When you think of bikers, do you think of a group of men delicately holding fragile glasses half-full of fermented grape juice? Even further, when you think of the American Male, do you think of a fellow in khaki's, swirling said grape juice around his mouth and commenting on the tannins and bouquet?
God, I hope not. Sideways was an entertaining flick (it even had a motorcycle in it!), but I don't want to grow up to be one of those idiots.
When I think of the American standard of masculinity, I think of a sweaty guy in a Dickies workshirt, clutching a can of beer in one hand and a wrench in the other, cussing at the infernal machine he's trying to repair.
Something seems to have gone wrong in the collective head of America, however. According to an article on Slate.com earlier this year, wine sales are going way up, while beer sales have barely increased at all.
Personally, I blame microbrews and the accompanying beer-snobbery. Beer now comes with a dizzying array of choices to make. IPA? Double Bock? Seasonal brews? Suddenly, kicking back with a cold can of Budweiser isn't cool. Depending on your group of friends, such a beer choice could even result in scorn and derision.
If you're smart, of course, you'll just smile all the wider as you enjoy your perfectly drinkable - tasty, even - macro-brew which cost less than half of what their "John Hancock's Extra Creamy Chocolate Stout Frappe... er, just Stout" did.
I've certainly enjoyed my share of "craft" beers,
This wasn't an issue for our fathers and grandfathers. They drank Olympia, Hamm's, Stroh's, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Grain Belt Premium with their heads high and their backs straight. It was even less of an issue before their time. Back then, you drank whatever was available locally, and you were damn happy about it.
Slowly, particularly among the moto-enthusiast community, good old-fashioned manly beers are making a comeback. If a rider sees you enjoying a frosty can of PBR, they're more likely to join you than to turn up their nose.
As such, I'd like to announce the new, ongoing investigation to be found on my blog: The Great Motorcycle Manly Beer Reviews!
For this review, I've chosen Schlitz - "The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous."
Schlitz has been around a long time. First brewed in 1849, it was one of the top selling American beers until the late 70's. I have no idea if disco was to blame for the downfall of the proud brewing company, but I like to think so.
On to the beer - Cracking open the can, the first thing you'll identify is that special "cheap beer" aroma, a strange combination of alcohol, tin can and bread. As a manly American, you wouldn't pour your beer into a glass (unless it's a glass that can hold more than one beer), but if you did you would likely admire the light, clear golden hue of the brew. The head is thin, and dissipates quickly.
The beer itself has a surprisingly thick mouth feel. Almost (dare I say it?) creamy. There is a slightly bitter aftertaste, but you can wash that away with more beer. As for the flavor... well, I would describe it as non-offensive. I mean, it doesn't taste bad so much as it doesn't really taste much at all. Schlitz is definitely a hot-garage kind of beer. It goes down easy and, for $3.64 per six-pack, you can afford to keep some on hand to refresh yourself after a hard day working on the house, in the yard, or on your bike.