I remember a good old time, and a good old fashioned place it’s name was Willoughby…oh wait thats not right. On the more serious side, I remember a time growing up when Beer had a certain je ne sai que to it. It was the thing of rebels, of the working class, of the poet-escapists. It was the elixir that was, in the words of Moe the bartender, “the cause of and solution to all of the worlds problems.” In cartoons and television shows it was always represented as either “Beer” or just triplicate series of x’s. XXX, nothing is more badass than the idea of that. It represents all of the repressed sexuality that the mid-west can shake a bible at, and at the same glorious time a liquid that would make you feel more sociable, funny, intelligent and just super fucking sexy. But times have changed, and boy howdy. Beer now has fancy names and different flavors thrown in. Bud Light Lime, Miller Chill, a thousand and one variations of Blue Moon, Anchor Steam Porter, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Allagash White, Southern Tier Black Stout and so on and so forth. And while at times I like to consider myself a connoisseur of Beer, someone who can appreciate the far superior flavor that a 120 minute Dogfish Head has over the 90 minute, Beer just no longer has that bad ass quality to it. A lot of the good Beer has more names than a teen horror actress. Beer lists have become just as complicated and subtle as wine lists, and ordering one is no longer about getting a nice buzz with your meal, it is meant to say something about who you are…much like your record collection, or to jive with the times, what is on your iPod.
Ah, and then I stumbled upon Black Label. It is cheaper than the all-too-fancy sounding Pabst Blue Ribbon, and just as delicious. It is so cheap in fact that my Uncle, who owns a bar/restaurant gave me a six pack when I asked him to sell me one. But these are the least of my concerns, what is far more important is the ol’ badass factor that comes with it. You are drinking something that is calling itself Black Label…this way you know that this shit is for real! None of that “infused with lime” shit here, you are getting the real deal. A badass Beer that has been shared by many badass men that existed before your time. Steel workers, mechanics, miners, construction workers, town drunks with Bukowski dreams and Waits playing in their head. This is a Beer that tells you just how badass you are…I mean it’s fucking Black Label, the kind of sweet nectar that the devil dreams about and the rebel uses to fuel his drunken fist fights. So as I sit back and marvel at the crimson and gold can with the distinctive sign of badassnes written on it in big bold letters, I toast Black Label Beer, and the fact that is bringing the badass back to drinking!
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