Great Lakes Brewing News
Brewing News Home | Subscribe to a Brewing News Pub | Advertise
Brew Stud's Third Adventure - Page 3

Despite his opening lecture on Promise Keeping, Angela’s father was the easiest to converse with. A grey-haired, handsome old man, it was obvious he commanded the fortress. He reminded me of the pictures you see of Arthur Guinness, presiding over his family, a beautiful, stout-colored people that have spread to the four corners of the earth. The simple fact that he didn’t discard me as one more light-bodied, fizzy, keg beer earned him my eternal gratitude.

Angela turned away from the mirror like Neferititi. (I learned about Nefertiti from Angela’s brother by the way, and in exchange taught him about the birth of beer, another African contribution to the civilized world.)

Click to see larger image

"So how did I do?" I asked, unable to hold it in.

"Do you mean the sex we just had, or dinner with my family?" she replied, reading my mind like the great African queen that she was.

"I know the sex was good, I meant the family."

"Oh?" she replied. "And how did you know the sex was good? Did you ask me?"

"Okay, it wasn’t," I replied. "Let’s try again. How did I do at dinner?" She smiled, but kept her distance, something that bothers me about her.

"You reminded me of those white folk that go to an Indian dance ceremony at their local state fair, and stare, mesmerized, at the people they conquered." This knocked me back and Angela let it hang for a moment, then laughed. "Just thought I’d give you a little of your own medicine."

"I’ll tell you how I felt," I said. She looked at me, curious, so I continued. "I felt like a bottle of Bud Light sitting among a table of the best microbrews."

Angela laughed. "Don’t you think of anything but beer?"

"I like wine. I just don’t have time to drink it. But you didn’t let me finish telling you how I felt. There I was, the one example of the dominant style, surrounded by quality beer and feeling very inferior."

"Yeah, right, inferior," she replied, "I don’t think so. You were quite a nice microbrew yourself."

"Thanks," I replied, receiving the encouragement I’d been seeking.

"Mmmm…" She had slipped back into her self admiring trance, brushing a wisp of fake hair here and there, making herself look even more enticing.

"Do you want to hear about the dream I had last night?" I asked.

"Mmm," she replied again, still entranced by her own beauty.

"I was downtown, near midnight, and met three three young Black males." She smiled, signalling that she was still listening, and I continued. "They were carrying 40s, and said they wanted to talk. They said I shouldn’t be with you, that I was white. I tried to explain how times had changed, but they didn’t want to hear it.

"The 40s they were carrying turned into guns and they began squirting malt liquor all over me. I was surrounded, but I decided to leave anyway. Suddenly one of them began speaking French, then took out some cuffs and attached one to my ankle and the other to a streetlight post. Trapped, I began to think how unfair this was, that they had picked on me because I was white. That I had done nothing but try to be their friends. Then the dream faded."

Angela turned to me. "So what does it mean?"

"I thought it was a role reversal, this must be how Blacks are treated. Black and white. Power and powerlessness, just reversed."

"Oh cut the shit," Angela said, obviously annoyed.

"Actually, it wasn’t my dream," I replied. "It was my assistant brewer’s. He’s a liberal. But it illustrates a point. Fear is what drives people, and that’s the problem. People wake up from a dream like that and they’re afraid, less inclined to find out more about something different."

"And the beer analogy?" she asked, knowing more about me that I’d care to admit.

"Same with a new beer style," I said. "You got people that are afraid to try something new, afraid to open their minds past what they’ve been drinking their whole life. My assistant brewer is like that. He had one bad episode with a lambic and he won’t try another. Like most people, he retreated back into his safe shell and now he’s making bold statements that categorize a great beer style rather than questioning their own fear and seeking to overcome it. It takes a measure of sophistication and openmindedness to start sampling outside your race. I don’t like dark beers, you know how many times I’ve heard that?"

"Thank you professor, for Beer Ethnicity 101."

"You like it?" I asked, watching her reflected smile. "The argument for diversity. It’s as good in beer as it is in life."

I was congratulating myself on this exploration of new terrain when the doorbell rang and before I could even get my pants on Sheila burst in. Needless to say, she was as unwanted as a brewpub owner’s decision to put Miller Lite on tap and right then I recognized one of the biggest drawbacks to my the appreciation of diversity. It can’t always be sampled so openly; this town had become too small for me. My thesis on race and diversity wasn’t totally free of flaws, and for now it’ll have to wait. I’ve got more urgent explaining to do.

Previous Page

Back to Brew Stud Home Previous IssueNext Issue

Page 1
Page 2
Page 3

Read Them All:
Part 1
Part 2

Part 3

Brewing News Home