Perhaps even to martini, shaken, not stirred.
Or champagne, or at least an affordable bubbly grape derived intoxicant; anyone can afford to hire a stretch limo these days if they want to, and anyone who does wants the drink to match that image.
Of course we don't want to believe it. Beer is for the masses. It should be accessible to all. We don't want to believe that the standard of living for the masses is greatly improved on what it was 100 years ago. We don't want to believe that even people who can't afford it still blow their credit card limit on silly status symbol purchases, but the number of numpties who do are becoming an increasing proportion of the population.
Now, of course, beer is for drinking at the pub with mates. There is absolutely no doubt that this is the very best way to drink beer. I drink beer in this mode several times a week. In fact, I probably drink far more beer in this format than is good for me. Sometimes I drink beer that is so dire it just doesn't deserve to be drunk, but when the crack is good, one has to suffer for the sake of one's mates. To be fair, my mates generally suggest moving to another pub in that situation, but then they are beer snobs, both of them.
It is an unfortunate fact that less people are drinking in the traditional pub. I'm no happier about that than the reader might be. More drinking is done at home or in restaurants or wine bars than in years gone by. Although it is a worthy and admirable cause to champion the pub and traditional beer drinking, it remains a fact that it is slowly decreasing. We can ponder why that might be, we can rally to the cause and try to stand in the way of change of use of our favourite pub, but ultimately there is little we can do about the fact.
I remain convinced that one of the contributory factors causing this trend is the ever increasing aspirations of an ever increasing proportion of the population. Most people want a nice car1, a big TV, a nice leather sofa, fitted kitchens and Jacuzzi baths. I've even heard tell that some common people even have bidets, whatever they are; gone are the days of the earth closet at the bottom of the yard.
I'm often told by beery people that we shouldn't try to compete with wine - there lies a path of disaster. Well, wine is competing with beer and I suggest we should lay down our denied inverted snobbery and fight back with our heads held high.
1To the extent that BMW drivers are more likely to drink Carling2 than decent beer these days.
2Yes, I expect to be threatened with being put over a certain Molson Coors Communications Partner's knee, that's why I mentioned the drink, but the threats, sadly, have yet to be realised.
Note: Data for the chart was extracted from the BBPA handbook 2008. Currently there is an error on the chart vertical scale. Should be 1000s hl%. I'll correct later.....