Originally Posted November 21, 2020
We at Cosas Totum love a good beer. Recently we were discussing best beers out there. Not brands, mind you, but situational beers. Without too much buildup, here, in no particular order, are some of the best beers you’ll ever have.
1. The Your-Partner-Is-Getting-Ready Beer
We’ve all been there. You have somewhere to be, maybe a work function or a social congregation. You’re dressed how you want to be dressed, and you’re just waiting to get in the car and go wherever you’re supposed to be. Your wife (or husband, or girlfriend, or roommate, or whatever, but I’m married to a woman so I will use the term “wife”) isn’t ready yet, but you’re not too worried because you have a solid 15 or 20 minutes until you absolutely need to leave. You have ESPN on, but you’re really scrolling through Facebook or theChive or Thunder Dungeon, looking at memes and/or judging people for their political beliefs. And what’s that in your hand? Why, it’s a bottle of some locally-brewed IPA, and boy is it cold and refreshing. You sip this beer. This is not a shotgun-it-because-you-gotta-get-outta-the-house-right-now beer. This is a sip and time it to where you take that last sip just as your wife comes into the living room and tells you she’s ready to go. This is a beer to pass the time and to help you get your mind right for whatever function you’re headed to because you know that no matter how much fun it will be, you’re still going to have a sudden urge to just get home, take a shower, and go to bed before the function officially ends. This is a great beer.
2. The Just-Mowed-The-Lawn Beer
Now this….this is a refreshing beer. You’ve just slaved away cutting the grass with Hank-Hill-like precision, making sure the edges are straight, the crab grass is short, and the walkway is clear of debris. This isn’t a fancy beer like the one above. This is a working man’s beer. This is a Coors Light or a Miller High Life. This is a beer that you’ve probably had in the fridge for several weeks, leftover from a fishing trip or a golf tournament. This is a beer that is to you what Gatorade is to a professional athlete. It’s a beer that gives you exactly what you need to stare out at your little slice of terra firma and finally understand why your dad always took pride in a manicured lawn.
3. The First-Tee-Box Beer
Oh yeah. It’s 7:45 a.m. on a Saturday in July. If you’re like me and from Texas, you know it’s already about 93° outside and you have a mental bet with yourself on whether it’ll hit 100° by noon. This is the first time you’ve played in a while because it’s been busy at work, and you’re actually out with your buddies, ready to discount foot wedges and take a gimme even when the ball isn’t all that close to the hole. This is a beer you’ve looked forward to since everyone confirmed their schedule on Tuesday afternoon. Sure, it’ll be a race to see if your score is better than the temperature, but ultimately what matters is cracking that aluminum can right before you shank your first drive off into the woods. It’s the first of about four or five beers you’ll have during the round, and it’s also the best one because you’re still full of hope that maybe that issue you were having on the practice range will have mysteriously worked itself out in the fifteen or so minutes between your last practice ball and the first time you have to pull your 7-iron out of your bag. This is truly an optimistic beer.
4. The Right-At-Five-On-Friday Beer
Look, it’s been a hell of a week. The Penske file is a mess, you’ve got 200 urgent unread emails, your secretary called in sick, there’s some minor catastrophe over in Accounting that’s delaying your ability to work, and for the love of God all you want is to start drinking. Sure, you’ll probably end up doing a half day on Saturday, and yeah, you know that it’s not the most responsible choice you’ve ever made, but you’re an adult with a job and disposable income. Hell, yes, you’re going to have that beer. You notice it’s 4:53, and you know that if you log off right now you can be at the Crafty Irishman right at 5:00 and be nursing the largest beer they offer shortly thereafter. This beer normally involves some coworkers who are equally exasperated but equally thirsty and irresponsible. This beer normally turns into about three beers, and ultimately ends up in the less-satisfying-because-reality-is-hitting-you beer you have at home later that evening. But it’s okay to enjoy it while it lasts.
5. The Shower Beer
Sometimes this beer is the inverse of the you-partner-is-getting-ready beer. Sometimes your partner is ready and downstairs and enjoying their Deep Ellum IPA while you’re hoping to beat the clock. You know you want a beer before you go, but you don’t have the time to nurse one because all your drinks have to come between getting dressed and getting your hair right and whatnot. So, like all responsible adults, you grab a beer and take it into the shower with you. This beer is a wildcard because sometimes it’s some cheap crap that you have leftover, but sometimes it’s a craft beer with some hipstery image on the label. Regardless, however, it’s a good beer because it takes away some of the stress of trying to get ready in time.
6. The You’ve-Got-90-Minutes-Until-Boarding Beer
Airport beers just hit a little different, don’t they? On one hand there’s the astronomical price that never seems to faze people; $12 for a pint of Miller Lite? Sure, that sounds reasonable. On the other hand, there’s the philosophical shared reality of it all. You’re in an airport in a city that you’re not from, you’ve gotten there early, or maybe your flight has been delayed, and it’s just you and a bunch of other similarly-situated strangers who are weirdly your companions for these 90 minutes. The most special airport beer is the one when you’ve got a long time to kill. It’s a little mathematical because you don’t want to drink so much that you’ll have to get up to use the toilet several times during the flight, but you also want that fun, take life as it comes at you feeling that two or three beers gives you. This beer is normally in some chain restaurant that has adapted to it’s airport home, normally in an oddly thick and heavy pint glass, and normally something that’s brewed locally. Just last month I had some local pale ale at the Salt Lake City airport. I don’t remember what it was called, but it was delicious. Eventually, you get on a plane and depart, leaving most of your anonymous comrades-in-arms behind to buy John Grisham novels and Toblerones without you. It’s an interesting shared experience.
7. The After-An-Athletic-Event Beer
I want to start by saying this does not include golf. Golf is built around drinking unless you have a pro card. This beer is either in a parking lot around someone’s truck or at the Chili’s over off Main Street. You just got done playing basketball or softball or indoor soccer or whatever. You’re tired, you smell gross, you’re reveling in your own out-of-shapeness, and you’re desperate for something that doesn’t require so much running and passing and hand-eye coordination. This beer is something cheap and cold, maybe in a longneck or maybe in a frosted mug. This beer turns into a couple beers, but when you were younger it would have turned into six or seven beers. You won’t admit it, but it’s your favorite part of being in that particular sports league.
8. The While-You’re-Cooking Beer
This beer involves one of two very different scenarios. The first is that you have people coming over and you’re cooking. It’s some big roasted piece of meat with sides and sauces and bread and a dessert. You’re happy to cook, but good Lord does it make you thirsty. It’s probably something good and bottled. Maybe a Fat Tire or a St. Arnold’s Fancy Lawnmower (if you’re in Texas). It goes down easy, and it makes you feel like you’ve really accomplished something. The second scenario is that it’s Saturday, there’s a big college football game on, and you’re grilling burgers and hot dogs and a turkey burger because Trevor’s wife brought one with her, weirdly? This is a can of something that you would find on tap at any concession stand at any sports venue in the United States. You drink one too many of them, but they are each fantastic. The burgers are a little dry, and the hot dog buns aren’t as soft as they could be, but the football game was good and that’s what counts.
9. The I-Don’t-Care-If-It’s-Not-Noon-Yet Beer
We’ve all had a morning when we woke up and just needed a beer. Sometimes it’s because it’s the weekend and you worked late last night so you want to really enjoy today. Sometimes it’s because you have activities planned and you feel like starting them right now. Sometimes it’s because you know you’ve got something you’re not looking forward to and a couple beers would be nice. If it’s in public, you can feel some people judging you, but you don’t care. If it’s in private, you know you’ll be able to enjoy it without any judgment or comments because your wife or husband or roommate or whatever is awesome. It’s a beer that can serve many purposes, but it can also be a purposeless beer that is just what tastes good that morning.
10. The Overcoming-Writers’-Block Beer
When we started this website, I had an armory full of writing ideas. I scrapped some of them because they were overtly political and I didn’t want to get that into it (plus I dragged my feet and didn’t start the blog until after the election). I scrapped others because I typed them, read them, and realized they were garbage. And I delayed others because they are topical and wouldn’t fit right now. I’m writing this in November and I didn’t think we needed a post about baseball or spring and summer activities. But then one Saturday morning, say at around 10:00 or so on November 21, you just decide to start writing and see what comes out. You grab a bottle Sierra Nevada Pale Ale out of the fridge, remember a conversation you had with your friends about the best beers, and suddenly the ideas, to quote some late-twentieth-century poets, start comin’ and they don’t stop comin’. The beer is good because it’s a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and that’s about the best pale ale out there. But the beer is great because you finally have an idea that is worth posting.