The phrase "free as in beer" makes no sense. It never did.
"Free as in free beer" only makes marginally more sense. I've been hearing it for years, and my mind seems to skip over the "free" and concentrate on the "beer", and beer is a good thing, right? (Though to be honest, the Free Software world's beer fixation is not one of its healthier characteristics.)
"Free beer" might have been amusing coming from RMS, but it's not useful. Let's leave "free beer" to the brewers, and stop using it for its explanatory power.