Beer and Pavement

Session 56: Thanks to the Big Boys

Posted in Beer, The Session by SM on October 7, 2011

When I saw that The Tale of Ale‘s idea for this month’s session, I threw-up a little in my mouth…not because beer from Bud-Miller-Coors (BMC) is that nauseating. No, it was more of a physical memory of what I mostly did with industrial rice lagers back in my college days. Either way, I committed to be a part of this community and contribute and that’s what I’ll do.

To say thanks to the “big boys” is not an easy thing for me to do. I’ve been anti-anything-corporate for a long, long time. Beer-makers are no different. When the goal is solely to improve the profit margin, quality be damned, I’m not interested in what you’re selling.

Music is bit more difficult to judge based on this criteria. I recently wrote about the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s Nevermind. That album changed the game for me. A whole new world of music was opened up for my isolated self. Nirvana was a gateway into indie rock and the possibilities it held. Twenty years later, I’m still looking for the next Nirvana. I may never find it, but it’s been a lot of fun looking.

So, my music tastes might not have ever developed had it not been for one of the “big boys” of the music industry. Had Geffen Records not signed Nirvana, released Nevermind, and promoted the hell out of “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” I would have most likely never discovered Sonic Youth, Pavement, The Breeders, Pixies, Sleater-Kinney, etc. For this, I have to tip my hat for a moment to major labels, the BMC of the music industry.

That brings me back to my acknowledgement of the big boys of beer. Like most beer enthusiasts, I can trace my beer journey to a can or bottle of a product they called beer. I remember the fresh, clean images on a Coors advertisement. There’s the carbonation, slight bitterness, and sweetness found in a bottle of Miller Lite [sic]. Oh, and I almost forgot my first buzz at the bottom of a Budweiser can. Had the marketing and distribution powers of the big boys never existed, beer may have never entered my gullet. Had that not happened, I might not have continued down the beery trail I refer to as “the last 15-17 years.” (I was no saint and did partake in under-age drinking. Do as I say, kids, not as I have done.)

If I owe the big boys a thanks, I guess it’s for just being there. Without the big boys, I never drink my first Bud or listen to Nevermind. If I don’t do those things, then I never get the chance to enjoy a Russian River Supplication. I would have never seen Pavement, Archers of Loaf, Guided By Voices, or any other 90’s band all the kids are clamoring to see these days. I would have never consumed Dark Lord or enjoyed the value in a Lagunitas Hop Stoopid. My basement wouldn’t be lined with records that all hold some meaning and lots of memories. None of this happens without shitty rice-adjunct beers and David Geffen taking a chance on Nirvana.

So, for all of that, I say “thanks” to the big boys to helping me discover my hobbies, my passions. I couldn’t have done it without you. I guess.

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