I love drinking.
I enjoy beer, vodka, and scotch. I'm honestly not sure if scotch is capitalized or not, and I'm too lazy to Google it. If I were to check my liquor cabinet, it wouldn't help because every letter is capitalized on "SCOTCH". Anyway, I like it, capitalized or not.
The beer I used to drink as a young'n obviously started out as "low grade". Other than the Budweiser my dad gave me a sip of when I was eight, I believe Stag was the first beer I actually drank in some quantity. Being somewhat of a St. Louis thing, my cousin would bring cases of Stag to our hometown of Springfield from StL when visiting my folks as sort of a novelty. My cousin and folks enjoyed a bit of a laugh and cracked open a couple cold, gold cans. But then quickly became serious and switched to glasses of gin and left the Stag out for the vultures. The vultures being 14 year old me and my buddies. At the time, it was glorious.
Later on in our teenage years (and by "our", I mean me, Vinnie, Kev, Bryan, and a slew of random beer drinking high schooler's), we graduated to Busch and Busch Light...I guess because it was cheap. That's all I can come up with.
Of course Coors Light, Miller Lite, Bud Light, Budweiser, Natural Light, Keystone, etc. were all present during any and all gatherings as well.
When I got a little older, Vinnie and I started enjoying Whiskey. Not filling a shot glass up with warm, cheap Whiskey and shooting until we puked...but actually enjoying it. We would fill a rocks glass with ice and pour Canadian Club over it. And it tasted good! We went from Canadian Club, to Mist, to Crown...and then to Scotch (I'm going to capitalize it in this instance). I believe Dewer's was the first enjoyable Scotch that I had. And since, I've sampled a thousand single malts and blends...and appreciate them all. But my go-to Scotch to this day is good ole' Johnny Walker. Be it the Red, Black, or "thank you God" Green, I love it! If I'm lucky enough to taste the Gold or even the Blue, I'm usually grinning. But you know...that's just too much damn money. $250 for a bottle of Blue? C'mon? Yea, I've had it. Yea, a few times. Yea, it's good. Not $250 good, though. I'd rather have eight bottles of Red for the same price.
My beer tastes have thankfully changed over the years. I've graduated from the "big three" and have broadened my horizons. I remember the first house "party" I went to when I first moved from Springfield to Kansas City. It was BYOB, so I grabbed a 12er of Bud Light. When I got there, the fridge was filled with New Castle, Boulevard, Fat Tire, and so on. I was made fun of and had to quickly come up with the excuse that it was my roommate's beer that I had swiped. That was the last time I would let that happen. I had to try all of these beers for myself...and I did. They were delicious!
I now can proudly say that I love beer...without only having on my resume' the "big three". My taste buds yelp for O'Dell's 90 Schilling and 5 Barrel Pale Ale, Boulder Beer's Hazed and Infused, New Belgium's Fat Tire, Rouge's Dead Guy, and Deschutes Brewery's Black Butte Porter...among hundreds more. Mmmmm. I tell ya though, I still love a tall, cold Budweiser while listening to a Cardinals game. And I've been known to enjoy a golden can of Coors Banquet while up in the mountains or watching "Smokey and the Bandit".
As far as vodka goes...the cheaper the better. I'm more concerned with the tonic. It's gotta be Schwepp's Diet Tonic. If you say that you like Skyy or Grey Goose doused in tonic water and lime, then you're stupid. You do the Pepsi Challenge with Skyy and Gordon's...I guarantee it's 50/50. Anyways......
Well, it's time to concentrate on drinking now, not writing about drinking. I'm enjoying a can of Fat Tire right now. Yep, a can. Makes a ton of sense, especially for backpackers, tailgaters, fishermen...whoever. Cans are so much easier to pack out from a party, camping trip, river trek, poolside afternoon...and easier to recycle. My good friend Matt at New Belgium in Ft. Collins hooked me up with both Fat Tire and Sunshine Wheat in the can form. Check em out: http://www.newbelgium.com/ Thanks Matt.
So please, whether it's beer, wine, scotch, whiskey...please take pride in what you are drinking. Taste it, breathe it, close your eyes and savor it.
Or at least pour it down your throat like a breaking dam until it froths out of your nose and forces you to vomit uncontrollably in the passenger seat of your buddy's T-Bird.
Either way, I'm good.