Confessions of a Beer Geek 07/07/2011
As you may have read in my guest bloggage on Ghost Drinker's site (see below), I have stepped up my interest in all things beer and got involved in blogging in a very small way. This has left me wanting more and having touted my offerings to the established beer Blogeratti and drawn a blank, I figured what the hell I'll post it on my own blog, which was always intended to be purely for 'Brew Day' purposes. So here goes nothing;
I’ve always been terrible with money. Since walking away form the National Provincial Building Society with my first saving account bank book gripped firmly in my pre-pubescent mitt, to just yesterday when I clicked ‘confirm order’ with my slightly older, pin-number-worn peter pointer (that’s a finger, nothing smutty). The problem is, that unless you stay at home in a quiet, darkened room with your eyes shut, humming ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ you will succumb to a vice or two. To be frank, there have been a few over the years, some that I will remember fondly and others that deserve a place in the dank recesses of my mind. I’ll leave you guessing, but just to add that they were all legal and more embarrassing than depraved.
If this year was to be a Chinese year, it would be the year of the Craft Beer. I have celebrated with determination and mainly on my own, but I have celebrated a square-inch of the beer market with my eyes, my nose, my tongue, my liver and my bank balance, and I am confident that had I had access to a dragon costume I would have paraded around in it setting-off fireworks at dangerous angles. If my literary ability is not painting a clear picture, then I can summarise by telling you that I am excited about beer and I can’t stop buying, drinking and stock-piling the stuff. I am certainly not putting myself into debt but if I was to tweak a quote form Jaws, it would be “I’m gonna need a bigger bank balance!”.
Like most normal human-beings, my family and close friends know who I am and what I’m about. Sharing is a healthy part of life and the act of sharing will enrich most experiences, this is no exception as far as beer is concerned. I’m only too aware through my fleeting tweeting career that some % of drinking beer is all about the sharing. It’s been well documented by the Blogeratti that the act of sharing a beer will define much of the pleasure you will derive from said beer. Telling people what you plan to buy; when you plan to drink it; whether you will drink it on the train, keep it for a special occasion or let it age; take pictures of it pre and post de-crowning; describe it in a 140 character précis while you sip/gulp it in a bar, at home or in an airport lounge. You may drink the beer with good friends, new acquaintances or total strangers and it’s all about sharing. However, this brings me to my point. I’m just not ready for this commitment. My name is Dave and I like to secretly plan, buy, hoard and drink beer mainly on my own and in the privacy of my home. Don’t misunderstand this, I’m not in crisis or looking for a shoulder to cry on, I’m enjoying myself and there is something about my beer that I am just not ready to share. Of course I’ve drunk beer with my mates and my family recently should they come over for a barbeque or a meal, but I tell you this, we all get a beer from a box by the side of the fridge and not from the secret beer stash. My beer cupboard is MY beer cupboard and all within it shall be consumed by me. Only myself, Commissioner Gordon and Alfred (all me) know of this shadowy lair and I plan to keep it that way for as long as possible.
Like any interest, hobby or obsession, behaviours develop and ultimately change over time. While this saddens me, I accept that sooner or later I will reach out to the non-believers and share thy beery bounty at thy table. These will also be happy times, but there will be a tinge of sadness as I pretend to be listening to what my guests are saying about the hops, while I day dream of running through a meadow towards a jetty where my sail boat awaits me with its hull stocked with fine ales. I will remember the times in which I now live, and like the geek that I am, I’ll probably start a new obsession and build a bigger cupboard and fill it with something joyous! Who am I kidding I already have a bigger cupboard and I’m simultaneously quaffing fine whisky.
That is me in a nuttershell, but I’m a work in progress. Therefore, I will ignore the voices telling me to curb my enthusiasm for beer and I will just enjoy the moment.
David Bishop, 33 year old Bradfordian, born in East Yorkshire. Garage brewer and novice blogger with grand designs to own a micro-brewery. It's early days!