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What’s the matter with Kansas

No Alcohol
It is 11:30 PM on a Saturday night. I’m staying in the middle of the largest metro area in the state. There are no stores open that can sell me a six pack of beer for off-premises consumption. They all closed at 11 PM.

That’s what’s the matter with Kansas.

#26. Green Beer

Green BeerNow that you’re all sobered up, let’s talk about Green Beer.

I’m not sure who first invented Green Beer (Budweiser + food dye), but it’s probably safe to assume he wasn’t Irish—or even Irish-American. And that is fine and dandy, because St. Patrick’s Day isn’t about Ireland or Irishness anymore. It is an American Holiday to celebrate drinking.

There is nothing wrong with this. Rather it is just another great example of the American ability to absorb a foreign culture and develop a new, better, Americanized version of it.

Most often we do this with food. When the Italians came to America they brought their pizza. Trouble was it was thin, crispy and not very filling. We took that and invented Deep-Dish, Delivery and the $5 Hot-N-Ready.  We took the general idea of Chinese food and invented Stir Fry, General Tso’s and Almond Boneless Chicken—not to mention fortune cookies and those cute white carryout containers.

With the Irish, we just took a holiday. Lacking a proper drinking holiday ourselves, we simply took the Patron Saint of Ireland’s day and distilled it down to the core of any good holiday: drinking and merriment.* The new American version is far superior to Irish version, as there is no church or national remembrance component, only parades, drinking and the marketing of beer.

Which of course brings us back to Green Beer—I’m not sure who invented it. But anything this gimmicky could only have been dreamt up by a great American.

America go Brách!

*I’ve never understood why people bother with fasting holidays.

All-you-can-drink beer [photo]

I came across this poster in a bar bathroom in DC.

I suppose “all you care to drink” is wimpy legal speak for “all you can drink.” But either way, $25 for unlimited beer, appetizers and a nacho bar sounds like a pretty good deal to me. And I’m sure it’s a deal you’d never find in Europe.


God Bless America!

Will the soda tax drive New Yorkers to the bottle?

7 Eleven Beer Can, 1970's

Where has 7-Eleven brand beer been all my life?

Governor Patterson’s cent-per-ounce soda tax might be the most regressive new tax proposal around (as was pointed out in a previous post by commenter John), but it still has a silver lining—at least for the beer companies.

The New York Times’ City Room Blog reports that if passed, the soda tax would make some six-packs of beer cheaper than coke.

Now I enjoy an ice cold Coca-Cola as much as the next guy. But let’s be honest, if beer and Coke are even close to the same price, beer wins every time.

Of course entirely swapping beer for soda in your diet will be a little difficult unless they repeal some of our oppressive public consumption laws.

[City Room]

Frank Luntz on the most American products

I’m reading pollster Frank Luntz’s new book “What Americans Really Want…Really.” It is a great read, just like his previous book. I’m only about a chapter in, but am thoroughly enjoying the grand pronouncements Luntz makes about Americans and Americanness.

Take, for example, the lengthy table in the introduction answering the question “What  Do Americans Really Want Right Now?” that I’ve posted an excerpt from below:


For the most part I think Luntz is spot on (though it is unclear what these pronouncements are based on, but that doesn’t matter). What, after all, is more American than Coca-Cola, Walmart, Pick-up Trucks and McDonald’s?

I’m a little less sure about the beer pronouncement. Bud Lite, after all, tastes like, well… Bud Lite. But the fact that Bud Lite comes in a can gives it a serious edge over the fancy bottled competition: it can be shotgunned. And everyone knows that is the most-American way to drink a beer.

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