What does beer go good with? - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

What does beer go good with?

Sex and chips and gravy, according to post punk British band “The Macc Lads” who are a thankfully atypical example of British manhood. However, should you have any friends you wish to offend, you may download a selection of any of their songs and choose between them to find the most offensive toward whichever minority grouping your “friend” belongs to.

In these “enlightened times” – although I notice it isn’t the Dalai Lama that uses this phrase – we are blessed with a full complement of potential partnerships. Gay, civil, legal, church blessed, church damned ad nauseum. There are no shortage of retro partnerships either, Starsky and Hutch, Astaire and Rodgers, Laurel and Hardy (et al) being just the first three I could think of.

Regardless, the debate is still raging, at least between the voices in my head, as to what makes the perfect partnership with beer.

It doesn’t go with sex for me, as I tended to spill too much of it, and anyway there is something in the back of my mind – where we English have the complete works of Shakespeare memory engrams – about it detracting from ones performance, and chips and gravy are far too northern a combination for one’s taste.

After England beat Switzerland in the European Championships in 2004, Christopher Maurer (left) and his wife BBQ'd us to within an inch of our lives and provided beer that flowed like wine and wine that flowed the same way.

Beer does have a good working relationship with chilli it is true, as well as other foodstuffs such as pizza, barbeque, brats (when it is referred to as “brau” in Wisconsin at least) a bump (if you are one of Garrison Keillor’s fine array of characters)  and even titties have been coerced into a partnership with the amber nectar. All this speaks for the versatility and utilitarianism of the fine foaming fermented fluid, but doesn’t provide the absolute answer to our query.

I mean, rum and coke right? Gin and tonic, right? White wine and soda, maybe, right? One night in Bangkok and itchy nether regions, right? Like love and marriage, the horse and carriage, married with children and Frank Sinatra and mafia references, “You can’t have one without the other.”

Beer does have many and varied qualities, largely those given them by its many and various brewers who have, in my experience, imbued qualities ranging from the intoxicating, through the hallucinogenic, pausing at the stage or “Berserker” finally ending at the almost spiritual, or at least the invocation of God in his/hers/its many forms for guidance, salvation and deliverance from covering one’s shoes in vomit.

But as a general, one exception only, rule for all seasonings, what is it that goes with beer? A cold beer goes well with a hot afternoon, as does a nicely chambrayed English pint when it’s a tad nippy outdoors. When it’s freezing you can even dip a red-hot poker into a pint and mull it. It takes a while to heat up the poker though, which is the origin of the phrase “mulling it over” equals time for reflective thought, as to what its ideal partner item/concept/circumstance might be.

Beer goes good with friends like my brother Tony. (left)

Sport probably has the best shot at being labeled “Official Partner of Beer.” Sport being predominantly a male domain – yes I know some of you ladies have an interest as well, but we are talking the regularly televised, corporate sponsored, league competition based, trophy awarded, testosterone fueled world of male sport here (anyway, women should not drink beer but instead wine) – and that domain being probably the only one where imbibing of “the old embrocation” is not an occupation that is frowned upon.

Europe is about to undergo its four-yearly football championships (you know, Beckham and all that, what?) and currently supermarket beer offers seem to form more than half of all adverts being televised. As if we (men) could or would somehow forget that this lovely fluid was not available at a reasonable price but a short drive away 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

Match times are scheduled to coincide with hours when we are not working, and therefore when the pubs are open. We even have video recording devices and refrigerator’s to keep both things cool and fresh for us should our working life be one not centered around sport. Imagine.

As such, there are plenty of opportunities to drink ourselves to sclerosis of the liver “on offer” for the forthcoming summer of sport. Because, lest we forget, after the month of the European Football Championships there are the Olympic Games for another couple of weeks followed by Wimbledon. All of which are a lot easier to follow under the influence of, you’ve guessed it, beer. By the way girls, as soon as all that lot finished it’s time for the start of another football season.

So we can see that there is an extremely strong case for beer to be twinned with sport. You can “meet the guys” for a beer before the match. You can enjoy a beer during the match, and even cry into one if and when your team loses. But as beer is also enjoyed at a plethora of other social events such as weddings, when it is almost required by law as the perfect fluid for the initiation of a good fight, funerals when it is almost required by law in Ireland as the perfect fluid for the initiation of a good fight, christenings when one must “wet the baby’s head” and others too numerous to mention.

In fact about the only major event worldwide where beer is not required is Ramadan. Not that that point is of any significance whatsoever. Religion being a more middle class affair where wine tends to be drunk rather than beer when alcohol of some form is required for actual or metaphorical purposes.

No, the only thing I can think of that goes with beer that will not be subject to any form of discussion or dissent is simply another beer, and now that I have finished my weekly obligation to “amuse” and “entertain” you, I shall now walk to the fridge and get myself a cold one. My wife cannot fetch one for me as the chain between her leg and the stove is too short.


(Feature photo: Me on the right with my Swiss friend Carlo, who enjoys a cold one too. That’s Feldschlosschen going down smooth.)


About the author


Comments are closed.