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Oktoberfest Special: The Evolution of an American Beer Drinker

It’s late September, and that can mean only two things: it’s Oktoberfest time, and Rod Stewart really should be back at school (if you got that reference, “like” this article). That means it’s time to get trashed, eat dishes that sound like they are named after war crimes, and drunkenly complain that “it’s not even October yet, guys, what the hell are we doing?”

So, to commemorate this annual celebration of ale and lager, let’s take a look at the evolution of your typical American beer drinker, shall we?

Age 0-10

At this point in your life, you don’t know any better. You know that beer is a grown-up drink, you know that daddy lets you have a sip every now and then, and you know your kindergarten art teacher smelled a lot like it that one day before he got fired. And, while this begs the question “if casual beer drinkers give their own kids the occasional taste, do casual meth users give their own kids (when they can find them) the occasional hit?”, it’s doubtful that there are too many three year olds spiking their milk with Jameson and hitting on little girls at the playground.

Age 11-15

By now, you’ve had a little more exposure to the wonderful world of mass media, and you realize that drinking, like, gets you drunk. Sure, you don’t exactly know what getting drunk entails, but you do know that the people who do it on TV and in the movies are getting laid a lot. Sure, you just barely know what getting laid entails, but it seems like it’d be a lot of fun. This is the time in your life when you sneak a drink however you can, be it at an older boy’s party if you are a fourteen year-old girl who makes horrible decisions, or by stealing it from your parents if you are anyone else. It’s also when those of you who "don't prefer beer" share one bottle of Smirnoff Ice among five of your friends over the course of an entire day and somehow convince yourselves that it actually has the power to bring about intoxication.

Age 16-17

Around this time, you’ve probably settled into your drinking habits a little more comfortably. You no longer think that beer tastes like “gasoline mixed with water,” and you no longer drink Smirnoff Ice at all (if you’re a dude). It’s still not a constant element of your life, but it’s not unheard of to meet up with some friends a couple times a year to play some beer pong, or just get a little buzzed and play Super Smash Bros..

For some of you (i.e. the ones who continue to make horrible decisions), ALL of high school will involve constant drinking, so much that you show up at graduation trashed out of your mind and unsure of how you got there. Live it up, because these are your glory days, apparently. After this, you’ll spend the next ten years of your life pretending that high school never ended.

Age 18-20

For many of you: welcome to college. Every single damn day of your life during these years will be like non-stop Oktoberfest. You’ll drink beer at parties, in your dorm, during tests, while you’re pissing out the beer that you already drank, while testifying before a judge, at a wedding, at a funeral, etc. Because you still can’t legally drink (just like I can’t legally kidnap several midgets and make them form a mosh pit for my own amusement), every single bottle of beer you acquire will still be treated like it’s some sort of sacred object that must be celebrated triumphantly. You’ll be counting down the day until you turn 21 like a little kid counts down to Christmas…

Age 21 and over

Damn, beer is expensive. Oh well.

Go enjoy Oktoberfest!

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