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Beer and a Bump

March 24, 2008 | 7 Comments

Host:
Say, I was wondering what the "bump" is in "beer and a bump" when you stop by the Sidetrack Tap in Lake Wobegon? My kids and I listen to tapes of the stories when traveling in the car. We are guessing it's a shot of whiskey. I wish someone could validate or straighten us out on this one.

Thank you,
April


I think parents are supposed to lie to kids in a situation like this and say, "I don't know and I don't care," or say, "The beer is root beer and the bump is when you belch, you're supposed to stand back to back with your best friend and bump behinds and then waggle them back and forth as you turn counter-clockwise." But you're right, it's whiskey in a shot glass. The bartender pulls a glass of beer and sets it down and sets the shot glass down smartly next to it and then fills it almost to the brim with Jim Beam or some other non-fancy hooch and you hold the shot glass up and salute the bartender and you toss it down, chased by a swig of beer. I haven't done this for thirty years or so, but I remember the sensation. The burn in the throat and the warmth in the chest and then how good the cold beer tastes. One beer and one bump gives you a nice warm buzz and then you sit in the tavern with your pals and have a couple more beers and shoot the breeze and study any strangers who come in. Such as that woman and her kids who got out of their car and came in here. Who are they? Why are they watching us? Where are they traveling to? Hey, wait a minute! Did she just ask Wally what's in the shot glass? I cannot believe it!! Where is she from? Not from around here. Oh well, it takes all kinds.


7 Comments


I was at a bar in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle last night with some fellow Minnesotan ex-pats and was knocked off my feet to see a "Minnesota Martini" on the menu, which, the waitress informed us, was a half pint of beer and a shot of whiskey, or a "beer and a bump."


Although I have never personally 'drained' one, your talk of a "beer and a bump" reminded me of a good old Boilermaker, aka a shot of whiskey dropped into a mug of beer and downed quickly. We Purdue alumni (even those of us who do not drink them) are proud of both the drinks and the university our mascot stands for.


My Dad, who passed away in his lifelong home of Baltimore in 2003 always had what he called a "shot and a beer". This one is kind of obvious, but the shot was always good old Jim Beam.


My Dad (and his family), from Central PA, always says "beer and a bump". His preference is for Scotch, but the recipe simply calls for one (1) shot and one (1) beer. Dropping the shot glass into the beer, although something that shows up in various regions, isn't done with the classic beer and bump -- at least, as I know it.


I'm glad Keillor straightened me out ont the order of imbibing with a beer and a bump.

I pictured sipping a tall, cold tap beer to the bottom, then finishing it off with a whisky out of a shot glass. The thought was the shot would puntucate the mellow feeling from the beer with a rush.

Keillor said, "You hold the shot glass up and salute the bartender and you toss it down, chased by a swig of beer. I remember the sensation. The burn in the throat and the warmth in the chest and then how good the cold beer tastes. One beer and one bump gives you a nice warm buzz . . . "

Makes sense to me!

Either way it's a sublime end to any day when a man (or a woman) desires a little reinforcement at the end of the work day.


It also a reference to cocaine. A bump is a small hit. Just a nice little pick me up.


Joe, I know this you posted four years ago, but I'm from a beer-and-a-shot man from Baltimore, too -- Beam being my choice from the shot. With your father, I'm guessing the beer was Natty Boh?

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