This month marks another first Friday where I didn’t get my post for The Session written on the actual day—hopefully this won’t become a trend, but for now, let’s take a look at this month’s Session topic. It was hosted by Douglas of Baltimore Bistros & Beer, and he’s chosen a surely-provocative theme: Why do you drink?
There are plenty of people out there who wish that alcohol consumption ceased to take place and would be happy for prohibition to rear it’s ugly head once again. Others, while not looking to ban alcohol altogether, are quick to judge those of us who drink more than what they would consider a proper amount. As I get older, I’ve lost the urge to defend my life decisions, but there was a time when judgment about the liquids I chose to put in my mouth made me feel self-conscious.
And that’s where my idea for this month’s Session topic came from. It’s easy to find article after article on the internet telling us that alcohol is bad. 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. 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?
This seems particularly apropos as I’m currently neck deep in researching Prohibition for the book; doing a deep dive into the subject can definitely bring a new appreciation to questions like these. However, my answer to this particular question is probably a bit prosaic. Why do I drink? Pleasure.
Not the “pleasure” one derives from drinking to get drunk—there are far more efficient liquors than beer available for that—but the same kind of pleasure one gets from, say, eating gourmet meals. Why do you eat good food, when ordinarily, unremarkable canned foods will offer you the same nourishment? You do it for the experience and the pleasure of enjoying something that elevates the senses; you do it to enhance your understanding of what beer (or food, or whatever) can be.
And yes, sometimes you drink for the alcohol. And sometimes you shouldn’t have that second piece of cheesecake. But just as long as it’s not a habitual excess, well, then, enjoy responsibly.