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

  • TheturtlekingTheturtleking Unsigned
    edited May 2012
    Mabye trying different drinks would be better suited for you.

    JD and Coke. WKD or anything that's a fruit based drink. They all taste pretty good.
  • Lowlander2Lowlander2 FaIling Star
    edited May 2012
    Mine's a triple distilled vodka with lemon flavouring. Just about anything else repulses me.
  • SheSaidSheSaidSheSaidSheSaid Washed Up
    edited May 2012
    Der_Lex;4743494 said:
    De gustibus non est disputandum. You might as well ask people what's so great about the color blue or a well-prepared steak, and the answer will be just as subjective and relatively meaningless.

    You really think this is a case of "Y U LIEK PARAMORE CIPHER?"

    People....like....those experiences that made me physically sick? That really doesn't make it any clearer :p
  • SheSaidSheSaidSheSaidSheSaid Washed Up
    edited May 2012
    Well thanks at least for not getting defensive about it. I have tried asking this question of other communities, and they basically just tell me to STFU :(
  • edited May 2012
    Not everybody becomes physically ill after drinking. I've definitely gone past the point of 'slightly inebriated' on a few occasions in college (cheap vodka, the silent killer), but I've never felt sick or thrown up.
  • RockBandRockerRockBandRocker Love Is A Battleship
    edited May 2012
    Der_Lex;4743494 said:

    However, I think the widespread popularity of beer is caused A: because alcohol is one of the few socially acceptable drugs you can openly use and B: because it's relatively cheap compared to other forms of alcohol.

    I'm sure it has absolutely nothing to do at all with beer (and variations of it) being a staple in the human diet since we went from being hunter gatherers to farmers.

    I watched this thing on Discovery Channel (so the information might have been made up just to seem educational) called "How Beer Changed The World" and it asserts that beer has played an important role in human civilization.

    One thing I remember from it was them talking about how in England, there was a time when the water was undrinkable do the amount of urine and feces humans were putting into the rivers that in order to stay hydrated they turned to beer and ales. The funny thing being that alcohol actually dehydrates the body, but what are you gonna do?
  • SheSaidSheSaidSheSaidSheSaid Washed Up
    edited May 2012
    Theturtleking;4743498 said:
    Mabye trying different drinks would be better suited for you.

    JD and Coke. WKD or anything that's a fruit based drink. They all taste pretty good.

    Maybe...but what's my motivation to do that instead of just drinking Coke or fruit juice? Is it the feeling all adult-y?
    Der_Lex;4743503 said:
    Not everybody becomes physically ill after drinking.
    Well, clearly :p I doubt anything would be popular, let alone as popular as beer is, if it did that. But am I not having the same experience up to that point?
  • edited May 2012
    RockBandRocker;4743505 said:
    I'm sure it has absolutely nothing to do at all with beer (and variations of it) being a staple in the human diet since we went from being hunter gatherers to farmers.

    I watched this thing on Discovery Channel (so the information might have been made up just to seem educational) called "How Beer Changed The World" and it asserts that beer has played an important role in human civilization.

    One thing I remember from it was them talking about how in England, there was a time when the water was undrinkable do the amount of urine and feces humans were putting into the rivers that in order to stay hydrated they turned to beer and ales. The funny thing being that alcohol actually dehydrates the body, but what are you gonna do?

    Oh, that's definitely a relevant factor for the popularity of both beer and wine as well. Relatively easy to make, gives you a nice buzz, and indeed a lot safer than water back in the days of yore. The fact that beer in this manner gained such a prominent place in the day to day lives of people is a very large reason of why it still has that position today, despite many cheap beverage alternatives being available. Tradition can be a powerful force in society.

    I personally don't like the taste of beer or wine either, though, so I get where SheSaid is coming from in that regard. And since I don't care for coffee or tea much either, I end up drinking plain water in a lot of social situations where coke, ice tea or juices aren't on offer. However, I've never felt any social pressure to adapt, people generally accept it when you don't like something, no matter how common it is.
  • RockBandRockerRockBandRocker Love Is A Battleship
    edited May 2012
    Personally, I found beer to be an acquired taste. When I first tried a beer, I spit it out because it tasted awful. However, when I tried it again later, I found that the more I drank it the more tasty it became.

    As far as wine goes, a lot of people I know love red wine and I can't stand the stuff (too tart for my taste). If I drink a wine, it has to be a white or a blush.

    Also, I can drink straight shots of tequila, vodka and rum (for example) while people I know can't shoot them at all and can only drink them if they're mixed in something or shoot with a chaser, which is just lame.
  • edited May 2012
    I personally have trouble eating or drinking anything that's bitter, most likely because whatever I have that causes me to have barely any sense of smell messes with my sense of taste a little as well, and seems to amplify bitter tastes somehow (worst example ever was when a friend had made a huge fruit salad with only one blood orange in it, but somehow that was the only thing I could taste in the whole dish). That's why I like things like whiskey that are a bit sweeter, but beer and wine are too far along the bitter scale for me to enjoy.
  • RockBandRockerRockBandRocker Love Is A Battleship
    edited May 2012
    I guess the answer to SheSaid's question is:

    Ultimately, it all comes down to what the individual person finds "tasty"/"delicious".
  • jibjqrkljibjqrkl Eventually Perceptive
    edited May 2012
    is true though, the more you drink it. the better the taste becomes.
  • 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".

    Yeah, once you take all the societal factors and potential physical illness out of it, it really does boil down to 'Y U LIEK PARAMORE CIPHER?" ;)
  • 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.
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