Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Stephen Green of VodkaPundit is widely hailed as the inventor of drunk-blogging -- i.e., live-blogging an event while under the influence. I had the opportunity during the 2008 Democratic National Convention to actually watch the master at work, and attest that the man can, as the late poet Ronnie Van Zant once said, "drink enough whiskey to float a battleship around."

I've never tried drunk-blogging myself, at least not on purpose, although there may have been occasions -- including Election Night at the Hotel Saranac -- when the deadline pressure required me to self-medicate to counteract the effects of my massive coffee intake.

All of that, however, is prelude to a discussion of booze-blogging, which is blogging about booze. Given that this site is the originator of Rule 5 Sunday -- the weekly babe-blogging roundup -- you might suppose that the natural booze-and-broads pairing would replicate itself on the 'sphere. Yet until this morning, I didn't even know there was such a thing as booze-blogging.

Then I got an e-mail from Doug Winship of the Pegu Blog, who informed me that he found "How to Get a Million Hits" inspirational. Doug wanted to pass along the news that, just as political bloggers are encroaching on the Old Media's turf, so it is that booze-bloggers are exposing booze bias among the snobs:
Unless you spend a lot of time in wine chat rooms, you may have missed the recent controversies involving critic Robert Parker. The short version: Parker's publication, the Wine Advocate, was found to be violating its own strictures against freebies and fraternizing with wine importers, and a contributor he hired gave a high rating to a wine based on a sample that seemed to bear little resemblance to what was available on retail shelves. The back-to-back scandals . . . came to light via several wine Web sites, including Parker's own online discussion board. The Internet angle is actually the most significant aspect of this story, for it underscores how profoundly technology is changing the relationship between wine critics and consumers -- the relationship between you and me.
Personally, I avoid wine just like I avoid whiskey (ever since Jack Daniel and I had a bad night at Ralph and Millie's Christmas party a few years ago). Above all, however, I avoid snobbery.

Beer snobs get on my nerves. It pains me to see these poseurs pestering a bartender in quest of some obscure imported premium ale -- dark as sin, with the flavor and texture of a peat bog -- just so their friends won't see them drinking a Bud.

The Internet revolutionizes everything it touches, from poker to politics to porn. The 'Net has also apparently revolutionized snobbery, enabling status-seekers to go online and find highfalutin stuff with which to impress their peers -- including pricey call girls. But a whore is a whore is a whore, and a beer is a beer is a beer, and all these Veblenian status-displays don't change the basic facts.

Fortunately, Doug Winship appears to strive against such bibulous pretensiousness, although he hasn't gotten down in the gutter with Valu-Rite vodka, the favorite swill of hobo-killers.

You've got to admire the populism of a guy who writes about drinking at Disney World. No cork-sniffing epicurean would admit such a thing, lest he be shunned by sommeliers.


  1. just so their friends won't see them drinking a Bud

    I wouldn't call this posing. It merely exhibits common sense.

    Anheuser Busch brewers maintain the highest quality control in the world. And I actually like some of their products. For the record, none of those products include the diseased horse filtered vomit-inducing drinks that begin with B-U-D.

  2. A beer is a beer is a beer, yes.

    But a Bud just isn't a beer. It's the water they use to rinse out the tanks the beer was made in or something.

    In fairness, the same can be truthfully said of the main products from Coors/Miller.

    And in fairness, Anheuser-Busch (pre-InBev takeover) did produce at least one reasonably good beer, Michelob AmberBock. Now that it's part of InBev, it's associated with a number of other decent brews, not all of them "dark" (try a Stella Artois some time).

    If telling the truth makes me a snob, so be it: Budweiser is something beer drinkers drink when we're not drinking beer.

  3. "...a beer is a beer is a beer."

    Not so, mon ami!

    Corona? Yech!

  4. Fair warning,RSM... 'beer-and-babe blogging' is also known as 'coyote blogging.'

    There's a reason.

  5. I brew my own beer. And it is awesome. I discuss and share my beers with fellow brewers. I never follow the recipe, which leads to the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. And yes they can be on the dark side you light beer snob (Becareful or Charles Johnson will accuse you of being a racist in your beer choices!).

    But when I go to a bar (which as a married man is usually some party or social gathering or business event), typically a bud is a good choice (or a Coors lite if I want to have more than two and still drive home later on). Because only pathetic losers like Charles Johnson go to bars and sit quitely in some corner enjoying some esoteric ale. Normal people go to bars to socialize.

  6. As for Vodkapundit, Mad Men, and the rebirth of cocktail culture...

    I have to say every now and again I like a well made old fashioned. If not made well it sucks. But when done just right it is sublime--nectar of the gods. Same goes with a mint julep.

  7. Anheuser Busch brewers maintain the highest quality control in the world.

    That is true. AB's breweries are spotless. AB is from the German tradition that beer can only be made of barley, hops, water and yeast (of course AB cheats by adding gasp--rice--gasp to lower cost). The reason for that is a wild yeast strain can spoil thousands of gallons of product (if only by throwing the flavor off ever so slightly). AB wants it product completely predictable and consistent. The quality is fine for what it is (which is making beer to be as inexpensive as possible while still being drinkable).

    Belgian breweries, on the other hand, are made in friggin barns even today. They culture a unique yeast from hundreds of years of brewing in the same location and want bacteria such as lambic to get into the mix. If some wild yeast gets into it too, what the heck, the more the merrier. They are yeast sluts. They throw in fruit and all kinds of stuff into the mix. They are mad men.

  8. I just read on a live chat at the WaPo with O'Keffe that will be a news conference this PM on the Kentucky census worker's death. Are you going?

  9. Thanks for the links, Stacy!

    Oh, and I did have to help out the Morons with the Val-U-Rite a little while ago!

  10. Not only has the 'net encouraged pretense and posing but you can also blame 'Maxim' and imitators for encouraging such nonsense.

  11. Actually, a beer is not a beer (unless your point is simply to get drunk), any more than beef is beef (unless your point is simply to fill up). There are such things as filets and hefeweizens and neck bones and Buds. Yes, microbrew snobbery can be annoying, but this does not thereby prove all beers are created equal (aren't you the one who's against egalitarianism). Oh ... and the microbrew/pub-snobbery long LONG predates the Internet.

  12. Beer is the American workers pre-dinner sandwich.

    Beeeerrrrrrr is good!!!

    And it beats the hell out of the cost of Ambien. And it helps out the love life of ugly women.

  13. I drink Budweiser. Real Budweiser, brewed in Budweis (a/k/a Budějovice), not that swill produced by diabetic horses in St. Louis.

  14. Commenter Victor Morton, nails it.

    Enjoying the variety is part of the blessings of this huge chaotic world. This is why we put up with those funny people who talk gibberish called foreigners. They have tasty, different and interesting beers for us to enjoy.

    Snobbery is the stupid, in part because it fails to enjoy all the goodness that is out there. It also denies matching your beers to your activities. Going to a punk show, down some PBRs, classic rock goes good with Fosters. Outdoors, a picnic in summer, that is what Bud Light was created for.

    Drink and enjoy them all. Even the fancy ones.

    Oh, and a special mention for Newcastle Brown Ale, which got a call out by the brilliant Steve Marriot in "Thirty Days in the Hole."


  15. Ronsonic wrote: Commenter Victor Morton, nails it.
    Enjoying the variety is part of the blessings of this huge chaotic world. This is why we put up with those funny people who talk gibberish called foreigners.

    SQUISH! You and Victor are the beer equivalents of RINOs -- always wanting to "outreach" and "compromise." Beer elitism! Beer diversity! Beer multiculturalism!

    Well, you know who's a beer snob? David Brooks!

    Guilt by association? Non sequitur? Ad hominem? Yeah. You got a problem with that, pal? Wanna make something of it, huh?

    I'm a RIGHT-WING BEER POPULIST, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. So long as it's cheap and cold, it's OK with me. That's how I roll.

    Gee, you think you know a guy, and come to find out, he's a closet beer-snob . . .

  16. American pilseners and lagers are LADIES beers. Butch up a bit and order something with character.

    I could bore you with the history (ladies in the workforce, WW2, changing marketplace, men couldn't get REAL beer when they got home, etc.) but I'll refrain.