Novel Completion Queries, Day Four

Is the novel finished? NO

Today’s question: Cheese or beer. You must choose one. When you choose one, you are never allowed to have the other again. Which do you choose? (Note: no “cheese made from beer” or “beer made from cheese” loopholes allowed.) Explain your answer if you wish.

Yes, it’s a hard choice. It’s supposed to be hard.

My answer: I don’t drink alcohol at all, so this one is easy for me: Cheese, please.


By John Scalzi

I enjoy pie.

245 replies on “Novel Completion Queries, Day Four”

that isn’t really fair since Cheese in so much. Beer v. Pizza, Lasagna, Tacos, Casseroles, Enchiladas, Cheeseburgers, etc.

Now if it is cheese by itself v. beer by itself, giving up Cheese. But as far as using it as an ingredient, can’t give up cheese.

It seems like a tough choice, but cheese is the easy winner here. Without beer, I could still drink cider & distilled beverages (please don’t throw me in that briar patch). Without cheese, I would be stuck with fake cheeses – ugh.

Cheese, hands-down. If it were Cheese vs Alcohol in General, I might find this to be a harder decision because I link certain occasions very strongly with the consumption of specific alcoholic beverages (mimosas on Christmas Morning, Pina Colada on the beach), but even then I think it would be easier to swap out a non-booze version (sparkling orange juice is a thing!) than to give up cheese. Cheese is awesome.

Years ago, this would have been a harder question. I do enjoy good beer, and I do make my own occasionally, but I don’t get to drink it very often these days. That means I’d feel its loss less keenly if I had to choose now. Also, my three-year-old loves cheese and I’d hate to miss out on sharing it with him.

I love beer…and my first reaction was to keep it. But it only took a second for me to revise that stance. I like cheese by itself and I love pizza and the food of the SW U.S. (chili, tacos, fajitas…) and cheese is such an integral part of this food.
So as many of the respondents have said…I would drop the beer, keep the cheese, and then continue to explore my wine and cheese pairings…

I could probably start drinking wine again, or drink more rum based drinks, so if forced, I’d go with cheese. But I’d continue to stalk the beer section of the grocery store, showing up at inappropriate times, breaking in at night just to rub the condensation off a bottle of Anchor Steam with my knuckle. I’d google up where that 30-pack of Coors Light was going with those two blonde girls. I’d send threatening notes to those hipsters toting out four bottles of Pliny the Elder.

I’m struck by the sheer number of people who are not only choosing cheese over beer, but doing it with practically zero hesitation. While I agree that, as far as I’m concerned, beer tastes vile and the world would only be improved if it were gone, I’m also very much in the “cheese is OK, but if it were gone I’d not really miss it much” camp. And I had always thought that lots of other people actually liked beer. At least, they always *tell* me that they really like beer. But when push comes to shove, it looks like most people will immediately pick what I regard as an “OK but not essential” food over beer.

Which suggests to me that, in fact, people mostly *don’t* actually like beer that much.

I love both. For beers there are so many to choose from: pale ales, stouts, brown ales, cream ales, all those cool fruity-brewed versions, and even the occasional lager. Mmmm.

But I also love cheeses from those smokey cheddars of England to Spanish manchego and Greek feta.

Which would I forsake for the other? A cruel choice. Were I in such a despicable predicament, it would have to be beer. Why? There would still be wine! Crianza! There is nothing that could hope to replace cheese though. So, there you have it.

As long as mead is considered wine and not beer, Easy I’m Cheesy!

If I have to give up mead, too? I’ll miss the bees, but please, give me Cheese.

Damn that’s painful.
But geez,
my choice is still cheese.

Another cheese-chooser here. I like beer just fine, but I don’t drink it often enough to miss it. I would miss brie and having mozzarella on pizza and provolone on sandwiches.

Since I’m not one of the mutants who can digest lactose after puberty, I think I have to pick beer by default. But if I could get rid of this pesky lactose intolerance (the pills don’t work for me, either), cheese all the way. I miss it so much, and with my soy allergy, soy-free dairy-free “cheese” just isn’t the same. I still have a bite or two from time to time when I figure it’s worth being sick the rest of the night, usually if manchego is involved.

Like so many others of you, I don’t drink alcohol at all, so cheese it is. Of course a life without cheese is almost as horrible to contemplate as a life without chocolate.

CHEESE!!! I don’t drink beer (don’t drink much at all) and my life would literally stop if I lost the ability to eat cheese. I have celiacs, so I already lost bread (I know, there are gluten free breads out there, and they’re *okay* but for an Irish/Italian girl, there is no bread like *real* bread. The more gluteny the better) and we were just talking the other day about a friend who can no longer eat dairy at all, and I said (still true) that if you took my cheese and my raw goat milk away from me, I would need medicine for depression and counseling. No joke.

Wow, who would have guessed that the Whateverati were such an anti-beer crowd? Personally, as much as I like cheese (and I’ve been known to consume mass quantities), beer would be the better lifestyle choice. After all, beer is an important part of a balanced breakfast.

I would give up beer. There are so many more types of alcoholic beverages that giving up all cheese would be a disproportionate sacrifice.

“I’m struck by the sheer number of people who are not only choosing cheese over beer, but doing it with practically zero hesitation.” – Tim Eisele

I know!

But the difference is that I love beer!

Craft brewing is a pretty huge deal in Michigan. We get to taste a ton of different beers.

If it was “cheese” vs. large scale, corporate beer (i.e. Buttwipers, Miller, Coors, PBR etc.), then cheese would be an easy choice.

But given the breadth of beers to be experienced, I’ll take beer!

That decision is moderated by the foods I eschewed as part of my effort to peel off a few unnecessary pounds.

By “foods”, I mean pizza, pasta, fast foods, burgers, and pretty much anything that has a remote possibility of including cheese. Low fat and low carb is my approach.

By “a few” I mean 60 so that my BMI is now approaching the normal range. Down to 27.1 from 35.6. 25 is the objective.

Of course, given the carbs in most beers, I have to limit that to a reasonable number per week.

Its still early — 10:45 on the east coast — and the beer drinkers aren’t yet reading blogs. We are a late rising crowd, owing to the headaches.

Beer. I’d keep beer.

Cheese is delightful, and I ate some this morning. But beer? Its the best of all alcohols, the beginning of all human civilization, and the best way to make friends and influence people.

Cheese .. is milk allowed to spoil in just the right way.

While I like beer with some foods, I can get by with wine for most, and I can give up sauerkraut along with beer (or iced tea works with it OK, if not as well). I couldn’t stand the idea of never having cheese again. But I’m glad I don’t actually have to make that choice.

Don’t drink, never have, so yeah I go with cheese all the way. If you eliminate beer, you just get rid of beer. If you eliminate cheese, you don’t have pizza, cheesecake, stuffed potatoes, omelets, smothered hash browns, Cincinnati chili, french onion soup, etc.

I’ve always operated under the theory that cheese is one of the four major food groups. Frankly, if you can’t put cheese, bacon, and garlic in something for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, what’s the point?

I’m from the Upper Midwest, so this is like asking me to decide which of my pets I love best. I never thought I’d say this, but I think I’ll pick cheese. I adore beer, but I think I could learn to replace it with wine. Some of my best recipes involve cheese, and it would be a lot harder for me to learn to live without that. Plus, never having pizza again sounds dreadful.

I feel like I’m cheating a bit when I answer cheese, since I don’t drink, but truthfully there are precious few foods that cheese would not beat. John Cheese is my favorite Cracked columnist. Cheese makes group photos happy. Cheese almost makes Chuck E. tolerable.

A giant animatronic rat, you say? sounds awful.

His name is “Cheese”? Well, I guess I could at least say hello….

Not really a fair question, as it discriminates against drinkers by forcing them to choose, Scalzi. Since you don’t drink (as I don’t), that means it’s not really a choice for us, is it?

As a recovering alcoholic, my choice is easy – Cheese, of course.

I recently had to give up beer (yay celiac yaaaaaaay) and I have not missed it once because there are plenty of other options in the world to drink. I was also supposed to give up dairy but– no. Nope. I tried four different kinds of non-dairy cheese and NOPE. (Yes I tried that Daiya stuff and NOPE).

Not a beer fan. Don’t eat much cheese after a heart procedure last November, but don’t want the option removed. That said, I would give up either before Worcestershire sauce, which is the nectar of the gods.

Beer is gross, cheese is delicious. No choice at all. I’d probably still go cheese if it was cheese vs all alcoholic drinks.
(and yes I’ve tried some ‘good ones’ still gross)

Much as I love a good hoppy ale … cheese. There’s always wine and whiskey, both of which can pair wonderfully with cheese. But life without cheese? Impossible. Cheese plates, cheese on sandwiches, cheese in soups, cheese in casseroles, cheese in sauces, cheese dips, cheese fondue, sweet dessert cheeses, cheese-eggs for breakfast, cheese omelets, cow cheese, goat cheese, buffalo cheese, sheep cheese …. and yes, beer-washed cheese! (There’s an artisanal beer-washed soft cheese made in Vermont called the Winnimere that’s only available in the spring and that is AMAZING!)

What’s that you say? Is it possible that I have a cheese problem? Nonsense. I can stop anytime I want …. maybe.

Tough call, but cheese. Agree with some of the other above, if it were cheese or alcohol, it would be different. But if I can still have a glass of wine or occasional margarita, I think I could give up beer.

Which I just noticed I spelled wrong. Obviously I am not a big drinker, but I still would choose a good, full bodied beer over the less than fun after effects of milk products on my digestive system.

A difficult, almost impossible decision, but for one thing: My wife doesn’t drink beer, but does like cheese.

With the greatest reluctance, and in the interests of domestic tranquility, I would transfer my beer consumption to cider, wine, and distilled beverages.

I have often said (well, twice. Twice is “often”, right?) that if I could safely and healthily live on bread and cheese, I would. I could give up meat (and Iove meat), because sour dough bread and a big chunk of brie is approaching the event horizon of delicious.

I also have a minor medical condition that means I’m allowed very little alcohol (which sucks, because I love beer. It’s yummy).

I’ll take the cheese.

Cheese turns my stomach. I’m not lactose-intolerant, I just really hate cheese. I have met exactly one other person like this (not a relative!) and I usually get the hairy eyeball when I mention it, so feel free. Beer.

I think someone in Wisconsin just had an aneurism considering that question, from the lack of responses I see.

Going to have to go with beer. I make both beer and cheese, but for me I enjoy so much of a broader spectrum of beer than I do cheese. While I love melty gruyere, and adore 3 year old cheddar, it is so hard to beat a properly aged Flanders Red or the aroma in a west coast IPA.

The harder question would really be beer or coffee. While I am not addicted to beer, no really! I don’t need a twelve step program, and I know that you’re all here because you love me. But I couldn’t make it without coffee, my world would come crashing down around me in a pathetic heap of mopey, headachey, cranky detritus as I dropped one ball after another.

No cheese, no pizza. No cheese, no grilled cheese. No cheese, no macaroni and cheese. No cheese, no lasagna (or really, really poor lasagna).

No beer, no… beer. But still wine, cider, scotch, vodka, gin….

I’ll take the cheese, please.

No way! Scalzi, that’s not a fair question if you don’t like beer! So for non-beer drinkers substitute your favorite beverage… pop (soda) coffee, tea, wine…

For me, I drink too much beer so cheese would be the healthy choice.
But I think I would have to give up cheese, I can still have milk, cream, butter, sour cream, curds? What about the “cheese food” they sell in super markets, is that cheese?

Without it you can’t have Formaggio Inbriago (Drunk Cheese) and other yummy stuff like that.

Lorenzo, a guy from the lands of wine and grappa. :-)

Do you people not understand that zombies, with no brains to eat, will go after cheese! Beer they leave alone ’cause they can’t figure out how to get the container open. I will stick with beer. Also find it interesting that a number of respondents admit they made a choice without thinking about it – try that in space (or a zombie pocky-lips) and you will die horribly. BEER! – you can always put hummus on your crackers…

Hm, tough one since I love both. But I have to go with cheese – I could fill the beer-shaped hole in my existence with some red wine. I’d feel guilty for disappointing all those trappist monks though.

Don’t like the taste of beer (I only drink in social situations and as of late to get away from Coke Zero which has been eating at my esophagus – and no water isn’t an alternative that’s what fish have sex in!) and Pizza without cheese is THE WORST.

So I chose cheese. And if I ever wanted beer – there’s enough beer-flavor in the world to just flavor other types of alcohol. You can’t fake cheese.

Cheese. I gave up alcohol and non-pasteurized cheese while pregnant, and now that I’ve had the kid, I still haven’t had beer or wine, but I have had cheese plates with all my favourite imports. A permanent elimination of cheese would be TRAGIC.

Excuse me while I head off to make a sandwich with a delightful aged cheddar and a touch of marmite.

I can probably go the rest of my life with out beer…cheese not so much…besides there are plenty of other adult beverages, not that a drink all that much anyway, already go months at a time without any.

I never was much of a drinker, and since I’m now at an age where I’m on quite a variety of meds for getting-older ailments (so far none serious, thank heaven), the choice is a no-brainer for me too. About my only concession to alcohol is I do love getting those liqueur-filled chocolates for Christmas. And aside from the number of dishes in which cheese is an essential ingredient, just breaking off a hunk from a brick of whatever makes a nice snack, with or without crackers.

Cheese, all day and twice on Sunday. But, to be far, I don’t care at all for beer. Now, if you had posed the cheese/wine choice… that would be hard.

Beer. When I was a child I was allergic to dairy products, so I never developed a taste for cheese. The only way I can tolerate it is in its natural pizza state. With no taste for dairy, I’m good with substituting soy cheese for this major foodgroup. Then I can have a beer with the soy pizza.

DAMN YOU, SCALZI !!!! Now I’ll be obsessing about this question for the next THREE DAYS!
I mean, REALLY! Pizza has cheese on it; beer and pizza are inseparable; therefore, you have presented us with a “Kobayashi Maru” question. You should be pummeled with beer infused cheese!

As much as it would disappoint my boyfriend, cheese. (He has yet to find a beer I like.)
So when my time comes, let me be buried in my Team Cheese t-shirt. Cheesy goodness, forever and always. Amen.

Days of easy questions: cheese cause there is no beer I cannot live without, but life without pizza does not exist even for silicon based bioforms. Hell no I am not living with a monkey. Girls Aloud is pretty decent for a group created by a talent contest; so any song by them: let’s go with Do You Ever See the Day or Biology. I have never had a crush because I am a machine designed by two British guys (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost) for reality show combat.

Bring on Day 5!

(yes, yes, double posting, sorry John)

Non-mutants: not only is there Lactaid, there are cheeses WITHOUT lactose. I’ve had some and they’re plenty tasty. Try them! You’ll probably have to go a cheese shop (Python jokes here) or a fancy expensive grocery like Whole Paycheck, but they do exist and are equally yummy. My lactose-free friends enjoy them a great deal.

I will continue to drink gallons of wine and pints of liquor. I’ve always been meh on beer anyway.

(Today’s breakfast: creamy cheese with garlic and herbs. I only had saltines to go with, but still delightful.)

Lunkertype, what are these lactose-free cheeses? Whole Foods sometimes has “20% off with student ID days” and I miss cheese that isn’t made from tapioca and yeast. (Lactaid pills don’t work for me, alas, though the milk is fine for cooking with). It’d be nice to cook something me and my best friend can eat, since eggs and cheese are her main sources of protein.

Tough choice indeed but I think cheese takes the gold because it’s so versatile. I also imagine the injuries at the Cheese-Rolling At Cooper’s Hill In Gloucestershire would be much more substantial if people were chasing a keg of beer.

There are a lot more cheeses I can eat than there are beers (even if I were really fond of berm very few beers are gluten free), so definitely cheese.

I can always drink wine, so although I’ll really miss an ice cold beer after mowing the lawn, (maybe I could investigate cider), it has to be cheese.

Easily cheese. Might have had to think about it if your question was “Cheese or Alcohol”, but since I tend to prefer Tequila/Margaritas to Beer anyway, this was definitely an easy answer.

Beer!!! Look, me being diabetic and all, I’m not supposed to have either. However, I can live without cheese. There’s plenty of items that traditionally have cheese, but don’t have to have it. Tacos, burritos, and chili (yes, I can live without pizza because I rarely have it any more). To name just a few. All of those don’t have to have it. But I can’t live without having a smooth Heineken or Coors light (also to name a few) once in a while.

a post asking people to decide on beer or cheese already has 183 posts. I will never havea popular blog. It would never occur to me that a post like this would be this popular. This just tells me how much I suck.

I once saw Michael Agnew of A Perfect Pint speak at a cheese festival. He argued that beer and cheese are the same thing. They both start with grass, which is turned to sugar by enzymes (either by malting/mashing or in a cow) and then fermented into the final product.

If forced to choose, I guess I’d go with the cow-style fermented grass.

It all boils down to which you like more. with cheese, there are more varieties to like, I do enjoy a good beer, but a GOOD beer for me is harder to find, and truth be told I’m more of a cider person, but is that a beer? I personally say no because I don’t want to have to make the choice. but hey, there’s always Disaronno!

I don’t drink, so it isn’t really even a choice. Cheese, please.

It would probably have been a more difficult choice for many people if cheese had been set against any and all drinks containing alcohol.

Cheese, because pizza without cheese is a far worse thing than pizza without beer. And if there’s no ale-stout-porter loophole I can still have wine.

I lived in Wisconsin too long to want to answer such an evil and thoroughly demented question but having disciplined myself, (harumph), I am going to go with …… CHEESE!, no!, BEER, NOOooooo!….. Arrgghh! (brain melts).

That devil picture you posted? It’s TRUE!

So when’s the book due for release? I will read it with both cheese AND beer at my side, warding me against your evil ways. (flounces off to the store)

Cheese, no contest…plus it would give me a ready excuse for ordering Scotch or red wine without all the beer drinkers thinking I’m a snob.

“It was beer or cheese, folks. Scalzi made me do it! Now all I have left is this exquisite 18 year old single-malt glass of sweet sweet ambrosia direct from the Queen of the Hebrides. It’s a heavy sacrifice, but cheese was on the line. Cheese, Gromit!

Cheese. I can’t have beer at every meal. (Well, yes, I suppose I CAN – and beer at breakfast used to be common a century or two back – but cheese is just as tasty and far more versatile.)

Not a beer/alcohol drinker, so for a challenge, I substitute tea for beer. Tea vs cheese, tea vs cheese, tea.. vs….cheese… yikes, my challenge is hard.. I spose tea is healthier, and I have tea every day whereas cheese is maybe once a week. So tea. Whew… I need a drink.

Cheese, which I like, over alcohol, which I don’t.

Actually, I have a hard time thinking of any food I would select over cheese in a question like this. Salt, maybe. Or milk. But the only use I have for beer is in fish and chips, and I’m sure that can be managed without beer in the batter.

Too easy. Beer can be beautiful, like a great song you hear on the radio…

… but cheese is the voice of your lover who wakes you in the morning, with promises of all the earthly delights.

No contest.

Cheese. Because I can eat it while drinking wine and I could never give up pizza. Also, at some point in time I will likely get to that age where you decide that drinking beer, wine, any alcohol at all makes you feel bad. It seems like everyone old person I know has made that decision. And then I would be without cheese as well.

Crap. Cheese is not good for me health-wise. Yet not having it in pizzas or burritos would truly hurt. OTOH, beer, whether it’s Guinness, Beck’s or Leinenkugel, is fantastic. Yet I could also get buzzed through red wine or vodka or tequila. So it’s cheese for me, but in moderation.

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