Yesterday, one of my idiot friends told me that certain South Floridians have expressed interest in seceding from the rest of the state. Roughly 11 seconds of exhaustive Googling just now failed to turn up much evidence, but let's say it's true. Makes sense. The government's way up north, and apparently run by a combination of Jimbo Fisher and a rotating cast of whichever three other guys haven't landed on the wrong end of a Cops episode in a given week. And besides, Florida's so huge (and dongy!), it seems unlikely that even a competent, well-meaning legislature could account for the interests of such varied constituencies: They've got oranges and amusement parks and old people and Cuban people and footballers and surfers and alligators and just so many different kinds of shit happening.
An inherently conservative part of me—the part that doesn't want to learn new flags and capitals—initially opposes any new plan for a big place to split up into a couple of smaller places, but when I think about it, almost all of these schemes make sense. I live in dinky little Massachusetts, and while we have no secessionists or separatists that I'm aware of, I wouldn't blame anyone from the western part of the state who was sick of subsidizing my public transportation, the same way I'm tired of paying for all their fucking roads to nowhere.
Did you realize they grow tobacco in western Massachusetts!? I present that as neither a strength nor a weakness of the local agriculture economy, but rather as further proof that certain parts of the state don't have any damn thing to do with certain others; they grow fish and roast beef on the North Shore, fish and linguica on the South Shore, fish and rich people on Nantucket—clearly the fish should be in charge, but other than that, there's precious little binding even the eastern part of the state. I could go on, but we're not here to talk about Massachusetts. We're here to talk about beer (as it pertains to Texan independence).
Texans often talk of breaking off from the rest of the country and going their own way. This, too, seems plausible. Both their culture and their economy are varied yet distinct, their disdain for gun laws means they basically already have an army, and with all that oil, beef, and sports, I'm not sure what else they need from the rest of us. If you'd asked last week, I'd have said "beer," because Shiner Bock isn't good and Lone Star is no longer Texan in any meaningful way (it's owned by Pabst), but then I stumbled upon Shiner Premium Lager.
Shiner beers are made by the Spoetzl Brewery (which is owned by the San Antonio-based Gambrinus Company) in the tiny southeast-Texan town of, yes, Shiner. Gambrinus imports and owns some other shit, but it remains a Texan company that makes beer in Texas. My favorite of these is the Premium Lager, which is as light and sweet as its soon-to-be foreign counterparts mass-produced in the United States, but stands above them on the basis of a pleasant earthiness and tiny-but-real hop bitterness that balances out the cheap, fruity malt.
I'm not saying Shiner Premium Lager will be the best beer produced in the Republic of Texas, but it's relatively low enough in price, alcohol (4.4 percent), and flavor to make it the ideal national beverage.
This is Drunkspin Daily, the Concourse's adequate source for booze news, reviews, and bullshit. We'll be highlighting a beer a day in this space; please leave suggestions below.
Will Gordon loves life and tolerates dissent. He lives in Cambridge, Mass., and has visited all of the other New England states, including, come to think of it, Vermont. Find him on Twitter @WillGordonAgain. Image by Jim Cooke.
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