October 11, 2012

Time For Your 5-Minute Beer

Beer. Is. Delicious.

So much so that I feel completely justified in placing full stops after each word in the introductory sentence.

Tell me, dear reader; What is better than returning home (or visiting your favorite watering hole) after a long day of toil and taking a long, deep, satisfying pull from the lip of a longneck, gathering a swallow’s worth of golden liquid in your mouth, letting it bubble and fizz there for a moment as it washes away your worries before sending it down into your belly? Aside from the alcoholic properties of beer and its effects on the human body, the very ritual of having a drink alone or with friends can be enough to keep a person’s head up during the toughest of days at the office.

As it turns out, Americans planning on imbibing after work may have to work fewer hours in order to earn that beer.

A fan of beer myself, I have to say I’ve never partitioned my work day into ales and lagers, thinking of each passing hour as another few pints I get to enjoy. I can certainly see the merit, however.

Swedish analysts at UBS Bank also decided to section off tick off the time in their days by playing a bit of mathematical 99 Bottles of Beer.

American’s certainly aren’t the only people who enjoy a frosty mug of brew. While we may be leading the recent insurgence of craft and microbrews, American beer has long been mocked and teased as being anything but. This new UBS report doesn’t mention if our beer has improved over the last 50 years, (I suspect it has) but it does reveal that Americans, great patriots that we are, stalwarts of modern enterprise, a hard-working people, have to work less in order to pay for our beer.

The typical, global employee has to work an estimated 20 minutes in order to earn enough money to buy their first pint (500 ml or 16.9 fluid ounces to ‘Mericans) at the end of the day. Those poor saps in India have to work for almost an hour just to buy a cold one at the end of they day, while Brazil and Japan are closest to the average of 20 minutes, coming in at 20 and 15-ish minutes, respectively.

Americans, on the other hand, have to work the least to buy the first round at the bar, about 5 minutes or so.

Of course, this study took a few things into account, such as the cost of beer and the median wage in each individual country.

Beer runs about $1.80 per pint, according to this survey. Before you spit out your beer, the survey averaged the cost of beer at retail establishments, such as grocery and liquor stores, not bars or sporting facilities where the cost of brew is near astronomical. After a solid, 8 hours of work, the average American has earned themselves the right to have about 96 beers or so, 480 at the end of a 40-hour work week.

To be honest, with as large as America is, these results shouldn’t surprise anyone. They do, however, get us to the bar sooner.

Speaking of America, another recent survey suggests the kind of beer we drink might determine which side of any lively political debate we’ll get in at the bar. According to the National Journal infographic, Bud Light, Dos Equis, Miller High Life and Natural Light drinkers are more moderate, not drifting too far to the left or to the right as well as being a little apathetic when it comes to turning out to vote.

If you choose a microbrew after your tough, 5-minute work day, you might be more likely to not only show up to vote but vote blue.

Interestingly (at least, for this Texan) those who choose Texas-brewed Shiner Bock or Lone Star beer are much less likely to vote. Of course, when they do, they usually vote red.

Give me another 5 minutes and meet me at the bar. We’ll talk this all over.

Image Credit: Photos.com

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