I've been thinking about writing a post over at the other blog I write for, All Hail the Ale, but worried it would be too much torture reliving the experience of a lovely drink when I'm not able to consume any. Since then, I've been thinking about drinking quite a lot.
I was out shopping in the centre of Morecambe today and visited a couple of discount shops. When it comes to libatables, they always have a new and eclectic mix of stock, presumably because they buy in what's cheap at the time, which will obviously change quite a bit. I just couldn't prepare myself for for what I was looking at. Row upon row of regional ales, international lagers, wines and sparklings, even some mini-liqueurs that looked interesting. All cheap too. I definitely recommend, for those of you who are comfortable with your drinking, Home Bargains and B&M Bargains. It's a go-to treasure trove whether you're looking for something familiar or want to give something new a try. Put it this way; it was tense as I walked down the aisle, two of my minds battling it out, one whispering "Pick up the bottle," and the other shouting "Don't let me down!"
The voice of reason [that is to say, the pro-sober voice!] won out, and I neither bought nor consumed any booze. But it stuck with me. All weekend I've been in some new pubs [due to a visiting Huddersfield and Manchester], and some of the selections have been astounding, notably Anarchy Brew Co beers on tap, and a load of more local ones I'd not seen before. All so close, yet so far...
I've been on the Beck's Blue [in fact, if you're looking for a non-alcoholic beer in this country, it seems you have beaten lottery-like odds if you come across anything other than Beck's Blue. But I digress...]. It sort of satisfies my palate's pleasure-hunt for hops, which is what I thought I was missing, but it doesn't hit the spot fully at all. It makes me wonder, in fact, whether there's something deeper in my love of the taste of beer. Maybe the alcohol is a big part of it?
Nah, that's too much of a stretch. It's impossible to say what it'd be like if other beers were non-alcoholic, because I just don't see them. I've seen three non-alcoholic beers for sale in this country - Beck's, Erdinger and Warsteiner. I've only tried one, because I've only found one while I've not been drinking. They're all lighter, lagery type beers, nowhere near the selection at all that there is in the 'full fat' versions. I know why, of course: there won't be the demand. It's the same at the Wineyard. About one person every six months will ask if you have any alcohol-free drinks. So I'm not complaining about the availability, I'm just saying that it's practically impossible to be satisfied in the way that I was.
But it's not my right be satisfied. Suffering comes from expecting such things.
Just promise me one thing. If you're having a beer tonight, please enjoy it...
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