Editor’s note: For those of you who intend to test your brains against my upcoming annual birthday trivia questions on Feb. 11, pay attention! There may be a clue to at least one of the answers to those trivia questions in this blog!
So, we had a bunch more snow dumped on us last night and this morning. Par for the course, it’s almost February, it’s Michigan, and it’s winter.
Up until recently, we’ve had an unseasonably warm winter lacking in snow. Even in the U.P. of my state (which is kind of like Canada Junior), they had lighter accumulations of snow than usual, which bummed out my 20 year old niece, whom is a collegiate skier. If there’s anything Michigan people are good at, it’s two things – complaining about the weather – and enduring the weather! We may gripe about it, but we are all deep down like “The Dude” in The Big Lebowski. We…abide.
Add to what I just said about weather – enduring – and complaining – and that’s beer drinking! Michigan people – like our northern Canadian neighbors – love our beer. Whether it’s craft beer made in our great state (Bell’s, Founders, Shorts, etc.), beer flavored beer made by a “macro” brewery like Budweiser or Miller/Coors, imported beer from our lovely Canadian neighbors (Labatt/Molson) or even…other imported beer like Heineken or Guinness – we LOVE our beer! Though, Frank Booth in the David Lynch movie Blue Velvet may have strong opinions about Heineken…
A good testimonial to the great love of beer that people in my state have is the lengths they have gone to in their pursuit of enjoying beer…outdoors. Whether it’s huddling by a propane heater at full blast, choking on campfire smoke, steaming up the insides of an igloo, or putting on the down coat and snow pants – nothing will stop our pursuit of having a beer – even if we’re forced outside! All of our bars/restaurants have been shut down for indoor service since mid November, so this means igloos/yurts, camp fires, propane/electric heaters and a large dose of good old fashioned Michigan gumption have all reigned supreme since then as a means for allowing us to enjoy our precious beer (or whatever else you want to drink that isn’t beer). Hard seltzers have gotten really popular, and even I like drinking those (when I pretend it’s because I’m trying to watch my girlish figure).
I will assume some of these outdoor setups will continue even when indoor service opens up Monday (25 percent capacity, distanced tables, six persons per table max, must wear masks while drinking beer, yada yada). Yes, I was just kidding about having to wear masks while drinking beer. But I’m sure someone out there is trying to figure out a way to make that a possibility!
I’ve already made a few campfire reservation times for a brewery near my house in the next couple of weeks. I’m not in a hurry to sit indoors at a bar. I’ve gotten quite used to bundling up and giving a stiff, frostbitten middle finger to Old Man Winter. And maybe complaining, but just a little!