Boston Globe promotes Thanksgiving Day beer blitz

I had to laugh at the Boston Globe’s sanctimonious editorial today about alcohol/caffeine drinks (Four Loko ban shouldn’t blind regulators to binge drinking), which rails against the glorification of alcohol abuse and in favor of promoting moderation. Why was it funny? Because the Globe itself promoted immoderate drinking in an article on Friday, (Giving thanks with fine craft ale; Do it right and pair beers with the dinner’s courses, starting with something light).

I read the article because I’m a fan of craft beers and was looking for some suggestions, but was a bit shocked at the implications of following the article’s advice. According to the author:

Thursday is the perfect time to introduce your friends and relatives to some outstanding brews, while at the same time helping them realize that “beer’’ does not have to equal “Coors Lite.’’

Hard to argue with that –except it’s actually Coors Light, not “Lite.” It’s also worth pointing out that Coors Light, like most light beers, has about 4 percent alcohol. Standard American brews like Coors and Bud are in the 5 percent range. The author suggests pairing a beers with each course as follows:

  • “When your guests walk in the door hand them something light.” Allagash Tripel Ale (9% alcohol)
  • “Keep the beer tame as you bring out the hors d’oeuvres.” Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale (5% alcohol)
  • “Turkey, stuffing, gravy –for food like that, you want something with higher alcohol.” Avery Brewing’s The Reverend (10% alcohol)
  • “Something that’s able to stand up to the dessert.” Dogfish Head Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew (9% alcohol)
  • “Once you’re done eating, you may want something to digest your gigantic meal.” Stone Old Guardian (11% alcohol)

If a Coors Light devotee suddenly is enlightened by a Globe reader and drinks 12 ounces of each of the above, it will be the alcohol equivalent of more than 9 Coors Lights. I guess the Globe is implying that’s a moderate consumption pattern. What’s silly about the choice of beers is that there are many outstanding craft beers with alcohol levels closer to 5 percent. Take a look at the various Sierra Nevada and Samuel Adams offerings and you’ll see what I mean.

An editor must have had a quick look before the piece went to press and got nervous, because someone inserted the following at the end:

No one is suggesting you spend your holiday sucking down high-alcohol beers. These are merely suggestions to help guide your way. Bigger bottles should of course be shared three or four ways. It is Thanksgiving, after all.

Of course.

November 22, 2010

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