By Published On: January 10th, 2019320 words1.6 min read

I like to drink beer in another language. It makes me feel sophisticated. It lets me taste the sounds of another tongue on the tip of my tongue. It lets me taste beer too, which is, of course, my chief objective.

Beer in another language comforts you by letting you know that those far away and foreign are comforted by beer too. You might be in different beer families but you’re related. Tasting beer in another language is like a really good visit to that cousin you never see. His cabin on the lake is nice, and thank God, his fridge is stocked with beer.

I see language as the complex system of sounds and symbols that helps us navigate this harsh world until we have a quiet moment to ourselves where we can sip our beer in peace.

Two years ago, I was sitting in a pub in another language. I was looking at the pub’s clock pretending to be bored but being secretly completely happy. The clock was an owl clock with hour and minute hands that had little owls attached to the ends. I briefly wondered if in a parallel universe somewhere, owls were the chief brewers of beer. Maybe they sat at bars in foreign lands and looked up at human clocks with hour and minute hands that had little humans attached at the ends.

I probably wouldn’t fit in very well in that universe, but I think I could find some common ground with the owls by drinking their foreign beer.

After my owl reverie, the bartender asked me a question but I didn’t understand.

He waved his hand, letting me know it was fine that I couldn’t comprehend him, his other hand pouring me another beer from the tap.

He poured himself one too.

We clinked our glasses in cheers. Foreign beer saving our encounter from the limits of language.