Men don’t have it easy these days. We're told we need to be metrosexual, a gym rat, hirsute, bald, tattooed, a hipster. But it all changes so quickly. David Beckham is clearly trying to embrace all the trends simultaneously. And if he’s confused, then what about the man on the street?
When were we told that we had to drink wine? That’s what I want to know. And why did we listen?
Now, I have nothing against wine. I’ve been drinking it almost exclusively for the past decade. I even have some that is ageing nicely somewhere in some warehouse. And I like wine. But at some point when you hit your early thirties, someone decides that you need to grow up. You settle down, get married (or not), have kids, stop going out, start throwing dinner parties and start drinking wine. Beer literally withers on the vine.
For the past decade, I rarely entered a pub. Too much work, too many kids, too exhausted. And I am not alone. So we drank at home. Just to take the edge off the screaming, you understand. Sometimes that involved gin but more often than not, it would be wine.
Maybe it’s beer’s fault. Too bland. Too similar. Not enough taste. Not enough choice.
But in the interim, wine has been marketed as the sophisticated choice and it has stolen the middle class. Perhaps they deserve each other. But I want to fight back.
I have discovered beer (I don’t think I’m the first).
And who knew that beer could be every bit as varied and interesting and complex? It’s cheaper than wine. It’s better value than wine (the best beers in the world still cost less than a bottle of plonk from the supermarket). It goes better with food than wine (yes it really does). It’s less alcoholic (usually) so you can enjoy more of it.
The world of beer is booming these days. I’m going to fight my small little corner of the middle class world and re-introduce beer into polite society. Please join me. We need more in this fight.
You will find that it’s OK. Climb in. You’ll feel safe.
It’s OK to drink beer again.