Sept 28 is National Drink Beer Day and a recent survey found beer at the top of the list of drinks to have with friendsmdashGetty ImagesDrew Angerer

Sept. 28 is National Drink Beer Day and a recent survey found beer at the top of the list of drinks to have with friends.—Getty Images/Drew Angerer

Have a cool one today—rice growers will thank you

Today, according to a pre-dawn e-mail, is National Drink Beer Day, and Budweiser (The King of Beers, their ads have told us for decades) has conducted a Beer With Your Buds national survey to determine respondents’ favorite drink to enjoy with friends.

Not surprisingly, the survey found beer at the top of the list, more than double that of margarita and wine, with cosmopolitan and gin and tonic a distant fourth and fifth. And when drinking socially, those surveyed prefer domestic beer over imported.

Of the 25 “most beer-loving states,” Massachusetts was at the top of the list. Only two Mid-South states were included, Missouri at No. 2 and Louisiana at No. 11, but the region does supply a goodly amount of the rice used in brewing beer. California and Washington state ranked 18th and dead last, respectively, one supposes because of their many wineries.

Those drinking domestic beers, the survey found, are perceived as more “genuine and approachable” than those drinking imported beers.—Getty Images/Scott Olson

No mention is made of the genuineness and approachability of those imbibing the hundreds, or maybe even thousands, of craft beers that have sprung up in recent years; mayhap those drinkers are too bogged down in analyzing all of the taste components, real or perceived (aromatic, peppery, smoky, cidery, acidic, grassy, astringent, and on and on).

As the little boy remarked when he kissed a cow, “Everyone to his own taste,” beer has never been one of mine. Just never liked the stuff.  You’ve got to cultivate a taste for it, I’ve been told any number of times over the years. Sorry, not for me.

On a junket once, in an underground beer hall in Brussels, Belgium, our group was offered a choice of more than 100 different beers, the most popular being served in glasses one yard tall and holding a couple pints or so. I gamely tried a couple of sips, then washed the taste away with Pepsi.

I’ve cooked with beer, made bread with beer, and have had many interesting, fun, times with friends who were drinking beer; I just never wanted to drink it myself.

But to all those who do like it and find it enjoyable, have a cool one today in observance of National Drink Beer Day. Mid-South rice growers will thank you. 

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