Q: It seems like the longneck canteen and Texas beer acclimated be alike with anniversary other, but over the accomplished few years the beer area at my bounded grocery abundance has been abounding with added and added canned Texas beers and beneath and beneath bottled Texas beers. In fact, this seems to be the case in all beer sections I visit. What gives? Area accept all the longnecks gone?
Ward Michaels, Austin
A: The Texanist is a man who relishes the acceptable times. And oftentimes what can accomplish the aberration amid approved old accustomed times and the acceptable times is the attendance of ice-cold beer. There are abounding means for a actuality to booty his or her algid ones, like, say, from a mug or a can or a pint canteen or a artificial cup or a beer bell or alike anon from a keg while actuality captivated aloft it in a handstand position during Spring Break on South Padre in 1985, or so the Texanist has been told. But there is article decidedly acceptable about accomplishing so from a longneck bottle.
Among all the beer-bearing argosy one comes beyond at the bounded grocery abundance and the bounded watering hole, i.e. 12-ounce cans, 40-ounce bottles, tallboys, ponies, stubbies, and bombers and so on, the longneck has been a reliable standby for a connected time. And, as you accept suggested, this accurate alembic does accept an abnormally abutting affiliation with Texas and Texas-style good-timing.
Texas brewers, like their counterparts in abundant of the blow of the country, started application longneck-type bottles in the 19th aeon and connected to do so alike afterwards the appearance of canning technology in the aboriginal allotment of the 20th century. But at some point the longneck seems to accept collapsed out of favor, and the can and what is broadly accepted as the “stubby” canteen came to boss the beer sector. Until, that is, a few active Texans had an abstraction that afflicted the apple of beer packaging forever.
Understanding this accurate agent adventure requires a cruise aback to the aboriginal seventies, as the redneck bedrock and catholic cowboy agreeable movement was blooming in Austin, bringing the shitkickers and hippies together. Arise alternating with the Texanist, won’t you? Lone Star Beer, which had connected been the cooler advantaged by abrupt old cowboys, had aback begin itself accident out to interloping Budweiser in the advantageous bazaar for hip adolescent folk. But in 1973 a plan was hatched at the Armadillo Apple Headquarters, the epicenter of the above scene—where Willie Nelson or the Lost Gonzo Band ability be on the date one night and the Sir Douglas Quintet or Frank Zappa the next—to addition Lone Star’s angel amid the active and agog demographic.
Famed ‘Dillo aborigine and affiche artisan Jim Franklin, the man who put the armadillo in the Armadillo, was assassin by Lone Star to assignment on an ad attack and came up with a beautifully simple byword that captured the airy atmosphere of the zeitgeist that was appearing from that time and place: “Long Live Connected Necks.” The consistent posters, bonanza stickers, and radio spots helped to coalesce the beginning alliance amid the rednecks and the hippies, who were bonding over the admixture of their musics. Before long, the longneck beer canteen and that cultural movement were abutting at the hip for all of eternity. Lone Star sales were up and the longneck was acceptable a bona fide trend. Or at atomic a absolute accepted accoutrement of a trend.
And again in 1980 Urban Cowboy hit the big awning and the Texas chichi trend hit the bigtime. Longnecks, abounding with both Lone Star and added non-Texan beers, were everywhere. You could get a longneck at the Lone Star Café, in New York City, and aloof about anywhere beyond the country. In 1982, this advertisement printed a adventure accent “The Beer That Made Armadillos Famous” that noted, “Lone Star longnecks had become a Texas academy and a civic attribute for the Lone Star State.” That aforementioned year, the admirable New York Times arise a adventure about longnecks accent “Texas, This Beer Canteen Is for You.” That adventure quoted Sherwood Cryer, the architect and administrator of the acclaimed Houston bistro Gilley’s, saying, ”We don’t handle annihilation but longnecks…when they’re dancing with the gals, they stick it in their aback pocket, and they authority assimilate the son-of-a-guan everywhere they go…I approved cans in actuality for a connected time because these boys are bad about angry with bottles. They’d bandy a canteen bright beyond the allowance and if they bankrupt a canteen and started angry with it, it could get unfortunate.” Alike so, the cans, Cryer told the paper, didn’t sell. All anybody capital was a longneck.
That was then. Today, as Texas enjoys the fruits of a blossom ability brewing craze, there are a lot added bounded beers on the market. And, yes, abounding of them arise in cans. There are a few affidavit for this, including assembly costs, packaging costs, annual (trips to the pool, the lake, the river, the beach, the campsite, etc.), affection aegis (cans do a above job of preventing the assimilation of flavor-depleting sun application and oxygen), and so forth. But abounding of these new brews arise off the band in longneck bottles, too.
So, while it may arise that there are beneath longnecks in the beer area these days, the Texanist suspects that the absolute cardinal of accessible longnecks has absolutely increased. It’s the amazing advance in the cardinal of canned beers that makes the citizenry of bottled beverage attending so button in comparison. The Texanist bases this anxiously researched cessation on common visits to beer area of his adjacency grocery store—an bright bend of that enactment so well-tended to that it has its own Twitter account.
But blow assured: amid those who application in the North American beer industry, the longneck canteen is formally accepted as the “industry accepted bottle.” And the accepted it remains. Trust the Texanist back he says that the longneck ain’t activity anywhere anytime soon.
Now, all of that said, the important affair to bethink is that back it comes to beer, the adjustment of delivery, be it a longneck, a can, or a keg on a Spring Break beach, is, at the end of the day, abundant beneath important than the deliverable itself. Here’s to the acceptable times, and to the assorted argosy whose capacity are key to authoritative them happen. Connected may they live! All of them!
Have a catechism for the Texanist? He’s consistently available here. Be abiding to acquaint him area you’re from.
A adaptation of this is arise in the December 2018 issue.
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