The Session #139: The Good Life

Cruzcampo beer mascot.

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.)

Hitchcock style poster: OBSESSION.

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.

3 thoughts on “The Session #139: The Good Life”

  1. This reflects the poise and nuance the fur­ther years bring, or should bring, so no cav­ils.

    As to me, it applies “mutatis mutan­dis”, except, were beer to die tomor­row, there is always gin. 🙂

    Gary

  2. One more point, hang­overs. Like most who like a drink, these have been expe­ri­enced, but not for some 40 years now. Both for health and taste rea­sons, these are ver­boten. Per­haps too though it’s a ques­tion of con­sti­tu­tion, I couldn’t abide these episodes, and learned fast, self-con­trol. This has enhanced beer for me, not the con­trary.

    Gary

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