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Beer in the afterlife


Pop quiz: If you were reincarnated, what would be your chosen form? Me? I don’t know—it’s Monday, so I guess I’d chose someone who’s completed their to-do list. That’s not really thinking in the long-term, but I can point you in the direction of someone who has. Last week, Deadspin posted a 1980 “High Times” article featuring baseball legend Bill “Spaceman” Lee. In it, the former Red Sox/Expos pitcher mused on a number of topics, including reincarnation. Have a gander:

“I believe that you come back as whatever you’ve abused in the previous life. But you’d be happy, you know? If you’re a dope smoker, you might come back as a tree, and get processed into a Zig Zag or something. You’ll be a wrapper. Maybe a tree’s whole goal in life is to get smoked. I hope I come back as grain in the field and get turned into some of the finest Dortmunder Union beer in Germany. And that then Pelé will drink me.”

Lofty dreams, indeed. “Spaceman” is still alive and doing well (so is Pelé, for that matter). And while Lee’s waiting for an all-powerful being to turn him into grain for Pelé’s palate, he’s kept busy in the world of fermentable beverages: You can still find bottles of Spaceman Red, a California syrah, in the Northeast, and Magic Hat brewed a beer back in 2004 called Spaceman Ale.

So, following in Lee’s cosmic footprints: If you were to be reincarnated as barley, what beer style would you be, and who would drink you? I’m going with the sourest lambic imaginable and Katy Perry…before a show, so the beer makes it hard for her to sing.


Chris Staten is DRAFT’s beer editor. Follow him on Twitter at @DRAFTbeereditor and email him at

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