I grew up in the South, so I spent a lot of my youth drinking in the back of a pickup truck that was parked in a random field off the side of a gravel road. There really wasn’t anything else to do. The trucks had lawn chairs, so it was nice. This was the ‘90s, so we sat in those fields listening to gangster rap and drinking really shitty beer, usually Busch Light in the can. If we had some extra money, or were feeling fancy, we’d splurge for MGD. And it all sort of went well together; Gangster rap and Busch Light are the perfect beer pairing.
You know what’s not a good beer pairing? Hank Williams III and a fruity gose. If you’re not familiar with Hank III, he sings about three things: whiskey, cocaine and loaded shotguns. His best songs have all three references tucked neatly into the chorus somewhere. I was listening to some Hank III during a bike ride recently and I kept my headphones on while cracking a post-ride beer out of my fridge. The beer was Wicked Weed’s passionfruit gose, a slightly sour, fruity beer that’s about as delicate as you can get. And it was an awkward pairing with the lyrics running through my headphones about punching, fighting and f$%&ing. I think there was a line in there about stealing cars too. You can’t listen to a song about stealing cars and punching strangers while drinking a passionfruit gose. You have to pair a delicate beer like that with a delicate song. Something by Art Garfunkel.
I’m not sure what beer goes best with Hank III. Budweiser with a shot of Jack? A lager sprinkled with methamphetamines? I don’t know. But I’ll be more careful in my beer/music pairings in the future.