I know it’s early, but I’m considering making a New Year’s resolution to change the brand of beer I stock in my bar’s refrigerator. The default there now is Heineken—a reasonable choice, when you consider my main criteria for choosing beer is that it be light enough that I can, during a day of football-watching, say, put down seven or eight bottles and still not feel too gassy by the time dinner hour arrives. (That is, it is “sessionable,” in the argot of beer snobs.) But another reason I chose Heineken is that I liked the bottles it came in—their shade of green, in particular, and their stubby necks, which I took as sign of admirable contrarianism in a market that’s been overwhelmed by a tidal wave of longnecks. Unfortunately, Heineken has since gone the longneck route, too, and has even thrown in its lot with James Bond, so that its bottles no longer throw off that anti-chic vibe that I thought I detected. So come the new year, it may be time to make a switcheroo. It is the same sort of dilemma, now that I think of it, that I hear hipsters are said to be having now that PBR is becoming semi-bourgeois.
Potential replacements (for me, not the hipsters) identified so far: Narragansett, which is as sessionable as anything you’re apt to come across this side of Coors Light. As a bonus, it also features, on the insides of its bottle caps, rebus puzzles, which I find can be highly engrossing especially if the 4:00 game turns into a blowout. Also, Stella Artois, except that that foil around the cap can be annoying. Additional suggestions welcome but, remember, I’m not made of money. . . .
P.S.: Irony alert!: Not long after Heineken switched to longneck bottles, the Miller Light people decided to bring back the steinie. Maybe Heineken is just permanently behind the curve on what counts as a stylish beer bottle. I may not have to make a switch after all. . . .