This month’s beer blogging session is hosted by Baltimore Bistros and Beer, who wants us to explain why we drink:
I know the default answer a lot of us fall back on is “it’s nice to sit back with a good beer after a stressful day of work”, and while that’s true, I’m looking for answers that aren’t so obvious to people who aren’t fans of our hobby. 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?
Taking this at face value, the answer is simple: we drink beer because almost everyone else does. It’s part of our culture, innit?
Living in Britain, you don’t have to drink to bond with friends and family, but it’s harder if you don’t. And what you drink doesn’t have to be beer, but that is the default: the question ‘Fancy a pint?‘ is loaded with meaning.
Getting tipsy with other people (sharing a moment of vulnerability) is a highly effective way of building camaraderie. It loosens the lock on the barrier between the emotions and the tongue and makes it easier to connect with other people.
But, looking again, the question is really, ‘Why do we drink the way we do, and then go and write about it?’
If we could no longer drink beer, even if we could still get tiddly on wine or spirits, we’d be absolutely distraught.
In general, we get greater sensual thrill from beer than any other type of drink. A decent pint or interesting bottled beer, quite apart from their intoxicating effect, seem to tickle the pleasure centre of our brains.
Why do people eat anything other than vitamin pills and bran? Why do they look at paintings, read books, listen to records, or watch TV? Same thing.
As for thinking and writing about beer… well, that might just be a problem with our personalities, taking a cat apart to see how it works, to paraphrase Douglas Adams.