Passable Beer Reviews logo.

Swipe Light

tall, thin can of Southern Tier Swipe Light ale.

As I find myself entering an age at which one might begin yelling at clouds, I try my best to avoid being an old man yelling at clouds. But some days I can't fight the compulsion to tell the kids to get the hell off my lawn. Sadly, this will be one of those days. I understand why a brewery would name a beer after a meme based on a dating app, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

I get the sense that a growing number of adults enjoying some their first few legal beers have no use for Grandpa's light beers. And with good reason. Millennial disdain for Bud/Miller/Coors is a point in the generation's favor. And if you want to catch the eye of this market segment, I guess you could do worse than asking them to "Swipe Right" on something.

Not everything new needs to be meme-related, though. Despite my love for the Spider-Men pointing at each other meme, I would be fine if internet culture in general just went away. The internet runs the good memes (even Spider-Men) into the ground after about five seconds. For every good meme, there are roughly 100,000 bad ones currently being shared by people you thought you loved.

Sure, one could make a killing by slapping Fortnite on a can and calling it a "Performance Ale" or "Gamer Fuel" — actually, Mountain Dew already did it — but that doesn't mean it should be done. I enjoyed Southern Tier's version of a Passable Beer — a lot, actually — I'm just not sure I'm ready to give it "Would Date" status on Tinder. I am currently in a long-term relationship with Sierra Nevada, and one of our relationship rules is no dating apps.

For some reason, I had always assumed Southern Tier was located somewhere in the Southern United States. The brewery is actually in Western New York and is a lot closer to Toronto than Atlanta. Southern Tier's market reach is well earned; it brews good beer. With such a good reputation, it should be able to name a Passable Beer just about anything they want and we, the Passable Beer Lovers of American (PBLA), should feel inclined to try it.

That a brewery like Southern Tier felt the inclination to name a damn fine beer "Swipe Light" to grab attention is an indictment of both the need to capture eyeballs in an oversaturated beer market and our own technology-obsessed culture. Every generation worries about the next one — and it has always been for naught, generally — but dammit, kids, you don't need Instagram Influencers telling you what beers to drink. You have for that.

Now, with my daily cloud-yelling exercises out of the way, I need to go eat a high-fiber breakfast and rub some ointment on my sore shoulder before telling the kids next door that I'm keeping their soccer ball the next time it lands in my yard.

Other Ratings