equal parts curiosity and skepticism: part deux

A busy shift at the sushi bar is one of a handful of environmental and social triggers that stoke my beer lust. It’s not unusual for me to finish up my shift with a beer or two at work, followed by pints at O’sheas or Flint or some other hospitable locale.  If there are beers in the fridge when I get home, chances are I’ll drink them too. That said, keeping a few of the de-alcoholised variety on hand seems like a rather prudent idea. 

After my disappointing experience with the Superstore brand, I wasn’t particularly eager to revisit the world of beers without booze.  The act of purchasing the damn stuff feels vaguely humiliating.  It’s similar to my experience of witnessing blue collar types riding their bicycles to work.  I take twisted delight in seeing a burly middle-aged dude in dirty flannel and beat up work boots deftly navigating a ten speed bicycle through traffic.  I assume circumstance has forced his hand and he has had to resort this crude mode of transportation because his drivers licence was suspended in an alcohol-related legal matter.  I know his secrets.  In a similar way, purchasing non-alcoholic beer makes me feel conspicuous — like it is a public admission of alcoholism, reform or failure.  In the spirit of investigative reporting and self improvement, however, I pushed pride aside and picked up a sixer of Becks non-alcoholic beer.

Undeniably sexier than the homely brown domestic bottles and smacking of vanity and status, the green glass European import is seemingly gay and masculine at the same time.  European scorn for the screw top cap and by extension, “regular” North American beer drinkers, adds to its elitist appeal. The non-alcoholic variation retains most of the Becks brand sexiness and cracking the cap yields a distinctive and familiar funky aroma.  Blowing the beer smoke from the neck, I empty the contents into my face.  This beer-like beverage has a more complex and satisfying flavour than the aforementioned Superstore brand– it is noticeably not for real beer, but a reasonable facsimile.  My willingness to put back four bottles after work seems like a reasonable endorsement.  It is a bit on the pricey side at eight bucks a case, but ringing in around half the price of regular beer, it can add budget-friendly to its list of positives. Next up… O’douls.

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