I’m all for normalizing beer. In fact, I participate in two weekly podcasts that look to do just that, and any hint that it’s happening catches my eye. That’s how I was tricked by the headline that fast food places would be adding beer. They will, but not in the way I had hoped. In fact, they’ll do it in a way I feared.
There are lots of reasons that I don’t go to fast food places. Poor quality isn’t the least among them but mostly I try to support businesses that have a stake in the community. Honestly, though, fast food places aren’t even on my radar. It is rare for me to go to any dining place that doesn’t serve beer. Grownups should have a beer with lunch. Hell, what other reason is there to even bother being a grownup if you can’t sit at the table like a person and order a beer? So although even adding beer wouldn’t entice me to have lunch at Wendy’s, I thought it was a nice sentiment. I was grossly mistaken.
Perhaps taking cues from Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, Wendy’s is jumping on the beer cheese train with the introduction of a new limited edition beer-inspired burger at select locations: the Bacon & Beer Cheese Burger.
Big beer goes from bad to worse
The ‘beer’ in the beer cheese burger is a beer and cheese sauce. It apparently is part of a trend developed by the company that owns Hardee’s and its bastard twin Carl’s Jr. Wendy’s is adding their own take on the beer cheese burger as a competitive measure. We could be at the beginning of the newest race to the bottom in American cuisine. Hardee’s inked a partnership deal with Budweiser to make its hell cheese spread from that beer alone, something I literally joked about earlier this month when I claimed that a “top chef” wouldn’t use Bud Light in a cheese sauce. Silly me.
Since the overwhelming success of Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos Tacos, fast-food chains have been trying increasingly wacky ideas to repeat that magic. Daniel Kline has no position in any stocks mentioned. He will not be trying this. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Anheuser-Busch InBev NV.
I can’t tell you how much this project saddens me, and not just because the only corporations I hate more than Big Beer are Big Food. The fact that this is promoted as decadent, and that people feel like that’s true, is tough to take. I’m a fat guy, struggling to be less fat has made me really sensitive about our gluttony culture, this notion that we are owed sumptuousness and plenty at every meal for practically nothing. Too often what we save in dollars we pay for in cultural rot. Good food costs money, as does good beer.
Drink what you like and be happy.
Editorial note:Full disclosure. I recently did bring a beer into a Burger King when I was forced to stop there for dinner. I don’t feel hypocritical about that at all.
It’s important to start out saying that I’m one of those obnoxious localvore wannabes. I get my meat from a farm near my home and many of my vegetables the same way. The relevant point, though, is that I avoid chain restaurants at all costs, mostly.