But beer being good for your health?
  • EhfahqEhfahq Headliner
    edited May 2012
    sillystou;4743944 said:
    I'm sorry, but what? If we were talking about wine, then yes, I would agree with you... But beer being good for your health?

    http://www.greatclubs.com/beerofthemonthclub/health-benefits-of-beer.asp
    http://health.yahoo.net/experts/dayinhealth/10-surprising-health-benefits-beer

    It is a misnomer that only wine has health benefits.
  • DerLindwurmDerLindwurm Road Warrior
    edited May 2012
    SheSaidSheSaid;4743484 said:
    What am I missing that has people speak of it like it's the nectar of the gods?
    Peer pressure. It's an easy way to fit in and find common ground with other people if everyone agrees that beer is the most wonderful thing ever (though this can backfire, of course, if you get a lot of beer snobs together who start arguing about what kind of beer is the best and accusing each other of drinking "piss.") But, all in all, it's cool to absolutely love beer.

    Something kind of similar happens with coffee. How many people do you know who say "OMG you DON'T want to see me in the morning before I've had my coffee!"? It's just fashionable.
  • topdrawertopdrawer Opening Act
    edited May 2012
    i don't get the appeal of beer neither and i've tried many - my bf is a drinks/wine director. it simply taste gross and the alcohol volume can is not worth the torture. i have to have at least 2 beers before i feel any sort of buzz so i rather have a cocktail or a shot of mezcal.

    i also don't like wine and being associated with the restaurant business i've had to drink a ton of it. it's disgusting imo. specially red wine, most of it is like a sweeter version of raid or black flag. there are a few that are actually easy to swallow but i much rather have a natural fruit drink with my meals.

    oh and coffee is absolutely gross. i do like the flavor of coffee but not a cup of coffee.
  • DerLindwurmDerLindwurm Road Warrior
    edited May 2012
    topdrawer;4744083 said:
    oh and coffee is absolutely gross. i do like the flavor of coffee but not a cup of coffee.
    Fortunately for you, there's plenty of coffee flavored ice cream out there. :p

    I'm not big on wine either. I'll drink a glass if we're all having a bottle of wine, but I'd never go out of my way for any.
  • Cipher_PeonCipher_Peon I don't get it at all
    edited May 2012
  • EhfahqEhfahq Headliner
    edited May 2012
    I'm with both of you. I can drink beers that most beer drinkers hate, but I have never been able to get past a sip of wine. My taste buds hate it.

    But whenever I get a chance to try a new wine, I will give it at least one sip. Hoping I will find a wine I enjoy one day.
    Cipher_Peon;4744092 said:
    I'm straight edge.

    OK.
  • Mega-TallicaMega-Tallica Washed Up
    edited May 2012
    I only drink on special occasions (parties, holidays, concerts, etc.) and I no longer get blasted like I used to in my high school days. It's a fantastic social tool. I'm not the most extroverted person, but I'm not introverted either and a little alcohol puts me over the edge and allows me to have a good time without having to worry about anything for the night, but just have a fun time.

    Besides the fact that it destroys your liver, beer rich in hops is actually quite good for you in small doses. Similar to the "one wine a day" theory. I don't know anybody who drinks Sam Adams strictly for the health benefits, anyway. :p
  • folkeyefolkeye Headliner
    edited May 2012
    What's great about beer? Well, I'd have to say the huge variety out there. So many different flavors out there from so many countries there's bound to be one somebody likes. Just got to do some taste testing.

    Now things like Coors or Bud Light, they not beer....it's flavored water of sorts :p Not beers to judge beer tasting on.
  • Mega-TallicaMega-Tallica Washed Up
    edited May 2012
    folkeye;4744096 said:

    Now things like Coors or Bud Light, they not beer....it's flavored water of sorts :p Not beers to judge beer tasting on.
    Ugh, all light beers are disgusting, but Natural Ice takes the crown as the worst tasting beer out there for me.
  • EhfahqEhfahq Headliner
    edited May 2012
    folkeye;4744096 said:

    Now things like Coors or Bud Light, they not beer....it's flavored water of sorts :p Not beers to judge beer tasting on.
    As somebody who prefers finely crafted brews you would be surprised by my viewpoint on this: Bull crap.

    Why people say this is about mass produced beers is beyond me. There is nothing wrong with them.
  • DerLindwurmDerLindwurm Road Warrior
    edited May 2012
    folkeye;4744096 said:
    Now things like Coors or Bud Light, they not beer....it's flavored water of sorts :p Not beers to judge beer tasting on.
    I don't think Coors is that bad. :p
  • EhfahqEhfahq Headliner
    edited May 2012
    DerLindwurm;4744112 said:
    I don't think Coors is that bad. :p

    Most people don't think its bad. It sells for a reason. Its been around since the 1800's for a reason. People like it. If I go to the river I drink it myself.
  • GowienczykGowienczyk Pooper of Parties
    edited May 2012
    Cipher_Peon;4744092 said:
    I'm straight edge.

    "til 21"
    Mega-tallica said:
    I only drink on special occasions (parties, holidays, concerts, etc.) and I no longer get blasted like I used to in my high school days. It's a fantastic social tool.
    This applies for me, to an extent. There are moments where I drink without special occasions. Though my alcoholic preferences are wines, vodkas, rums, etc. It took me awhile to get a taste for beer in itself, but I think it was worth it for expanding my taste vocabulary.
  • Cipher_PeonCipher_Peon I don't get it at all
    edited May 2012
    I'm straight edge by choice.
    So no, not "til 21".
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