(ANYTOWN, USA) Two teenage sweethearts were recently parked at the local lover’s lane when the radio announced that a violent madman had escaped from a nearby asylum. This dangerous lunatic could be easily identified—by the prosthetic hook that replaced his right hand. To her boyfriend’s great frustration, the girl insisted that he take her home immediately. When they reached her house, he came around to open her door, only to discover something dangling from the handle on the passenger-side door.
“The problem with canned beer is its down-market image. You can shotgun a can of beer, and crush the empties on your forehead; you just can't have that kind of fun with a bottle, and many connoisseurs of fine beer think you shouldn't, anyway.
It was a bloody hook. No joke.
This happened to the brother-in-law of a friend of mine. Really.
And then there are the eight-foot-long, blind, albino alligators that roam New York’s sewers, flushed down the toilet as babies when they became unruly pets. It’s true. My barber’s first cousin twice removed has seen them, I swear. The dark of the sewers may have cost the gators their sight, but they still have jaws that can cut a man in half, or swallow a baby whole.
We know someone who’s personally seen the scientific proof that the gators exist. (Unfortunately, we can’t put our hands on that evidence right at the moment…)
There are urban legends, such as the classic tales involving “the hook” and the sewer gators of Gotham. Then there are the urban legends of beer, brewing stories that always seem to teeter between mild plausibility and complete absurdity. Like other urban legends, someone is always prepared to swear that they got these beer legends on good authority, from a dental hygienist whose uncle once worked next door to a brewery. Honest.
But, no matter how often they are repeated, most of these beer myths just don’t stand up to extensive scrutiny. Let’s take a look at some of the most prevalent:
Beer Legend #1: Wine goes better with food than beer.
Truth: Wine is a fine and venerable beverage. But the two countries that have shaped our ideas of what constitutes fine food—France and Italy—also happen to be cultures that make and drink wine. That doesn’t mean that these are the only cuisines to emulate, nor does it mean that wine is the only beverage to pair with serious food. In fact, for most dishes, there are beer matches that are every bit as compatible as any wine. And for some foods—spicy or sweet in particular—beer steps up where wine falls flat.
Want proof? Champagne and caviar may be a classic pair, but a crisp, authentic pilsner fares better with the famed fish eggs. Researchers have concluded that cheese deadens the palate to the wine that accompanies it; but beer with cheese—the stinkier the better—is a combination that is more than the sum of its parts. And over-the-top chocolate desserts seem to have been invented with stout in mind.