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Hey Tom Hiddleston, What the Hell Is a “Dirty Beer”?

Nearly lost amid the flurry of takes about Meryl Streep’s speech at last night’s Golden Globes was actor Tom Hiddleston’s preposterous and bizarre self-congratulation. Hiddleston won best actor in a TV show or limited series for his role in The Night Manager, but Taylor Swift’s ex-fling was quick to put the credit where it belongs, which is with accomplished people who admire him:

A quick story, I know it’s been a long night. I recently went to South Sudan, the youngest country in the world—in East Africa—with the United Nations’ Children’s Fund. I do a little bit of work with them, try to help spread the word as best I can. There’s a terrible situation happening for children—The Night Manager is about arms dealing, and there are too many arms going into South Sudan. …

One night we were having a bite to eat at the canteen where we were staying, and a group of young men and women tottered over to the table, and we were all having what they call a “dirty beer” in humanitarian language. They were a group of Médecins Sans Frontières doctors and nurses. And they wanted to say hello because during the shelling the previous month, they had binge-watched The Night Manager. And the idea that I could provide―or that we could provide―some relief and entertainment for the people who worked for UNICEF and Médecins Sans Frontières and the World Food Program, who are fixing the world in the places where it is broken, made me immensely proud.”

All hail Tom Hiddleston, actor in a TV show that people with important, stressful jobs once binged-watched. There’s a lot to unpack here, but first: What the hell is a “dirty beer”?

There’s no universally accepted definition for “dirty beer.” Urban Dictionary claims a “dirty beer” is a beer (or maybe it’s a prostitute?) had without one’s wife’s knowledge. Contributors to this parenting message board evidently say “dirty beer” to remind their children that daddy’s juice is bad, no touchy. A post on homebrewtalk.com claims “dirty beer” is slang for a Guinness and Pepsi concoction. Or maybe “dirty beer” involves a shot of espresso, like a dirty chai for fatigued NGO employees who also really, really need a drink?

Then there’s this “dirty beer” YouTube video demonstrating an extremely low-rent dirty martini made out of Bud Light, olives, and salt:

What I think happened is: Someone told Hiddleston that whatever they happened to be drinking at that very moment (Guinness and coffee?) was called a “dirty beer.” Hiddleston believed it. Then he went to the Golden Globes to tell his Hollywood friends about his new buddies in Médecins San Frontières, who are all doctors and like to discuss international relations over “dirty beers.” Oh, of course they loved The Night Manager. And no, I can’t give you Taylor’s number, would you please stop asking, please?