I had never heard of the phrase “lawnmower beer” until I came across it in a story I was reading online a couple of weeks ago.
I could kind of guess what the phrase was referring to, but I decided to look it up anyway.
Here’s what I found at Urban Dictionary:
Any beer low in alcohol content that is also highly quaffable. A style of beer you would want to drink after working hard in the yard on a hot summer day. Usually a crisp pale lager or ale with moderate to high carbonation. Must be well chilled.
As I read the description, it brought back memories of my teenage years.
My dad did not drink very often or very much, but I will always remember how much he looked forward to having a cold one after cutting the grass. And it was always the same kind – Piel’s Real Draft.
I watched this ritual for years, and then I remember the day my dad offered me to join him in drinking a Piel’s after he was finished cutting the grass. I was probably in my late teens, home for the summer from college.
I hadn’t done anything to deserve a lawnmower beer, but my dad was right.
There was nothing like sitting outside on a hot Saturday afternoon in a couple of lawn chairs having a beer. We did this a few more times over the next couple of summers, with each of us taking turns cutting the grass.
And perhaps that’s why to this day the description of lawnmower beer noted above perfectly describes my favorite kind of beer.
Of course, life moves on.
I got married, moved out, started a family, and a few years later my dad passed away.
And somewhere along the way, Piel’s Real Draft beer was discontinued.
Fortunately, that’s not the way this story ends.
While getting this blog post ready, I discovered that Piels was relaunched in the New York region in 2018.
I might have to get my hands on a few cans of Piels so that the next time I cut my grass, I can continue the Borden family tradition.
I will have to push back my usual time of cutting the grass; I don’t want my neighbors wondering why I’m sitting in a lawn chair drinking a beer at 9:00 on a Saturday morning…