Recently, Heineken and a slew of other brewers have decided to create a non-alcoholic beer for the gigantic Muslim population who supposedly desires a cold one but can’t due to the threat of eternal damnation. I can relate to that fear, because there once was a time in my life I refused to drink alcohol due to the gigantic population of women I didn’t want to accidentally impregnate and thus usher in my own eternal damnation long before having the pleasure of a quick death. What I can’t relate to is exactly why anyone would want to drink a beer that has no alcohol content and is specially designed to not taste like beer at all. We have this product available already. It’s called cola and it serves it’s purpose well.
I think the beer companies themselves are brewing trouble even suggesting such a thing. If there’s anything that should never be mixed with drinking (alcoholic or not), it’s religion and politics. Imagine having a few real beers while Mohammad sitting next to you is drinking the fake stuff. You get to talking about current events. As the night progresses, you get louder and braver while he gets louder and angrier. The few memories I still retain about discussing politics while drinking ended with a beer bottle slamming into the side of my head, and I don’t think the alcohol content inside will make it any less painful. Add to that the various weapons the average militant carries around with him and you’re in for not only a bad night out on the town but some pretty expensive property damage.
Non-alcoholic beer is a bad idea to begin with, irregardless of your faith. One of the numerous uses for beer is to be an excuse as to why you behaved like such an ass the evening before. Can I blame my public nudity on a berry-flavored alcohol-free beer binge? Of course not, and I should be arrested for even trying to. Now if I were to blame it on seven Westmalles at least I would deserve respect for misplacing my clothes due to quality beer. Try blaming a fatwa-gone-wrong on a Heineken Burka Bok Bier and see how much sympathy you receive.
I’m not saying that the alcohol content is what makes beer beer. There’s also the aspect of taste. By changing the taste of beer to make it sweeter and less beer-like, what the hell are you creating? Other than a new product that people are supposed to enjoy in order to be normal, a whole market based around pretending to enjoy something that’s pretending to be something it’s not. That’s what. Imagine the Muslim pubs that will pop up if this beer catches on. At Cafe Abdullah, instead of tourists screaming “Show us your tits!” you’ll hear “I really wish that young lady would put more clothes on”. I’m sure it’s a nice place, but I wouldn’t want to drink there.
Richard Letterman is an American graphic designer who’s been living in Amsterdam for several years. His website Eel.nu is a personal collection of true stories and obvious lies. When he’s not writing he enjoys keeping pub stools warm.
Algemeen, 05.03.2005 @ 09:21