I have a love-hate relationship with cutting grass.
After hunkering down during the gloomy slog of a muddy brown Charleston winter, I’m never more excited than when I see the grass in my yard looking patchy.
The honeymoon lasts until about three weeks after the first time I fire up the mower and then it officially becomes a chore. Over the following six months, I will threaten to pave the back half acre and put in a trailer park for carnies at least a half dozen times.
The trick to making bad chores better is to come up with a reward.
When I was a kid, my mother often treated me to ice cream or a couple of cans of ice-cold Mountain Dew after I cut the grass.
She also paid me, which helped.
I’m pretty sure that if I could come up with some way to make money from cutting my own lawn, I would feel a lot better about it, too, but since there’s absolutely no way to do that, I treat myself to a beer.
Over the years, I’ve developed something of a palate for beers and choose different beers for different occasions.
For example, I like a heavy, dark beer in the colder months, when nights are long and I’m waiting for Disney+’s next Marvel Comics/Star Wars-themed show.
I like light and citrusy beers in the summer, when I’m at the ballpark and wondering which team is which and who I’m supposed to be cheering for.
I crave something with a decidedly higher alcohol content when I’m staring down the barrel of another zoom meeting.
Crave, I say. I don’t actually bring beer to Zoom meetings.
I just want to sometimes.
For a casual beverage with friends or with a meal, I lean toward expensive, craft beers with stupid names or just-shy-of-science-fiction flavor combinations, but for the grueling labor of cutting grass, I want something cold, cheap, and refreshing — and that’s Miller.
Miller High Life is the best beer around for after you cut the grass.
This isn’t to say that Miller has a particularly bold taste. It’s mild and pleasant — more flavorful than Coors, which tastes like an ice-cold glass of aluminum foil, but not as strong as Budweiser, which is reminiscent of lightly sweetened club soda strained through a gym sock.
I’ve never liked Budweiser and don’t know how it ended up as “The King of Beers.”
We live in a democracy, last I checked.
Miller beer is perfectly refreshing after a hot afternoon spent pushing a mower, inhaling grass trimmings, and regretting whatever decisions put you there.
It’s a grownup reward for a job well done, but not so good that you’d be encouraged to overdo it.
I never want more than one or two cans in a single sitting and a 12-pack in my fridge will last longer than a bottle of ketchup.
If I had a better yard, maybe there’d be a better beer, but I don’t, so Miller High Life it is.