Thanking in Hops


My husband and I like helping people.  We enjoy sharing skills, saving money and generally putting good Karma out in to the universe.  Other than a hug or a handshake, as the case may be, we don’t expect nor demand anything in return.  Knowing our friends appreciate it and that they will most likely return the favor if needed is ample thanks.  So what is it about men saying thank you with beer ? When did this venerable mixture of hops, barley and water become a currency of sorts ? The go-to thank you of generations.  A means of enticement and bartering that gets people to do the strangest things.

Who hasn’t been lured to build a fence or move the never-ending contents of a house by the promise of that burp inducing libation ?  It doesn’t particularly tempt me but I go for the laughs anyway.  The inevitable accident that turns in to a taller tale as time passes between this new deck and that kitchen renovation from hell.  Those stories that bond friends, build memories and get passed on to the next generation while sitting on the very deck where Uncle Pete nailed his pants to the stringer board.  First aid aside, those are the moments that I go for.

Women don’t tend to thank in beer.  At least my friends and I don’t.  We don’t tend to thank in wine either as I’m not much of a drinker.  In fact I’m a bit thank you challenged as I’m also allergic to nuts and the chick go-to chocolate.  I can hear the collective gasp at the chocolate issue but don’t fret my friends for there are other ways to thank this challenged indulger.  The promise of a latte or frappucino, depending on the season, is active currency in Lizzyland.  Plus I really don’t enjoy burping in mixed company so a good chat and coffee is much preferred.

It’s been my experience that women find more thoughtful ways to say thank you.  If you happen to share, or once shared, the same dimensions, it could be clothes that need to be passed along.  If you share similar tastes in literature, it could be books or magazines.  That one is right up there with coffee-based yummies for me.  I’m a total sucker for the written word and have been known to go above and beyond on the promise of a good novel.  Or it need not be anything other than a heart-felt thank you for we know it will balance in the end.  We know that our thanks runs deeper than beer.

That being said, this comment is meant in no way to diminish the male barley-based bonding experience that occurs during the thank you.  Men, thank goodness, are for the most part easy to please in the thank you department.  This makes thanking them rather simple.  If they happen to be our significant other, there are other temptations to offer.  Most men I know are happy with three things: food, beer and whoopee.  For my husband, I’d add golf in there and quite frankly I’m not so sure it wouldn’t top the list.

What prompted this particular social commentary was the arrival of several types of beer early this week.  A friend of ours is a Microsoft certified IT and my husband is an Industrial Millwright.  While both are hands-on jobs requiring equal levels of intelligence and skill, it was the mad mechanical skills of my main man that had been in demand.  We have made use, on more than one occasion, of our friends IT skills.  As it was me doing the asking, that thank you involved cookies.  And no that is not a euphemism for anything.  Being a baker has some advantages in the world of thank you’s.  Ask my kids teachers.

This thank you was the result of a sweaty, oily, dirty brake job done in our driveway.  My husband is the proud owner of a vast array of tools including a much coveted air compressor and a set of ramps.  Our basement looks like Canadian Tire and Home Depot got together and thanked each other in a most intimate way.  As a result of this tool treasure trove, my husband gets thanked a lot.  In beer.  It’s win-win from what I can see as then we don’t have to buy it and the tools earn their keep.

What it comes down to I guess is that a thank you is appreciated no matter what.  Why men choose to thank each other in beer may remain a mystery that I would rather discuss than solve.  As long as those providing services feel appreciated then who am I to question the means ?  Whether it’s hops, hugs or lattes it’s the thought that counts.  By the way – the beer picture that I’ve added here ? Yeah – that was my husband’s Christmas present from me.  Thank honey ! Marrying me was probably the strangest thing you’ve done for beer yet … 🙂



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