Starbucks (you know, the quaint little coffee shop with outlets on every block and occasionally across the street from one another) is testing a new latte flavor – beer.
According to “Kitchen Daily,” “the coffee giant is testing a beer-flavored drink that comes iced or hot, as well as in Frappuccino form.”
I think I speak for many of us when I say, “Eeuww.”
You hardly know where to begin with something like this. I guess we could start with the headline, which crowed that Bigbucks was creating a coffee flavor men would love. It’s the Homer Simpson equation – man equals beer lover.
Plus, it would seem to indicate that men are on the lookout for new ways to drink beer, I guess because the customary methods have all gotten so old hat. You know, once you’ve opened one beer bottle and poured the contents (either into a glass or into yourself), you’ve opened them all. Or something.
Personally, I’m having a hard time getting my mind wrapped around the idea of a beer latte, particularly a HOT beer latte.
Hot beer. The mind reels. I’ve had warm beer before but that was only because it was a dusty day and I was impatient. But hot? I repeat: “Eeuww.”
Then there’s the notion of what goes into a beer latte. Beer and coffee and frothy milk. It’s almost as ghastly sounding as the beer milkshake “pioneered” by a certain hamburger restaurant named after a scarlet bird. Oh, OK. Red Robin. As I recall, they had that as an item a couple of years back. Maybe they still do. It’s been a minute since I’ve visited there.
Anyway, if you’ve read your Steinbeck, you know that the combination of beer and dairy products is not a new idea. At one point in the story of “Cannery Row,” Steinbeck’s character Doc is positively haunted by the idea of a beer milkshake:
“He wondered what a beer milkshake would taste like. The idea gagged him a bit but he couldn’t let it alone. It cropped up every time he had a glass of beer. Would it curdle like milk? Would you add sugar? It was like a shrimp ice cream. Once the thing got into your head you couldn’t forget it. He finished his sandwich and paid Herman. He purposely didn’t look at the milkshake machines lined up so shiny against the back wall. If a man ordered a beer milkshake, he thought, he’d better do it in a town where he wasn’t known. But then, a man with a beard, ordering a beer milkshake in a town where he wasn’t known – they might call the police.”
Better, I think to round up the people who had the beer latte idea, and the people who couldn’t take a joke and actually created a beer milkshake, and throw the book at them. Except it’s a cruel thing to do to a great book. I love “Cannery Row.”
Oh, and for those who wondered: Yes, Doc gets his beer milkshake. It tasted like stale beer and milk. And I’m pretty sure nobody called the cops
“It’s not so bad,” he said, “when you get used to it.”
At least it was cold.
Redmond is an author, journalist, humorist and speaker. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on speaking fees and availability, visit www.spotlightwww.com.