Beer is an integral part of culture. We drink it to socialize with others and build relationships, to let loose and be present. Sharing a pack of a delicious beer with someone special, or just chatting over a drink with a stranger, can lead to amazing conversation, life-changing experiences, and memories to last a lifetime.
There are so many types of beer for all different occasions, weather, and personal tastes. Personally, I think there’s nothing better than sharing a pack of cold, crisp IPAs for hot weather, and strong stouts in the winter. Whether it’s grilling with your friends in the summer, or hanging out in a snowy cabin with someone dear to you, there’s always a special type of beer to bring!
The Simple Life
A lot of great memories I have include sharing a nice cold brew with the people I love and cherish. It’s always nice to take a step back from our modern world and enjoy the simple things in life. Beer has been an integral aspect seen throughout history all over the world. Even today, there are many holidays that are centralized around beer. Whether it’s Oktoberfest, St. Patrick’s Day, or Independence Day, you can be sure that beer is present — though of course it’s not only about beer, but about being around the people you really enjoy being with. What better way to enjoy your time with friends and family than over a cold one?
Across the globe, each culture has developed their own traditions of beer-drinking.
Some traditions essentially require you to drink with others. The best example is what Japan calls ‘Nomikai’. In this experience, coworkers go out and have drinks after work — usually beer or sake. This tradition is required in Japan if you want to receive a promotion or network with other people in your job.
I recently read about Nomikai in this article written by Whiskey Richard and learned two interesting things about the tradition of Nomikai.
First, it’s required that you fill up someone else’s glass to drink. If that does not show what respect is about, I don’t know what would. Second, there’s a seating schematic at these parties. Whiskey Richard stated that the tradition goes back to the Sengoku Period when warlords were regularly trying to kill each other. Sitting close to the door meant you’d be one of the first to die when your crew assembles in a room. Since modern-day Nomikai is not about life or death, the best seat is usually far away from the door and the worst is next to the door. This signals the status of people in Nomikai. It even pertains to transportation from one place to the next. In a taxi, the worst spot is next to the driver and the best is the seat behind the driver.
Nomikai shows how beer can help develop the camaraderie among employees in Japanese Corporations. Sharing a drink with coworkers helps build a bigger bond of trust between one another and develop strong relationships for colleagues to network further in the future. This is the place where coworkers become friends.
It’s fascinating to think about how important beer has become in society. Beer has continually developed over many, many generations throughout history, all over the world. Beer was invented ages ago. Perhaps longer ago than you may have initially thought. Join me on this voyage to dive into this question and explore all aspects of beer: history, traditions, culture, crafts, methods, and more. If you were to describe the reason why we drink beer in one word: it would be comradery.
I hope you enjoy our voyage into the world of beer! Hell — crack a cold one while we embark on this adventure
2 thoughts on “Why Do We Care About Beer?”
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First of all, the author you reference seems perfectly suited to write about alcohol with a name like Whiskey Richard. 🙂
Even though I don’t drink personally, your blog intrigues me. I like the idea of a particular activity bringing individuals and communities together, especially as trends seem to point to its opposite in social distancing (even before Covid-19!) (See http://bowlingalone.com/).
While it’s unlikely I’ll pick up beer drinking myself (unless Covid persists!!!), I think I’ll be able to adapt insights from this activity as it’s used across cultures to a different activity that better fits me.
Thank you for your comment! ‘Bowling Alone’ looks awesome and very relatable. I definitely wrote this to bring back a sense of human connection. Unfortunately, these times we are in now do not allow for such settings, but hopefully, we can bring these values back in the near future.
I believe it does not matter what you drink as long as you are enjoying your time with others, so I hope you can use my content for what you really care about.