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US politics

The looming battle over beer

Kid Rock showing Bud Light who’s boss. Twitter/@kidrock

Bud Light recently sent some beers to a transgender influencer called Dylan Mulvaney, says Dave Pell in Substack, and because “this is America in 2023”, all hell broke loose. Disgusted that the country’s best-selling beer was, in their eyes, going woke, many conservatives stopped drinking the stuff – nationwide sales fell 17% in a single week. The musician Kid Rock posted a video of him gleefully shooting up cans of the beer; two of the brewer’s marketing employees were placed on leave. All totally “ludicrous”, of course. But I suspect this is a preview of “America’s next great culture war”: a debate not about “which terrible beer to drink”, but about whether to drink any alcohol at all.

The dividing line will be that “pesky woke-ass area of cultural elite study known as science”. After years of telling us moderate drinking was fine – maybe even good for you – scientists are now saying it is actually very bad. In terms of cancer risk, one study found that drinking a bottle of wine a week is the equivalent of smoking between five and 10 cigarettes; some 15% of all breast cancers are now thought to be caused by alcohol. These findings are scaring the pants off “health-conscious coastal elite types”, who are curbing their intake accordingly. But conservatives? Not so much. Before long, one America will be “sipping mocktails in the passenger seat of their self-driving e-cars” while the other America is in the back of a pick-up truck, swilling shots from a “hollowed-out AR-15”.