I’ve been enjoying beer for 42 years, during which I’ve
sampled over three thousand brews in 44 states, and
thirteen foreign countries (14 if you count California!),
written hundreds of reviews and articles about the
subject, brewed over 80 batches of homebrew,
toured dozens of breweries, visited over 80 brewpubs,
and countless “beer bars”.
In addition I’ve collected almost three hundred
different beer glasses, 1600 beer labels, 65 books on
the subject, 1000 bottle caps, 250 beer trays,
thousands of coasters, signs, tap knobs and other
beer advertising memorabilia, and, for some
inexplicable reason, hundreds of cardboard six-pack
holders. But ENOUGH is ENOUGH!
Now that I’m 60, I’ve decided to stop. That’s right….
STOP! Never again will the malt beverage touch my
lips. Never again will I visit a pub or brewery. Never
again will I drag home stuff that’s completely worthless
to anyone but a beer enthusiast. I’ll never read
another word about the subject, nor will I watch any of
the video recordings I have of brewery history, tours
or travelogues. I’ll not attend another meeting of my
beer club, the Draught Board 15 and although I may
occasionally stop in at my local pub, the Gaslight, to
see some old friends, I’ll only order Perrier water or
perhaps an occasional small glass of white Zinfandel.
And, unfortunately for readers of “Beer My Way”, this
will be my last contribution to “Beer Nexus.com”.
There are many reasons that contributed to this
monumental decision. I can’t possibly list them all, so I’
ll merely highlight the most important:
1. The expense. Due to extreme market conditions,
the price of malt and hops is skyrocketing. The
average craft brew will soon cost $10 or $11/sixpack,
and I’ll not contribute to this sort of insanity. Beer… a
beverage for the masses? No longer!
2. The decision making process. No longer will I
suffer the angst I’ve experienced in the past when I’ve
walked into a new liquor store and found ten or twenty
different brews I’d never tried before. Having sworn to
spend only $30 to $35 to buy a case or so, and
realizing that trying them all was not in the budget, I
was forced to spend valuable time agonizing over
which to buy, trying to determine which was the
freshest and then second guessing myself on the way
home as to whether or not I’d made the correct
decision, or worse yet, arriving home, opening a
bottle, and discovering spoiled, undrinkable slop that
forcibly informed me that I had, in fact, made entirely
the wrong decision. Drinking Coca-Cola or Dad’s Old
Fashioned Root Beer will eliminate this problem.
3. Driving. We’ve all gotten behind the wheel when
we probably shouldn’t have. I’ve either been extremely
luck or extremely careful over the past 42 years, but
I’ll never have to worry again. Since I won’t be drinking
beer or venturing into taverns, I can blissfully drive by
any enthusiastic cop at any time of night or day, as
long as I’m not on the phone and my seat belt is
4. Storage. In the past I’ve had to spend time re-
situating and even removing bottles from my beer
refrigerator to make room for Thanksgiving pies,
turkeys, birthday cakes and other occasional additions
to the refrigeration needs of our household. Since no
more beer will be brought home, the “beer fridge” can
easily be pressed into service on any holiday eve!
5. Eliminating “rented” beer. The agony of a train
ride from Hoboken or a subway ride from Shea
Stadium with a belly full of suds and no men’s room in
sight will cease to be a problem. Likewise, arising in the
middle of the night to answer a call a nature and
attempting to sneak downstairs without awakening the
dog will become a thing of the past. Previously, I’ve
reluctantly let her out, then stood shivering and
thinking of my warm sack while she sniffed around for
“just the right spot” or indignantly chased small
nocturnal animals from her turf. Now I’ll be able to
sleep until dawn. The dog be damned!
6. Parading. For even longer than my 42 year beer
drinking life, I’ve been parading with Philadelphia
Mummers, the Quantico Marine Band and the Essex
Shillelagh Pipes and Drums. Parade delays will now be
simply tolerated, without having to seek out woods,
gas stations, dumpsters, the other side of parked
trucks and even private homes. See #5 above:
Eliminating rented beer.
7. Lapses in the Lenten fast. In previous years I’ve
eschewed the pleasure of drinking beer during Lent,
but always made excuses for St. Patrick’s Day, band
trips and the like. Now that I won’t be drinking beer at
all, I’ll be able to more devoutly fulfill my Lenten
obligations and concentrate on denying myself
something equally as pleasurable, such as pate de foie
8. Lifting. Dragging cases of 16oz. bottles of
Pennsylvania beer into the house makes for a
chiropractor’s payday. The very occasional bottle of
chardonnay will seem like a feather by comparison.
9. Recycling. Lugging out the recycling can on
alternate weeks will be significantly easier. Only a few
Campbell ’s soup cans and plastic milk jugs will make
for a much less painful garbage day.
10. Glassware. Searching for the proper glass from
which to drink a particular style of beer will no longer
cause a delay in slaking one’s thirst. Who cares in
what kind of glass a coke is served?
Ah yes! It seems that my life will become less
demanding now that beer, in all it’s aspects, will no
longer be part of it. I look forward to many more years
of blissful existence without the cost and problems
that beer imparts. So, for the last time……………..
APRIL FOOLS!!! When’s the next Draught Board 15
has to say
and it could
Beer My Way.........
Beernexus.com proudly presents....DAN HODGE, beer reviewer, historian and raconteur
anything and everything about beer
by Dan Hodge