Me: The sun has set and the beer rests by my side to malt my next article.
Thoughts are typing my words and my 30-year old fermented college buddies on WhatsApp distract me to decide our next wisely aged meet-up venue. Once upon the most treasured times, we had all the time and alcohol tolerance to indulge in anything that qualified as distilled liquid. Today, the best of spirits are waiting to raise a toast to my sandwich generation. Conversation concoctions are added as we look forward to an evening spent in a Single Malt ambience with the enthusiasm of ‘millennial’, ‘plural’, ‘z generation’ and whatever else brand boomers christen future times.
NO TIPSY TALK
Me: While I wait for our ping gulps to reach a consensus on the venue, I strike a parallel offline conversation with my beer; questioning its personal choice of company, generation name, relationship status, brew background, family lineage…the wort works.
“Who owns you?”
“To whom do you belong”?
Till date, guzzlers turned to beer to find their life answers and beer patiently played the spirit shrink. Finally, beer got its chance to pop its silence. The beer bubbles in my mug furiously rose to the head to talk, laugh, ridicule and burp sarcasm on its changing identity through centuries as liberally fabricated by guzzlers.
Now Open! Happy hours for beer to talk!
Me: Are you a millennial drink?
Beer: “I’m one of the oldest produced beverages by humans and my birth dates back to at least the 5th millennium BC in Iran. I’m recorded in the written history of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia and since then I’ve never stopped travelling across the world.
Even terror attacks failed to stop me.
So lets get this straight. Just because I was conceived in a millennium era and continue to hold my head high in this millennium, don’t confuse my generation origin. I belong to every generation that seeks joy and spreads cheer in me. I can almost boast to call myself every drinker’s first love, regardless of gender and will continue to stay as long as civilisations exist on this planet. Wait! I might set my second home barrel on the moon soon.”
HOP TO HEALTH
Beer: “At the time of my brewed birth, I was looked upon as a nutritious drink and an important part of every meal. Egyptians loved me, and I was an integral part of their daily diet and religious practices. I was an award for workers along the Nile River and children drank me daily instead of water as the water was often contaminated. Queen Elizabeth I, like most people belonging to that era, consumed me for breakfast and at other times of the day.
With the new world order, governments imposed legislations on drink age, place and time of consumption to maintain law and order in the society. Today, statutory warning messages on alcohol consumption overrule the highs of my virtuous healthy history and the goodness of life I’m spreading across world cultures. My life logic: I’m healthy for the body, mind and spirit. When you are healthy, you are happy. When a person is happy, the world becomes a better place to live in. This universal fact of life has got nothing to do with any generation, gender and geography claiming ownership over me.”
The youth are definitely the biggest consumers as it matches their personality. Like beer, they stay light, casual, and easy to get along and move along. I’m his or her first teacher, first love and almost every drinker’s first spirited high.
This does not write-off the older generation who indulged in me in their youth and still dunk in few to stay light and high.”
P.S.: Consuming alcohol in moderation is safely healthy. Going overboard with water isn’t recommended either.
CHANGING GRAINS OF CHARACTER
Beer: “As times passed and modern methods were implemented to perfect the craft of making and marketing beer, I was forced to alter my avatar from a health drink to a hearty back slap beverage to grab youth sensibilities and market shares. Even the man holding the highest office held me to display his mid-life light heartedness in a global summit.”
BEER CUTTINGS FOR 4 & MORE
Me: In our prime youth, my sandwich generation drank beer because we enjoyed more (quantity) for less (money). Beer was our most cherished and cheapest drink with no additional mixers required. Pints and cans were only seen in select ‘group funded’ Hollywood movie outings.
The social media toddlers of today are spoilt with brew type choices, plastic to virtual money transactions and arrogantly posting ‘beer is born for me’ on social media hotspots.
While we drank in cutting plastic cups, they guzzle pints with plastic money.
While we shared pennies to buy beer, they share beer posts to celebrate with and without a reason.
THE BIRTH MOTHER, THE BREW MOTHER, THE GOD MOTHER
Beer: “All those who tick-mark beer as male are victims of heavy headed beer marketing, targeted exclusively to men with television characters such as Homer Simpson, Cheers-the sitcom and the cartoon strip-Hagar the Horrible. It can’t be helped that humans of recent generations assume that I’m male born and a male loving drink.
My life logic: I’m healthy for the body, mind and spirit. When you are healthy, you are happy. When a person is happy, the world becomes a better place to live in. This universal fact of life has got nothing to do with any generation, gender and geography claiming ownership over me.”
In ancient times, women gave birth to me and became the midwife of civilisation. Moreover, for thousands of years only they were allowed to run breweries and drink me down. And in almost all ancient societies I was also considered to be a gift from a goddess, never a male God. As an honour of creation, the Sumerians attributed Ninkasi, daughter to the goddess of procreation, with the title ‘goddess of beer’.
Now think before you pitcher my gender!”
Beer: “No matter how far civilisations go to deny and disguise my virtuous history, no generation, age, caste, creed, socio-economic class can and should claim my birth as their proprietary pint.”
BEER: THE ONE FOR EVERYONE.
THE ONE IN EVERY ONE.
Me: My sandwich generation is yet to decide on the next venue. Like always, beer will also be a loyal companion flowing from cuttings to crates, staying neutral for the next 30.
The beer has spoken the bitter truth.
Time for a refill.