Beer and Pavement

Beer, Indie Rock, and Fatherhood

Posted in Intersections, Life by SM on February 7, 2011

When my daughter is asked if she drinks beer, she enthusiastically responds, “No. I will drink beer when I’m bigger[1].” And with whom will she drink this beer? Daddy, of course.

That’s enough to warm the cockles of one’s heart.

Lucia used to love it when I’d dip my finger in my beer and let her try some. She now regularly asks for a taste. I’ve backed out of the practice of letting her try every beer. There’s something perverse about it. Erring on the side of caution is probably the best move when mixing parenting and alcohol. Either way, she has a taste for beer, even at two. And I figure I can mostly expose her to the good stuff. Hopefully, industrial rice adjunct beers will taste like the swill they are after she drinks quality craft beers and homebrewsr[2].

I want my kid to know something about quality over quantity. I want her to enjoy a beer instead of just the high. She doesn’t have to be into beer the way I am, but I want her to appreciate flavor, aroma, and mouthfeel. She’s only two, so we have time.

Lucia has been to many more beer tastings and events than some adults I know. Some in the beer club have joked that she’s almost an honorary member[3]. When Hopslam hit town, she sat at the bar as I tasted my first sips of the sweet nectar of the gods[4]. Eventually, she will be the brewmaster’s assistant. I like to take her to brewpubs for lunches. Beer is part of our culture. It’s part of her upbringing

When it comes to music, she already listens to a fair share of good indie rock[5]. I’ve written before about how important this is to me, but it’s another thing to watch your child pick up on some of your music while choosing her own favorites[6] along the way. She certainly loves a good beat and memorable chorus with little concern for aesthetic. I suppose this is the beginnings of an indie geek in the making.

My girl probably knows more about vinyl as a preferred musical delivery system than most kids under 35. We talk all the time about records, their packaging, and my turntable. There’s real science there. Those little grooves look and feel like music instead of just a shiny disc we shoot with lasers. Records are textural, tactile. Two-year-olds dig that.

We spend most of our time together dancing and singing. There’s a lot of music in our house for people who have virtually no training in music. She consumes music and creates her own. Lucia is musical and I suspect will always be.

Why is this all important to me?

Well, part of it is a legacy. I love music and beer. I appreciate the finer aspects of both. I want these loves and attention to detail to live on through my daughter when I’m gone. I want a home for my records and glassware. I haven’t done much of any consequence outside of creating my kid. This is as good as it gets for me legacy-wise[7].

And there’s value to enjoying craft beer and listening to records. I try to appreciate craftsmanship that goes into these luxuries. An appreciation for the finer things is certainly a worthwhile character trait to pass on. It also causes one to pause when considering other consumables. We waste less and enjoy life a bit more. And who doesn’t want one’s kid to enjoy life?

1This is a relative term for a two-year old.
2I figure this can be my strategy to combat the underaged binge drinking. If I only give my child good beer, she won’t give in to the temptations of the crappy beer served at high school parties a la John Hughes movies.
3She attended yesterday’s Super Bowl party and you didn’t. The girl is a beer enthusiast of the highest order.
4Of course, she mostly watched Yo Gabba Gabba on my iPhone, but those are just details.
5The Raincoats, Deerhoof, Sufjan Stevens, Pavement, etc.
6Mostly musicals like Annie and The Sound of Music.
7The realization is setting in that my greatest creation will be my offspring. I might as well raise her as best I can. If she can carry on just a few of the lessons I’m teaching her, I’ll die a happy man.

Tagged with: