For this month’s edition of the Session Bill Vanderburgh at Craft Beer in San Diego asks us to think about ‘Beer and the Good Life’.
There’s no doubt in our minds that beer is one of the good things in our lives, and probably all the more so since it has settled into a quiet kind of obsession.
Back when we were eager fives it probably did more harm than good.
We wasted a bit too much time chasing novelties and rarities, spending entire days on holiday hunting obscure beers purely because they were obscure beers. (But even this gave our wandering purpose and took us to interesting parts of strange towns.)
There were times when sometimes online arguments about beer rolled and replayed in our heads when we wanted to be asleep. (But those arguments informed two books and more than a decade of blogging so silver linings and all that.)
And we had some bad hangovers which cut weekends in half and ruined entire days.
These days, though, beer is a fun thing we enjoy together, and with family and friends. We’re both more fussy (we know what we like with ever greater precision) and less — the choice of beer is definitely now less important than people and pubs.
Stopping for a beer on the way home helps break the routine, forces us to take a moment for ourselves between work and domestic business. There’s a sweet spot about halfway down drink number one where we lighten and sigh.
Beer is conversation — not only a loosener but in its own right a pleasingly unimportant thing to have absorbing, pointless conversations about.
It’s a hobby, too, but these days one that is more about admiring pubs and reading than it is actually drinking — a far cry from those decade-ago evenings spent pairing beer and cheese, or earnestly tasting bottles of American IPA.
If beer disappeared from our lives tomorrow, would we cope? Yes, probably. Between knitting and architecture and music and films and exploring we’d have plenty to occupy ourselves, and tea ain’t so bad as drinks go either.
But we’d certainly miss it and, if it’s all the same to you, we’re happier with it in our lives.