The Greeks, when they ruled the world, would lounge and drink wine and make love to young boys…

Words by Chas Smith

Jeremy Flores in France, which is more famous for wine than beer. Photo: Timo

Beer is low-brow. It is a cheap drink made from cheap materials. Barley, hops, wheat. It is consumed by the working classes and they use beer to salve their deep inferiority complexes and then they grow fat. Beer makes fat. Wine is high-brow. It is made from grapes and has a long history. The Greeks, when they ruled the world, would lounge and drink wine and make love to young boys. Wine has a nose and a finish and things. Beer has lite. But. In a surprise to almost everyone, beer beats wine when the two are pitted against each other. Beer, you see, is working-class. It is very German. Very British. And the very German and very British conquered all of Europe and all of the world. They rode over the wine drinking countries in tanks and stomped them with jackboots. Well what about Gewurtzaminer, you ask. What about sweet German wines? Exactly. They are sweet and weird. They do not count as such. Napoleon Bonaparte drank wine. Napoleon Bonaparte was undone by the Russians, who drink vodka and he was undone by Duke Wellington, from Britain. There are many pubs in England named after Duke Wellington and those pubs do not serve wine. But what happens when beer is pitted against beer, you ask. It is English ale that beats German pilsner. English ale beat German pilsner once, in World War I and twice in World War II. It beat German pilsner after German pilsner beat French Bordeaux and Italian Sangiovese. And so it is English ale that rules almost all. Except it does not rule American Budweiser. American Budweiser rules all.


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