The Fall of the King of Beers and First Encounters With Booze
Stetsons isn't the only bar that that has discontinued Budweiser beer. One of my favorite Mexican joints, Los Tios in Del Ray, has removed the ubiquitous lager from its menu recently as well. In fact many bars I've frequented don't carry Bud. Kev29 who commented on my recent post thinks that DC just isn't a Bud heavy kind of town...
I think there's more to it than that. Sales of Anheuser-Busch InBev's flagship brand have been trending down nationally for some time, as lighter products from Coors and Miller gain market share spurred by recipes that were inherently lower in carbohydrates. Budweiser has answered with Bud Select and Select 55 but it is too late; And as Kev29 asked, who cares?
Well I do. I love an ice-cold bottle of Bud.
While drinking one of the cities coldest at Cashion's Eat Place (they claim to keep one cooler set to 31 degrees) I talked with the bartender, George Manolatos, about our shared love and how we ended up hooked on what many view as piss.
George told a tale of sneaking into an icebox in his father's garage after mowing the lawn on weekends. Apparently his old man stocked can after can. The jig was up when his father noticed excessively eager lawn mowing habits. He must have been cutting grass twice a week in winter.
My first Bud came in the form of a six pack given to me by a snack shack employee with questionable morals. It was August and I waited until the 14th hole to open up my first can. After a few hours of sloshing around in the bottom of a golf bag in 90-degree heat, a warm geyser of froth gushed forth.
Needless to say, that day I had trouble understanding why people even liked beer, let alone drank it till it came out of their ears. I kept at it though and I've been drinking Bud ever since. Our stories made me curious for others' tales of first encounters with alcohol, whether stolen away from a parent's liquor cabinet, or guzzled at a high school keg party.
So when did you first imbibe? And did the experience foster a life long brand loyalty, or does it still leave a bad taste in your mouth?