In Praise of Regional Beers
Microbrews have done some horrible, horrible things. Fruit beers shouldn’t be made by anybody other than Belgians, and organic beer is a crime against man and God. But one good thing they have done is bring back a lot of local domestic lagers.
Back in the ‘50s, there were legions of regional breweries. As the hippies came along and beer dropped in popularity as a recreational drug, some regional beers went national, like Milwaukee’s Best. Others faded into unjust obscurity.
For a long, dark period, your only choice in beer if you wanted something that was reasonably priced was the national macrobrews, who decided to make things worse by introducing fun-free (aka light) beer. Luckily, microbrewing came along and suddenly, interest in the old brands has thankfully returned. Just because you’ve got a party to get smashed no longer means buying a keg of swill or, in the case of Coors, helping to fund a bunch of far-right whackjobs.
Regional beers generally has a lager as a flagship beer, and, as you might have gathered from the name, aren’t available outside of a certain region. For example, if you’re in Pennsylvania, the beer of choice is Yuengling, from the oldest brewery in America. If you’re in New England, it’s Narragansett, and if you’re in the Midwest, it’s Leinenkugel.
Regional beers have a lot to recommend them over macrobrews. First of all, they’re generally cheaper than craft beers but tastier than macrobrews. Secondly, they allow you to look like you’re hip and with it. Thirdly, you can tell the jackass who always brings Blue Ribbon to not bring beer this time, which means he’ll probably show up with wine coolers to try and impress the hipster chicks, but to hell with him.
In short, regional beers are cheap, tasty, and distinct; craft beers are expensive, tasty, and distinct; and macrobrews make Christ weep. Really, if you’ve got a party, the choice should be obvious.