Beer Pressure

Matija Marohnić

You know that wonderful feeling when, after working hard on a hot summer day, you sit down with a cold beer?

beer in a frosted mug
Patrick Fore

See, I don’t. I really dislike beer, and wine too.

The phrase “let’s grab a beer” has become a synonym for hanging out. It’s not just my opinion, look:

“Beer pressure is the social pressure one feels by having his friends making him drink more beer than one wants to.” —Urban Dictionary

When my brother was in a tavern with his friends, he drank Coke while others drank beer or some other alcohol. Then everyone started toasting, clinking their pints and glasses. When he tried to do the same, they told him, after realizing that his glass doesn’t contain wine, that he cannot toast with Coke. They put extra effort into inspecting the contents of his glass so they can exclude him.

I refuse to understand why anyone would care about what I’m drinking (assuming I’m not an alcoholic). Often when I order juice I have to explain myself, which is incredibly annoying. Some are convinced that deep inside I wanted beer, but maybe I’m driving later or something. Some pity me and express concern about my abilities to have fun. When I explain to them that I simply don’t like beer or wine, they’re usually not pleased with that answer.

People have their reasons, that’s why it’s better to steer clear of assumptions. Who knows why someone isn’t drinking—maybe they’re suffering from gastritis, an allergy or even epilepsy. Or maybe last time they were drinking they did something so stupid that they don’t even want to remember it, let alone risk repeating it.

I understand why people drink, I just want to have the freedom to order a juice without starting a conversation about it. Luckily, I discovered my solution—Radler. It’s a great way to infiltrate into a beer-drinking society. Sure, someone might tell you that it’s not real beer, but nobody will mind if you toast with it. This is because it looks like a beer (the bottle is the same shape), so people will leave you the fuck alone.

I’ve often been told that I will learn to like beer and wine, that it’s an acquired taste. But I find them disgusting every single time—beer is bitter and wine is sour, in a bad way. The only reason to try to love these substances is for social purposes, but for that I have Radler.

I’m annoyed by wine tasting as a profession, even just reading years off of labels and knowingly commenting them. I’ve been refraining from saying this, but here I go—to me wine is just spoiled juice. I know that people wouldn’t be working so hard to make it and they wouldn’t enjoy drinking it if it was literally spoiled juice, I just wanted to depict how hopelessly wasted it is on me.