The Session, AKA Beer Blogger Friday. It’s a community movement and creation of Jay Brooks and Stan Hieronymus to bring beer bloggers from around the world together to discuss interesting topics and tackle provocative questions concerning anything beer or beer blogging related. The thing that makes The Session stand out from other monthly writing challenges is that Jay and Stan have passed the reins over to the people. Bloggers volunteer to act as hosts during certain months, and as such, put forth a topic or question of his or her choosing, allowing a wide range of people to inject their varied interests and views into the exercise. On the first Friday of the month, everyone publishes a blog post in response to the host’s topic or question, and he or she will summarize them in a roundup post. I’ve checked it out in the past. The topics are usually interesting, the participants seem to be having a blast, and I’ve stayed as far away from it as possible.
Not for any negative reason. I think The Session is a great thing. But specified topics and deadlines normally do not play well here at tDoB and the few times I’ve thought about joining in on the fun, my brain just short circuited against it to the point where I just had to admit defeat.
But then I received this Tweet a few weeks back from Doug Smiley over at Baltimore Bistros and Beer with a personal invitation to me and a few others to join in on his hosted month for The Session.
I really try not to turn down personal requests from fellow bloggers (although sadly, I have had to say no to a few in the past) because I figure if someone took the time reach out to me, the least I can do is give it a try. So with that attitude of good will, I went over to Doug’s site to see what his topic was.
“Why do you drink?”
Oh god. Then I went down the comments and found Oliver over at Literature and Libation chiming in, “Great topic. I think a lot of beer guys dodge this question”. Well yeah! Nothing puckers a beer lover’s ass like the question, “why do you drink?” The question is usually laced with a lethal dose of contempt, condemnation, and judgment; whether it be from a holier-than-thou tea totaler, an overly concerned friend or family member, or worse yet a guy in a white lab coat with the letters MD after his name who just happens to be scanning the results of your latest blood chemistry tests. No, this question is normally a live grenade tossed inside a barroom full of beer lovers who can’t decide if they should save their comrades or the glass of Pliny they’re holding in their hand (heads up: don’t be the guy with the red shirt on). It is a totally evil question. And one I normally wouldn’t respond to. Except.
Doug being a fellow beer blogger, is bringing none of this angst or judgement to the table. No, as a fellow lover of beer he seriously wants to know why the thing that brings so much fun and joy to his life, does so in mine. A serious inquiry on what I see as the positives of beer drinking, not the negatives. Doug goes on to ask that we give more than the “chill pill” response, you know, that beer is fun to drink while relaxing and watching a game with friends; and really wants to know, “…what is it that compels you to drink and what would your life be missing if beer was no longer an option for you?” Ok, here ya go.
And I have no answer. None. Not even a smart-ass one. I doubt there truly is “an answer”, as the question resonates so deeply within each individual person, forged from years of experiences, that coming up with an answer, even on a personal level would be a hard nut to crack. That being said, I will take a few minutes to put forth some “beliefs” I have. Some of these revolve around how I believe life would be different, or lacking, if beer were not an option for me (and to others), some demonstrate how certain activities I enjoy, either doing myself or reading about from others, would be no where near as fun without beer, and some are just stupid things that popped into my head. But all totaled, I believe they form, if not a crystal clear, pin point answer as to why I drink, then at least a nebula within which floats an essence as to “Why I drink”. Or probably not even close. Which is why I don’t normally do this kind of thing. Let’s go….
- I believe no one has fond memories of the first soda they bought with their own money at a ballpark.
- I believe no one writes blog posts on all the interesting flavors they get in water, nor should anyone.
- I believe that finding out that the girl you just started dating is perfectly OK with just going out for wings and a pitcher of V-8 just does not scream “potential soul mate” enough.
- I believe you can not wash crabs down with Yoohoo (you can’t, I’m speaking for experience here.). Same for BBQ.
- I believe fire halls would not raise any money hosting Beef and Buttermilks
- I believe you can not get 4-8 people excited to tour a Coke-a-Cola plant because they find it interesting and look forward to the free samples at the end.
- I believe you do not get the same level of satisfaction from making your own tea.
- I believe the first time you and your dad sat down and had a glass of apple juice together was probably not a “coming-of-age” moment. You were probably five, and you were probably at a Denny’s.
- I believe aging milk in the fridge for 2-5 years to see “how it changes” is not only ill advised, it’s probably deadly.
- I believe no one wants to friend me on UnKeurigd
- I believe no one cares enough to argue if low pulp orange juice is less than 4% pulp or less than 4.5% pulp.
- I believe no one wants to trade you a couple of cans of Full Throttle energy drink for a couple of cans of Monster energy drink just because you can’t get any in your area.
- I believe Frappuccinotography is not a thing. Nor should it be.
- I believe no one’s “white whale” should be Squirt.
And finally…. I believe I would not have as many awesome experiences, traveled to as many interesting places, and most importantly, met some many interesting people if craft beer was not in my life. Memories made and friendships forged over a common love of a simple drink whose long standing history in world culture sets it apart from all but a few other libations. This is why I drink. Mmmmm, I guess there WAS an answer after all.
I’d like to thank Doug for taking the time to host this month’s Session, and also for the invite.
Time for another beer…