As promised, here is Reed’s argument for Chili Beer. He wants it to be clear that it’s all just “bullshit and non-facts.” Enjoy!
Dear Super Brewsday Tuesday Podcast Team,
I know, with the exception of those cooking and cleaning, we all like to relax on Thanksgiving with a Pumpkin Beer, celebrating a time when the Native Indians taught us about agriculture in the New World, and we taught them to change everything that made their way of life different from ours.
Come Christmas, however, the Pumpkin Ales are a month old, though never really that good anyhow, and but a distant memory on our instantly gratified palates.
I was delighted to hear the Captain’s promise to drink either a Sour Beer, or a Spicy Jalapeño Beer each day of Christmas this year (of some of our lord). I understand how well both beers capture a rich, robust, turgid history of the various Christmas traditions both from around the world, and most importantly from within the most important country.
It’s obvious, however, that none of you have studied history or science. The tradition of Sour Beer does not in fact begin in Germany with the invention of genocide, as most people think. It actually reaches back further in our amusing metaphor of time to when Christ was himself a Jew.
I take you to a time when people were drinking wine and being merry. Magicians would astonish their crowds by swapping water for wine, and children would cheer with glee and smile with that special sparkle in their eye that only comes before inventing a new religion.
Over the next few hundred years a handful of Messiahs arrived and people of all races and sizes were celebrating in their simultaneous discovery that all evil was wrought from the Jews. As for the Christians, the doctrine of transubstantiation was formally established in 1215 at the Fourth Lateran Council. This is the same Council that sanctioned the use of torture by inquisitors and prohibited Jews from owning land or embarking upon civil or military careers.
The Christians (now Catholics) declared it an indisputable fact that at the Mass, the communion host is actually transformed into the living body of Jesus Christ. Once this dogma had been established (by mere reiteration, which seemed to suffice) Christians now had to worry that the Son of God might be mistreated at the hands of heretics and Jews, while trapped in the form of a defenseless cracker.
But as history proves, they were also starting to worry because wine seemed a little too much fun. “I saw someone smiling at Mass,” one Catholic complained to another. “Maybe we should give them some of that stuff they’re making up in the Celtic Isles.” “Did America put the ‘e’ in Whiskey or did they remove it? I can’t ever remember.”
That would have satisfied most complaints, but the Germans meanwhile were forced to drink especially shitty beer. For centuries religious Germans had viewed the Jews as the worst species of heretics and attributed every societal ill to their continued presence among the faithful, but it wasn’t until the early nineteenth century that the hatred of Jews acquired an explicitly racial inflection.
But let’s not forget! It was at this time, historically and stuff, that German beer was acquiring that Sour taste that we all love so much. Some famous German brewers were experimenting with mixtures of dried hops and dried vinegar, sometimes to as much as a 1:1 bond degree ratio. As Germans and Catholics worked together to violate the lives of Jews, they started a warm tradition of imbibing Sour Beer once in a while maybe.
The tradition of drinking Spicy Jalapeño Beer, unfortunately, comes from a slightly more sterile and boring history. The Tin Lizzie Brewery was the first industrial brewery in the Jalopy Islands located off the main land. In 1963 the Indigenous People of the Islands invented a new pepper, and declared it spicy, so that they could market their Spicy Jalapeño Beer to a hipster audience in the New World without any confusion as to what that sensation in their mouths was.
The Spicy Jalapeño Beer was designed to scientifically piggy back on the tradition of sometimes drinking Sour Beer, without any of the genocide or monotheism. They deem it quirky, unusual, unique, and other aspirational adjectives to sell it to twenty-somethings that are “just tired of all the bland, watery, mass-industry beers on the market.” Those who “want to know what the news means to them,” and are defiant members of the Independent group with a capital ‘I’.
“The ironic frame functions as a shield against criticism. The same goes for ironic living. Irony is the most self-defensive mode, as it allows a person to dodge responsibility for his or her choices, aesthetic and otherwise.”
That may be one purpose for which they invoke irony, but it’s not the primary. The real achievement is that in exchange for this self-defense, it invests all of the hipster’s energy in the service of the thing it is defending against. While he places himself at a distance from “all this”, he participates 100% in it.
However much the “not corporate” hip Spicy Jalapeño Beer drinker holds the brewer’s extensive brewing knowledge, or he values the ambiance he creates with his MFA and thoughts about 2614, it is way more than the $6 beer costs him. He orders his Spicy Jalapeño, and the organ donor in a blue North Face coat at the counter orders a skinny latté, and he and his NYU buddy Garf roll their eyes disdainfully when she asks for two Splendas.
“You’re saying the beer is overpriced?” That’s not the point. Why does he accept it? Because he can roll his eyes about how mainstream she is. It offers him a perch from which he is better than her. Of course simultaneously, and no less ironically, the woman thinks she is better than him because her husband works on Wall Street. In math terms, the difference between what the beer is actually worth, and the amount he paid, is how much he values feeling superior to MILFs.
If I can be permitted a judicious use of historical jargon: it’s the rationalization that allows you to blow a guy you can’t stand. “I hate him, but I’m going to make him cum so hard he’ll just want more of me, which will be his punishment.” From his perspective, not only did he still get blown, he liked it even more. Yeah, in this analogy the guy is capitalism and you’re not.
Which beer is working harder to please me? The Spicy Jalapeño Beer. It’s trying to compete with hundreds of periods-of-time of traditionally bad sour German beer. Can you really taste the history in the Sour Beer? Can you taste the science in the Spicy Jalapeño Beer?
Yes. The Sour Beer tastes sour, i.e. it doesn’t taste good. Why else would it be called sour? Meanwhile the Spicy Jalapeño Beer is working hard to engorge me AND my pride, for probably roughly the same price as any beer that advertises itself as sour.
“Well, okay, if it insists on pleasing me more than the other one. I really just have to lay there anyway.” Exactly. Open your Spicy Jalapeño Beer and enjoy your blow job like everyone else.
I know, I know, I don’t have any real power, but maybe someday a man will give me some.