Sunday, October 22, 2017

I’ve Never Been This Age Before!

rosemary-picBy Rosemary O’Keefe

Many of us older people often have difficulty expressing ourselves about value issues. It seems we are quite comfortable expressing a value laden issue among friends, just as younger people do, but we seem cautious when others might hear because we fear we will be misjudged. Our reputation was a concern we learned about in school as well as at home and our church.

All of this surfaced as I read an article about the latest upgrade on beer cans. I found the article educational as well as informative. Remember, I’m the type that when driving up to the window to purchase one can of beer feels I must explain to the seller I only want it to put in the Italian Beef recipe I’m preparing.

The article, from Paducah Sun, was titled “Craft beer gives cans a (tweaked) comeback.” It seems that nearly 80 years ago Richmond, Va. revolutionized the beer world. For it was in this Southern city in 1935 that canned beer, complete with how-to instructions, was first sold.

Krueger’s Cream Ale and it’s punch top can became an instant hit, propelling the humble beer can to iconic status. That is, until Americans returned to bottles and the beloved craft brews they contained, a cultural turn that left canned beer looking decidedly low-brow.

But more recently craft brewers rediscovered cans, realizing they weren’t just retro-cool, but with a few tweaks might even be able to kick bottles in the can.

Welcome to the beer can revolution, 2013-style. Technology once again is transforming how Americans drink their beer.

Today, Budwesier sells a bow tie-shaped can that mirrors its iconic logo. Miller Lite sports a punch-top can, drinkers know their Coors Light is cold when the mountains on the can turns blue. Sam-Adams Boston lager comes in cans designed to improve the taste, and now Sly Fox Brewing Co. sells beer in “topless” cans designed to turn into cups when opened.

“It’s not your father’s beer can anymore,” says Jim Koch, founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Co., the maker of Sam Adams.

I feel, while growing up, I had an excellent example of the true value of alcoholic beverages. My mother, being of German descent, taught us that all alcoholic beverages were simply another beverage to be enjoyed and not to be over done any more than over drinking water, milk, tea or coffee. We seldom had alcoholic drinks in our home except for a small bottle of whiskey to be used for medicinal purposes only. I remember her making me a “hot toddy,” which I never cared for, to quell a cough when necessary. One of my uncles, a German farmer, made beer in his basement along with a special wine that was made from his own grapes and was considered best in the area. He never marketed it but made sure he shared it with family for special occasions. These beverages were shared at my house with a special meal, not to be guzzled until you got silly. The home made egg nog at Christmas always had some alcohol added. Children drank from the same punch bowl and there was no mention of it being consumed so you could change your mood.

Frankly, I cannot drink alcoholic beverages, even a small amount makes me ill very quickly. I’ve tried to be sociable and would love to experience a stimulating conversation while holding on to a slender stem of a lovely wine glass.

I remember a comment I made once, when at a party, I was asked if I would like a glass of wine. I blurted out, “Oh no, thank you, it makes my ears hot!” This is true but, a real social faux pas for sure.

More later.

What is different and challenging enhances our growth.

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