10,000 Words: 8261-8993

One hour till that vodka tonic! I’m going to make it anyway even if I’m not yet at 10,000 words, so it’s not really a “writing reward” and more of a “Dude, you completely wasted an entire day reward.”

I signed up for this social media thing called Untappd a year ago. You log in the beers you drank and where you drank them and all of your drinking buddy friends who are also members can “toast” you. You also get little achievement badges. Like drink three beers in a row in one day, or go to three bars between the hours of 7pm and 11pm, and so on. These achievements are hideously addictive. There are, of course, thousands of them, and I quickly found myself competing viciously with several of my friends. I’m talking I actually would set aside time to get weird badges – like drink a beer after 1am or something. Or I would go to out of the way places to get a badge. Once I even went to the airport to rack up badges and I didn’t have a flight or anything. I went to the airport for happy hour! I scored six badges that time and pulled ahead of my fiercest competitor. She retaliated by taking a trip to New York and racking up pub crawl badges, gay club badges, late night badges, and a slew of others. Now I’ve found myself planning trips to various states to get geographic-based badges… Actually going on a trip just to have a drink!

So…I hate Untappd. It’s a terrible addiction. “Pokemon for drunks” is how one person described it. But it has broadened my appreciation for beer.

We’re in such a wonderful time for craft beer, but it’s overwhelming. It seems like there’s a local brewery on every block, and they’re all trying to make their mark. It’s hard for the casual drinker to experiment, sample, learn, and explore. Untappd has done a great job at guiding me into different styles of beer and discovering breweries that actually are doing interesting things.

My first “craft beer” was Sam Adams, in the long-long ago. Back in the early 90s when I turned 21 and could drink legally it was a big deal to get a six pack of Sam Adams, and I remember thinking it was the best thing ever. So superior! So crafty and cool!

We didn’t really have much of a choice. For a brief period in the 90s, there wasn’t a microbrewery anywhere near DC. There was a craft bee revolution in the middle of the 20th Century, but that had died out and we were a Big Beer Company culture. Amazing how, nowadays, craft beer is almost synonymous with America. Because we were beer idiots not long ago!

Hell, the same is true for coffee. American coffee used to be shit, and then we all became snobs. But I like it when we become snobs about good stuff like beer and coffee. That’s good, productive snobbery. We need to embrace cool craft beers and good coffee because, honestly, what we had before was so fucking horrible I regret having to have lived through it. I want to build a time machine just so I can pin my 21 year old self against the wall and say, “Pour this out. Pour it out! Now!”

As I’ve gotten older and started to leave the hard stuff behind, I’ve become much more of a wine and beer guy. Now, wine snobs suck. Good wine, I think, is the most subjective item in the liquor cabinet. It’s not really determined by price, grape, style, or vintner. It really does boil down to “do you like it?” “Yeah, I guess so.”

I enjoy, for example, New Zealand wines that are usually all under . And this is fine. When people turn their nose up, I think, man, lighten up. There’s no room for this, man. It’s 2018. It’s a brave, bold new world where we can all be free!

But…beer? Some asshole comes into a bar with 20 craft beers on tap, sits down, orders a Bud or a Corona or something. Man. I just want to sweep the glass off the table when it arrives. “What’s the matter with you? What have you done?!

Yeah. Maybe beer snobbery is bad…