Thanks to social media, I now know that every day in a calendar year is some obscure holiday. Today happens to be International Beer Day, which I think is one of the cooler ones. Sure beats the hell out of Rice Pudding Day, which is Sunday. So, in honor of International Beer Day, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about beer in the apocalypse. If you’re like me and Homer Simpson, you love a cold beer on a hot Christmas morning. After the dead rise, however, beer isn’t going to be as readily available as it is right now. You won’t be able to just run down to the store for a few cold ones. Like food, you’ll either have to have a bunch saved, make your own, or scavenge for some. If you’re planning to make your own, start working on your craft now while resources are readily available. Home brewing beer is a very ‘trial by error’ process that involves a lot of waste. You don’t want to wait until the shit hits the fan before you start trying to concoct a brew that is to your liking. Once you know how to make beer that you’ll enjoy, there will be some simple ingredients you will need to have on hand to make it regularly, so make sure you have plenty of them along with all those canned foods in your supplies. If you want to learn more about home brewing, this is a good place to start.
If you’re not interested in making beer yourself, you’ll need to either keep an adequate supply or go out on the occasional beer run. Unfortunately, beer doesn’t stay good forever, but there are factors that will help it keep longer. Beer should be stored at a cooler temperature, but not someplace cold (50ºF to 55ºF, 10°C-12.8°C), and should have as little exposure to direct sunlight as possible. If you’re planning to go on runs, or just aren’t planning, you’ll have better luck with beer that hasn’t been refrigerated over beer that was cooled to a lower temperature and then heated up when the electricity was lost. If you’re in a grocery store, grab the brews that are on a display or in the backroom instead of the ones from the long defunct cold box. Beer with a higher alcohol content or darker beer is “sturdier” and should keep better than the light stuff. Also, some beers are pasteurized and some aren’t. Many beer connoisseurs will tell you that the pasteurization process lessens the quality of a beer’s taste, but the unpasteurized beer has a much better chance of skunking after a few months in less than perfect conditions. On a side note, Atlanta-based Sweetwater beer, which gets a cameo on The Walking Dead from time to time, is not pasteurized and quite delicious! When I watched this scene I screamed, “Don’t drink that beer!” at my TV. What a waste!
A quick smell test should help you avoid most of the spoiled brews. You don’t need a sophisticated nose to know if a beer isn’t good. If you happen to drink a little bad beer, don’t sweat it. Because of advances in modern brewing and the alcohol, nothing will grow inside of a sealed beer that will kill you or make you sick. You’ll just have a bad taste in your mouth, and you can easily remedy that with a good beer. The most important thing to remember is that you will never be one hundred percent safe in the zombie apocalypse. Know your limit and stick to it. Never drink so much that you’re unable to sense danger or defend yourself.