When Is It Acceptable to Drink Macro?

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By Writing Community Member Grady Trela

As a self-reported beer snob, I go out of my way to avoid anything connected to Anheuser-Busch InBev. While I consider this a noble cause, living by it is easier said than done. Most realists understand that you’re going to drink a macro beer once in a while. The real question is when is this behavior appropriate? The last thing you want to do is to be disowned by your circle of craft beer friends, so to help everyone navigate these murky waters, I’ve come up with a list of common situations where craft beer drinkers have the green-light to drink macro.

4. When You’re at a Wedding
There are few guarantees in life, but if you find yourself at a wedding, you can count on a couple of things. First, you can expect to hear a lot of music by the Black Eyed Peas. Nobody knows for certain why this is, but the likely explanation is that it strikes a middle ground where nobody really wins but can at least feel neutral toward the music.  

Unfortunately, you will also find a depressingly limited beer selection at most weddings.  Because of the cheap price and large quantity afforded by macro kegs, they have become the go-to-choice for these events. Bud Light, Coors Light, Michelob Ultra—sure, this will work for some people, but where does that leave you, the craft beer drinker?

You could go with cocktails or wine at weddings, but because the keg beer is usually free, the reasonable choice for the craft beer snob is to just drink that light, rice-infused macro beer that’s on draft. Sure, you’ll have to listen to people in line say things like “I’m glad this is Bud Light because Budweiser is too heavy” and “Can I have some ice cubes in my beer glass,” but after a few pints, your company will seem markedly less grating. Sure, drinking macro will have you peeing buckets, but the flipside is that you can use this as an excuse to leave any conversation that seems like it’s lasting too long.  

3. When in College
I gradually found my way to craft beer in college by drinking mass-marketed gateway beers like Newcastle and Guinness. By the time I caught onto Dogfish Head and Stone, though, I would still find myself in situations where I had to drink Keystone Light and pretend to like it, saying things like “You’re right, it does kind of taste like Coors Light” so as not to upset my pledge master.

The culture of buying cheap for the sake of quantity is strongly ingrained on many campuses. As a young craft beer drinker, you have the green light to imbibe rice water so long as you realize that, in the adult world, drinking five Busch Lights in one sitting only gets you concerned voicemails from your mom and absolutely no high fives.


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2. When Drinking With Your Father-in-law 
The worst thing a guy can do around his father-in-law is come off as a spineless sycophant, laughing obnoxiously at all his jokes, endlessly complimenting his cooking, and just basically  putting out the vibe of a spineless wiener.  However, sometimes protocol calls for this behavior, particularly when you’re sharing a beer after your wife deliberately leaves the two of you together to “bond” on the patio.

Men born before 1965 strictly drink macro beer. If you find yourself in a téte-à-téte with your father-in-law, it is more than OK to drink whichever macro beer is forced on you (probably Miller Lite). Simply sit back, relax, and hope that it’s not hot enough outside to actually taste what you’re drinking. 

1. After Prolonged Physical Exertion 
This statement may come off as heresy, but there is one situation in particular when I prefer macro beer over craft. After doing some kind of manual labor, usually outside in the heat, nothing hits the spot like a cold Coors Light in front of the television with the AC blowing on my face. Drinking macro after coming in from the heat is kind of like slamming pinot grigio outside on the veranda: there’s just something about a cold, flavorless alcoholic concoction on a hot day that’s is irresistible.  


 
 

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