Okay, maybe Philadelphia instead of Rome.  While here for a conference, a few of us went to an Italian restaurant our first night here.  Some orders around the table got me thinking about the choices we make when at a ‘foreign’ restaurant.

When eating Italian, do you have Peroni, Moretti or some other Italian beer?  When at a Mexican restaurant, why do we gravitate toward Tecate, Corona, Pacifico and Dos Equis?  Do you order an Asahi when at a hibachi grill?  I always do.  Either I’m a sucker or I just like the full experience of immersing myself in the culture of whatever cuisine I’m enjoying.  We’ll leave discussions about cuisine to our friends over at Plain Chicken.  But let’s dig deeper into this issue about why we make the beer decisions we make while out.

I remember years a go when a group of 8 of us went out for dinner at a Japanese steakhouse.  Watching the flair and the dinner ‘show’ while eating with chopsticks was just part of the experience for me.  I also felt like it would be a disservice to the evening to order a domestic beer.  So, of course, we all had Asahi, Sapporo and/or Kirin.  We all ate using chopsticks.  We had a fantastic evening.  The next table over was a group of 8 Japanese people out for what seemed like a similar night as ours … Friends out for fun and fellowship.  The main difference, however, was they were all drinking Budweiser and eating with forks!  It was a fully complete mixture of cultures.  Similarly, once while in Ireland, I encountered a local lad who said that he and his friends refused to drink Guinness, but would do anything to get their hands on Budweiser.  What is it about us that makes us want to always try the exotic, the different choice?

It could be a variety of reasons.  Maybe we have traveled overseas and want to relive that feeling and those memories.  Maybe it is a sense of belonging to that culture, if only for an evening.  Maybe it’s an opportunity to try something we wouldn’t normally want to buy for home consumption.  Whatever the reason, have fun with it!  That is one if the great things about the nearly overwhelming selection of beer we have these days.  So, the next time you’re in a French bistro, enjoy a Kronenbourg.  If you’re visiting your favorite Chinese spot, order a Tsingtao.  Or order that Budweiser – just have fun with it!  At the end of the day, the choice is yours and the choices are endless.

Prost. Skal. Slainte. Cheers.  Salud.  Stin ijiasas.

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October 7, 2013
Mike Pennington

Author: Mike Pennington

Mike Pennington, normal, 40-ish, father of three, living the suburban dream north of Atlanta.  

One Reply to “When in Rome …”

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    Stephanie Parker says: October 7, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    I am the same way. I only want a Corona when I am in a Mexican place. Never thought about Budweiser being exotic. I guess everyone has their own definition of exotic. Great post!

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