‘‘It’s easy to find article after article on the internet telling us that alcohol is bad,’’ he explains. ‘‘As beer bloggers it’s safe to say we all disagree. Let’s take the opportunity as a group to tell people why we do drink and how it improves our life for the better …. Beer is bigger than a liquid ‘‘chill pill’’ or we wouldn’t have gone about setting up a blog and dedicating so much of our time discussing it. So, what is it that compels you to drink and what would your life be missing if beer was no longer an option for you?’’
Doug’s timing with this Session topic could hardly have been better. Last month was a beer-free one for me. Part of the reason I became a dryathlete – apparently that’s what they’re calling it these days – was to reassess my relationship with beer. The urge to call it quits for a month was driven by an earlier thought that I couldn’t do without beer for a month. I didn’t like what that said about me so I figured I had to go without just to prove it was I and not beer who was the boss.
During that month off I did ponder the exact question posed by Doug – why DO I drink?
It wasn’t a question I’d hadn’t bothered with before but a decision not to drink for a month tends to make you think about things like this. When you can’t have a beer for a month, you tend to notice how often you feel like one. On the other side of the coin, you also tend to notice that those urges diminish the longer you go without one (which is the exact opposite of what I expected).
I know I don’t drink because I’m addicted. Well, not addicted to alcohol. I am addicted to becoming heavily involved in things I love. I’m also a book geek and will happily buy a book even though I have at least a hundred others sitting at home waiting to be read. I’ll also see a book I already own but sporting a different cover and feel a compulsion to buy it again. It’s the accumulation I enjoy as much, if not more, than the consumption.
It’s a similar story with beer. I buy a few bottles of the stuff a week, even though I’ve already got heaps at home. So much in fact that I end up cellaring most of it by default (ie taking ages to get around to drinking it).
Since my dry month ended, I’ve moved onto the Weekday Wagon. That means I only drink from after work on Friday to Sunday night. That was one of the measures I was thinking about last month. Another was to make more of an effort to enjoy the beer I’m drinking. So that means focusing on the beer, not trying to log it into Untappd, tell everyone on Twitter about it, sip mindlessly while watching TV or reading a book or whatever. I enjoy craft beer for the flavour so it makes sense to focus on that more.
Why else do I like it? Well, it gets me all tipsy. Or drunk. Yeah, I said it – funny how many beer blogs you can read before you come across a reference to being drunk. I’m as guilty of this as anyone else. A lot of craft beer geeks seem to avoid talking about the elephant in the room – that beer gets you drunk. Which is odd given that we’re the ones drinking things like 10 per cent imperial stouts.
I obviously like beer so much that I bang on about it on this here blog. What draws me to do that? Well, I like writing – and I like the camaraderie that builds up when you write a blog. You get to meet other beer geeks – some just drink, others drink and blog, others still drink and podcast. And, like any other hobby, it’s always fun to talk to someone who has the same passion as you.
So to get right down to it. I drink craft beer because of craft beer people. I reckon craft beer wouldn’t be anywhere near as enjoyable if you were the last person on Earth.
And if you were, what would be the point of checking anything into Untappd?