Author: D.J. PANDER (Page 1 of 3)

 The Beer Drinker Zodiac

Just as there are many different styles of beer in the world, so too are there many different kinds of beer drinkers, some of whom pair with certain drinking personalities better than others. 

Using a sophisticated algorithm to collect and analyze data from the internet, Beer Syndicate identified and characterized eighteen different beer drinker profiles to help determine not only what profile best describes you, but also which drinking personalities are most and least compatible with your own.

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With that, we present to you:

The Beer Drinker Zodiac


The Optimizer
:

Often familiar with a vast assortment of beer and their respective prices, The Optimizer is constantly searching for the intersection of where maximum quality meets minimum price.  Always a sucker for a good deal, The Optimizer is typically most active during Happy Hour, but can also be seen loading up on boxes of quality marked down beer at the liquor store, and if forced to buy non-discounted beer, will apply a sophisticated quality-to-price per volume formula to guide a beer buying decision.  Not one to overpay, if the price isn’t right, The Optimizer is never afraid to just order water or simply just go drink from their stash at home.

Seek: The Transcender and The Pseudo Connoisseur
Avoid: The Budget Drinker and Captain Ahab

The Adventurer:

The Adventurer is driven by an inner desire to discover and experience new, exciting, exotic, creative or world-class beers, where cost is not typically a deciding factor one way or the other.  Although at times The Adventurer may receive social recognition and even appear to be bragging when mentioning former beer experiences, attention and status are not the driving motives when it comes time for The Adventurer to make a beer selection.

Seek: Captain Ahab, The Beer Snob and The Box Checker
Avoid: The Old-Timer and The 40 Ouncer

The Carbophobe:

Whether it was the Atkins fad back in the early 2000s or whatever the most updated version of keto happens to be, low-carb diets have been around for a long time and typically cast beer as a bad guy.  With every new cycle of low-carb diet comes a new generation of the weight-conscious Carbophobe, who can often be seen asking for the lowest carb beer on the tap list, or simply opting for the patron saint-beer of The Carbophobe, Michelob Ultra.

Seek: The Old-Timer, The Budget Drinker and other Carbophobes
Avoid: The Beer Snob

Captain Ahab:

This beer drinker’s eyes are always fixed on catching the next white whale, that rare beer that was last seen in Shangri-La, Atlantis or somewhere in the Canyon of the Crescent Moon.  Not necessarily driven by bragging rights or attention, the Captain Ahab archetype equates rarity with quality, and is typically motivated by the idea that anything worth having should be a challenge to obtain, price be damned.   

Seek: The Adventurer, The Transcender, and The Beer Snob
Avoid: The Old-Timer and The Budget Drinker

The Transcender:

An advanced nonconformist drink­­er who transcends trends and convention, despite being well aware of them.  A 15% barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout in the middle of a sweltering summer?  That’s their “lawnmower beer”.  A mouth-puckering Lambic paired with a Snickers ice cream bar?  A match made in heaven.  Following their own path and absent of snobbery, this individualistic and enlightened breed might profoundly enjoy a rare Cantillon Fou’ Foune from their private collection while listening to A Tribe Called Quest on Monday, only to slurp down a few cans of Milwaukee’s Best with lime during a game of cornhole on Tuesday.

Seek: The Adventurer, The Optimizer, and Captain Ahab
Avoid: The Pseudo Connoisseur

The Budget Drinker:

A group predominantly comprised of high school and college students, the deciding factor for The Budget Drinker in all beer drinking decisions is cost.  Unlike to The Optimizer, cost, not quality, is the only factor in the equation.  The usual beer suspects are Natty Light, Keystone, and PBR if there’s nothing cheaper.

Seek: The Old-Timer and The Carbophobe
Avoid: The Beer Snob and The Politically Correct Anti-Beer Snob Crusader

The Box Checker:

The Box Checker is concerned with having every beer, craft or otherwise, at least once.  This breed of drinker could be motivated by bragging rights or FOMO, but more often a latent OCD-like desire to “complete the set”.   Although fueled in large part by social drinking apps like Untappd, The Box Checker mentality has existed ever since Adam named all the animals. 

Seek: The Adventurer, Captain Ahab and The Transcender
Avoid: The Loyalist

The Old-Timer:

This group of drinkers solidified their opinion about what beer was long before the craft beer revolution, and therefore anything that doesn’t taste like a fizzy yellow lager, doesn’t “taste like beer” and is therefore to be largely avoided.

Seek: The Carbophobe
Avoid: The Adventurer, The Box Checker and The Beer Snob

The Seasonal Drinker:

The weather typically dictates which beer The Seasonal Drinker will consume in almost OCD-like fashion.  Big rich beers are winter-only, enjoyed preferably fireside.  These very same winter beers are, however, utterly undrinkable by the first day of spring.  Likewise, The Seasonal Drinker is meteorologically tethered when it comes to drinking lighter beers, which are only enjoyable on a hot day, particularly after mowing the lawn— any lawn.

Seek: Other Seasonal Drinkers
Avoid: The Adventurer

The Beer Snob:

Believing their personal tastes and opinions about anything beer-related to be far superior to most if not all other people, for The Beer Snob, beer is simply a means to an end, with the value of any given beer determined by how much it could further elevate The Beer Snob’s own status, or devalue someone else’s status.  The Beer Snob often attempts to seek out positions of authority in the beer world and surround themselves with acolytes who must share the opinions and affirm the status of The Beer Snob, or suffer ridicule.

The Beer Snob will seek out rare, expensive, hyped or otherwise coveted beers for bragging rights, if not also to then subsequently crap on those very same beers, because even the most excellent beer is not safe from the dreaded label of “drain pour” from the ultimate Beer Snob.

Seek: Captain Ahab and The Perma-Hater
Avoid: The Budget Drinker, The 40 Ouncer, and The Politically Correct Anti-Beer Snob Crusader

The Politically Correct Anti-Beer Snob Crusader:

Often equally if not more annoying than The Beer Snob, The Politically Correct Anti-Beer Snob Crusader is the self-appointed, easily triggered, aggressive defender against all threats of beer snobbery, real or imagined.  Like a robot with PTSD and a broken targeting system, practically anyone with an opinion about beer is a potential target of the hypersensitive PC Anti-Beer Snob Crusader and thus subject to bullying under the guise of protecting the innocent and defenseless beer consumer.  Making a considerate beer recommendation to a friend?  Get ready to be labeled a beer snob and blasted with a barrage of demands and platitudes such as “Don’t tell people what to drink! Everyone has a different palate!!!  PEOPLE SHOULD DRINK WHATEVER THEY WANT!!! IT’S JUST BEER!!!  BEER IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN!!!

Seek: Other Politically Correct Anti-Beer Snob Crusaders, though be prepared to be labeled a beer snob yourself.
Avoid: The Beer Snob, The Pseudo Connoisseur and especially The 40 Ouncer who might interpret your aggressive outbursts as a threat and subsequently shoot or stab you.

The Pseudo Connoisseur:

This special breed of drinker has a deep-seated psychological drive to be seen as an expert on the subject of beer, if not everything else, despite not actually being an expert on beer or anything else.  Able to impress the casual beer drinker with often half-true or fully made-up beer facts, The Pseudo Connoisseur is all smoke and mirrors and lives by the motto: fake it till you fake it some more and then keep faking it.

Seek: The Trend Chaser
Avoid: The Politically Correct Anti-Beer Snob Crusader

The Perma-Hater:

Even with over 100 different styles of beer presenting a vast assortment of flavors that far outstrip the diversity within the wine world, The Perma-Hater never seems to be pleased with any beer on the market.  While reluctantly willing to try new beers, The Perma-Hater will invariably either hate or barely tolerate anything new, and will often opt for a beer that they’ve had in the past that they hate just slightly less than everything else.  Not necessarily snobbish, The Perma-Hater may just be extremely picky, or is only able maintain their lifeforce via complaining.

Seek: The Futile Reminiscer and other Perma-Haters
Avoid: Captain Ahab

The Trend Chaser:

From the IPA explosion years back, to the barrel-aged craze, to sours, and back to IPAs (in the form of NEIPAs and Brut IPAs), The Trend Chaser follows the wind of the trend.  Sometimes stemming from a desire to be seen as hip, and sometimes driven by the excitement of wherever the craft beer market seems to be headed, one thing is certain: The Trend Chaser will be fully committed to whatever the current trend is until the next one comes along.

Seek: The Adventurer and The Transcender
Avoid: The Perma-Hater

The Hop-Oholic:

Hop-Oholics come in a few varieties, but all predominately opt for beers with a hop-forward character. The first kind of Hop-Oholic are those who truly appreciate the character of a wide variety of hops, intense bitterness, or some combination of the two.  Next up are those who don’t fundamentally enjoy IPAs, but believe them to be a necessary rite of passage on the beer drinker’s path to a respectably developed palate and thus drink IPAs out of peer pressure or until they’ve convinced themselves that they like them.  And then there are The Hop-Oholics who simply got stuck in the IPA trend years back and never branched out— Sort of like someone who really got into MC Hammer pants in the early 90s, and just stuck with it.

Seek: The Adventurer, The Beer Snob and The Pseudo Connoisseur
Avoid: The 40 Ouncer, The Budget Drinker, and The Old Timer

The Loyalist:

Despite new and innovative breweries popping up all the time, The Loyalist is dedicated to only one brewery or brand and seldom if ever strays.  Although The Loyalist is not necessarily averse to trying new beers of a different brand, any new beer will always be compared to but ultimately never stack up to The Loyalist’s favorite brand.

Seek: Other Loyalists who enjoy your favorite brands.  If your favorite brand(s) disappears, then seek The Futile Reminiscer.
Avoid: The Box Checker and The Adventurer

The Futile Reminiscer:

This drinker fell in love with a particular brand from the past that is no longer available, and try as they might, The Futile Reminiscer will never be as satisfied with any other beer ever again.

Seek: The Perma-Hater and The Adventurer
Avoid: The Politically Correct Anti-Beer Snob Crusader

The 40 Ouncer

Whether slurping down a Mickey’s, Clot 45, St Ides, or the classic OE, this malt liquor loving demographic is primarily comprised of gangsters from the ‘90s and homeless alcoholics.  It is important to note, however, that unlike the ‘90s gangster who may pour a bit of their 40 out for a fallen hommie, the homeless alcoholic will not.

Seek: The Old-Timer and The Budget Drinker
Avoid: The Hop-Oholic and The Adventurer


Hi, I’m D.J. Pander.  I like beer.  I also blog. Follow me on Myspace.

Hypocritical Bud Light Super Bowl Ad Takes Jab at Coors for Using Inferior Ingredient

In recent years, craft beer was the easy target featured in what appear to be Budweiser’s increasingly desperate and misguided Super Bowl attack ads.

A 2015 Budweiser Super Bowl ad collectively mocked and stereotyped craft beer drinkers as hipster-y, fussy, and pretentious nudniks for drinking the likes of “pumpkin peach beer”, while in the same breath Budweiser’s ad self-praised its corporately mass-produced brand for allegedly being brewed “the hard way”, seeming to imply that other breweries (craft or otherwise) were, well, lazy.

Budweiser’s attack ad backfired when the craft beer community pointed out the apparent hypocrisy of Bud’s corporate parent company, AB InBev, for attempting to blast craft drinkers for sipping brews like pumpkin peach beer, while at the same time AB InBev sold pumpkin peach beer from its then recently acquired Elysian Brewing Company.

Still smarting from the rock-to-the-head slingshoted from the craft community, the Eye of Sauron that is Bud has now shifted its gaze to Coors.

In keeping with the now eye-rollingly predictable campy Monty-Python-and-The Holy-Grail theme, Bud Light’s 2019 Super Bowl ad depicts a large wooden barrel of corn syrup being mistakenly delivered to the Budweiser kingdom/brewery. After being advised that the barrel-o-corn syrup must belong to Coors in the ad, ‘King Budweiser’ then benevolently attempts to return the inferior ingredient to the Coors brewery only to learn that Coors already received its shipment, at which point the corn syrup is then rightfully returned to the Coors Light brewery.

The 2019 Bud Light Super Bowl ad finishes by assuring its viewers that Bud Light is “brewed with no corn syrup”, apparently implying that corn syrup is a cheap and/or inferior product.  Here, “inferior” could be meant to imply (wrongly) that corn syrup used in brewing somehow contributes more to obesity when in fact corn sugars are perhaps just as easily, if not more so, converted to alcohol during the fermentation process as rice sugars.

Speaking of which, what Bud’s Super Bowl ad fails to point out is that its own beer (Budweiser and Bud Light), is also brewed with a comparatively cheap adjunct, namely rice.

But not just any rice.  Bud has been reported to be tainted with an experimental and genetically engineered rice strain, according to Greenpeace.

While it’s true that corn-based products have been subsidized by the U.S. government for many years and could therefore be considered “cheap”, so has rice.

Ignoring for the moment the apparent hypocrisy of Bud calling out Coors for being brewed with supposedly inferior adjuncts, it should be noted that many beer styles, including the currently popular IPA, are traditionally brewed with adjuncts, such as corn sugar (in order to increase alcohol content while drying the beer out).

In fact, though it was formerly excluded as a craft brewery due to its large scale, the oldest continually operating brewery in the U.S., Yuenglings (established 1829), was recently reclassified as a craft brewery because it brewed with traditional ingredients, in this case corn.

Adjuncts, such as beet sugar, have been used in the most highly regarded Belgian beers for centuries.

Long story short, adjuncts do not a bad beer make.  And for the most part, when it comes to beer, sugar is sugar, whether it comes from rice, corn, or beets.

So what’s the message to the crack advertising team behind the recent slew of Bud’s Super Bowl misfires?

In the immortal words of Ice Cube: Chickity check yo self before you wreck yo self.

Meanwhile, this writer offers two words of encouragement to Budweiser as it continues to lose market share: 

Dilly dilly.


Author: Hi, I’m D.J. Pander.  I like beer. I also like having a job. Please share if you like.

Results on Legislation Aiming to Legalize Shipping Booze via USPS, the “Road Beer”, and 64 oz Growlers

Congresswoman Jackie Speier submits bill to legalize USPS shipping of beer.  Again.  And again.

On July, 29, 2015, California Congresswoman Jackie Speier submitted a bill to make it legal for the USPS to ship alcohol including beer.  So what happened?  Well, the bill known as H.R. 3412 United States Postal Service Shipping Equity Act, died in Congress like its predecessor, H.R. 1718, an almost identical bill put forward by Speier that died in 2013.

Jackie Speier

But you can’t keep a good bill down.  The new iteration of the USPS Shipping Equity Act, now called H.R. 4024, was introduced to Congress on October 11, 2017, and Skopos Labs, an A.I.-powered research platform, gives this bill a reassuring 4% chance of being enacted.  So they’re saying there’s a chance…

Montana lawmaker seeks to bring back the ‘road beer’

In January of 2017, lawmakers mulled over a bill that would bring “road beers” back to Montana.  House Bill 206 was designed to lift the open alcohol container ban for passengers in a motor vehicle on Montana highways, though drivers would still be restricted.

So did it pass?

Sure enough, on April 28, 2017, the Montana legislature gave HB 206 a pass.  A hard pass.  It’s unclear whether Montana will ever catch up to other states that allow for passenger road beers such as Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Missouri, Virginia, and West Virginia, or even the freedom-rich state of Mississippi that allows a road beer not only for the passenger, but one for the driver too.
Road Beer

One man fighting the good fight: Florida bartender sues state of Florida over 64 oz growler ban.

Back in November of 2014, bar owner Guy Piasecki and his lawyer sued the state of Florida over a law that prohibited the sale of beer in containers larger than 32 ounces or smaller than a gallon.  In other words, it was legal to sell beer in 32-ounce and 128-ounce growlers, but not the common 64-ounce size.

Growler

A bar owner thought this law was stupid, but how would the state of Florida weigh in?

As of July 1st of 2015, it could be said that Guy fought the law, and Guy won.  Indeed, filling 64-ounce growlers with beer is now legal in Florida like it already was in every other state.


Hi, I’m D.J. Pander.  I like beer.  I also blog. Follow me on Myspace.

 

Beer Syndicate Previews Fake Brews from the News

It was only a matter of time before fake news penetrated the beer world.  And with that, here are previews of three fake brews from the news:

Black Out Brett
Mark your calendars because no matter what, one of the most controversial releases of the decade is set to hit the shelves from the critically-acclaimed Dog & Pony Show Brewing Co. out of Washington, D.C.  Sworn in at a staggering 19.82% ABV, Black Out Brett is an American strong dark ale fermented with 100% brettanomyces yeast, and especially brewed for those people who categorically and unequivocally like beer.  Regardless of your politically leanings, Black Out Brett is guaranteed to be a carefully calculated and orchestrated hit!

Black Out Brett

Banksy’s Going, going, gone… Gose

The inspiration for this limited-release brew was ripped straight from the headlines after the iconic painting Girl with Red Balloon from famed England-based graffiti artist “Banksy” self-destructed as it was fed through a shredder hidden inside the frame moments after being sold at auction for $1.4 million.  Not long after, the anonymous Banksy posted to Instagram “Going, going, gone…”, summing up the moment he literally and figuratively made art history.

Meanwhile, in a case of art imitating art, Banky’s Going, going, gone… Gose from the London-based Now You See It, Now You Don’t Brewing Co. not only captures that sour moment in a bottle with this acidic ale, but the bottle itself also actually self-destructs upon opening when a widget inside the bottle triggers the bottom of the bottle to open, causing the beer inside to fall out.

Banksy's Going, going, gone... Gose!

Shock Value IP-Ye!

Never known for resorting to shock value for attention, this brew pays homage to the rapper formerly known as Kanye West for doing the one thing Ye never does: resorting to shock value for attention.  A special one-time release from the Chicago-based brewery Optional Slavery, Shock Value IP-Ye! is ornately packaged in a 24-karat gold bottle, making it not only the world’s most expensive beer at $100,000 a pop, but also the world’s hoppiest brew weighing in at jaw dropping 1 billion IBUs thanks to a MAGA-dose of ultra-concentrated hop extract.  Shock Value IP-Ye! is so needlessly over the top that it’ll make even Tyler Swift scream “Good Yeezus!

Shock Value IP-Ye!

[Proceeds from this beer go to support Mr. West’s 2024 U.S. presidential bid featuring running mate Beyoncé.]

Most Expensive Beer in the World


Hi, I’m D.J. Pander.  I like beer.  I also blog. Follow me on Myspace.

[To the best of our knowledge, all of the proceeding beers are fictional parodies based on world events that may or may not have happened.]

The Brewer Who Quit Drinking Beer

I love beer.  I brew it.  I write about it.  And on occasion I have been known to enjoy a pint or two.

So why stop doing something I love?  I know what you’re thinking: because I have a drinking problem.

Well, I suppose if I’m being honest, there were a few times in the past where I admit I did have a drinking problem, but I can truthfully say that I’ve become more responsible since then, and today I always make sure that I have enough beer around so that I’ll never have a problem drinking again.

And just in case you were wondering, no, I’m not Catholic, so I’m not giving beer up for lint (I’ve already got plenty of that in my dryer).

I’m not quitting beer because I got fat (I’m cursed with the metabolism of a hummingbird), I didn’t just have a kid and suddenly get the urge to be Capt. Role Model, nor did I just recently drink too much only to swear off booze until the next time.  So why quit?

I guess for me, it’s a self-control thing because proper beer contains alcohol and alcohol can be addictive (allegedly), so testing the old willpower now and again by abstaining from beer and alcohol in general could be a good thing.  Or maybe it’s a terrible idea.

Only one way to find out!

Also, I’m only quitting for a month.  (I’m stupid, not crazy.)

Predictions

Aside from the obvious reduction in fun, here are a few predictions I’ll make about my month with no beer:

1. Unforgiveable financial damage to local breweries from me not buying their beer which in turn will hurt their families, babies, and their cute little puppies and kitties.
2. Less beer cans and bottles being recycled which will increase global warming and melt the ice caps, thus forcing polar bears to join ISIS.
3. Fewer hangovers.

The Plan

I sometimes get the feeling that my brain likes to think of drinking beer as a reward, so I’ll keep the drinking part, but just swap out the beer with another beverage I also enjoy, in this case tea, and hope my brain doesn’t catch on.

That’s right, the old Pavlovian Switcheroo.

Let’s just hope that my brain is stupid enough to fall for my sneaky little ruse because if it gets wise, there’s no telling what it might do…

A Month Without Beer

Day 1: “No drinks for the month starts today!  Cheers!” was the text I just sent my buddy who said he’d also attempt to go dry with me for the month.  I’m not sure if it’s important to mention this, but the first time my buddy and I met years ago, he told me that he had just quit drinking.

To his credit, I will say he is pretty experienced at quitting as he’s quit drinking about a dozen or more times since then.  Who better to have on my team than this seasoned pro, right?

The truth is, it does make it a little easier going cold turkey when you have somebody in your corner who’s going to tough it out with you too.

Just got a text back: my buddy is headed out to the pub for a pint.

I’ve gotta hand it to him, he quit quitting drinking on the same day.  That is some next-level quitting.  I told you he was a pro.

I, on the other hand, am not a quitter.  Well, except for quitting beer for the month.  And then quitting this whole dumb personal experiment at the end of the month.

Day 2: The day before yesterday was my “Fat Tuesday”, the day you’re supposed to indulge in a bit of gluttony that will hopefully sustain you for the next 40 days of trying to be good before you can start being bad again.

That’s the day I enjoyed the last beer I’d have for a month.  It was a tasty German Hefeweizen I brewed that was just coming into its prime.  I also had a Miller Low-Life with a slice of lime, a bottle that was left over from a party from the month before.  (See, I’m not a beer snob because I discovered that almost any otherwise undrinkable beer can be choked down with a squeeze or three of lime!)

Yeah, so two measly beers.  Fat Tuesday… more like Dangerously Emaciated Tuesday.

Day 3: Two thoughts come to mind: (1) This ex-beer-iment is masochistic and dumb, and (2) I really miss that German Hefeweizen.

Time for a pint of beer tea.

Day 4. Here’s the problem with having beer as your only hobby: you have a lot of free time on your hands when you quit.  The question is what to do with all the free time.  I guess I didn’t think this whole thing through.

Day 5: “Here’s to alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.”

~ Homer Simpson

Day 6: It just dawned on me that I’m doing a sort of reverse AA (Alcoholics Anonymous): I’m counting down the number of days until I’ll get to have another beer instead of the days I don’t.  I also just realized that the reverse of “AA” is still “AA”.  It also just dawned on me that the increasing application of facial recognition software courtesy of Facebook, Apple and Amazon, might just be helping to take the “anonymous” out of Alcoholics Anonymous (and everything else, for that matter).

Facebook: “The Cloud just tagged you in a photo walking into an AA meeting!”

You: Nervously awaiting likes & comments from friends, family and co-workers.  (Stole that idea from an episode of Black Mirror, Season 6: Booze Clues.)

Day 7: “Like a camel, I can go without a drink for seven days— and have on several horrible occasions.”

~ Herb Caen

Day 8: I think this spot is about deep enough in the article where I’ll have lost most readers so I can actually be honest about something.  I sort of stole this idea.  Well, not the idea of quitting something I like doing for some pre-determined amount of time.  That’s basically a form of fasting, and fasting’s been around for thousands of years (re: most major religions).

What I’m doing is a purely personal and secular form of self-denial.

The part that I stole was from an article I read a while ago… maybe years ago… that essentially did what I’m doing now: give up alcohol for a month and write about it.  (Did I forget to mention that was one of my other intentions?  To have a little semi-provocative writing fodder for when the idea mill hit a lull?)

But I like to give credit where credit’s due, so let me just provide a link to the article that sort of inspired me.  It should be easy to find… it’ll probably be the only article that pops up when I google “a month without drinking”.

Huh.  So it turns out that there was more than one article about quitting booze for a month.  Google returned more than 400 million search results.  Did not see that coming.

Apparently there’s even a recently invented “official month” for not drinking called “Dry January” that seems to have originated in the U.K. around 2013.  (Note to self: Visit the U.K. in January– the drink specials must be insane.)

Meanwhile, four pages deep into the search results and I gave up trying to find that one article that inspired me.  Thanks, Obama.

Day 9: With over 100 different beer styles and easily over a quarter million commercial examples of those styles, a major allure to beer is exploring all its variety and versatility.

Similarly, there’s a vast landscape of tea to discover.  With over 3,000 different varieties in the world, tea, in all of its various incarnations, should keep even the most ferocious curiosity busy for at least a month.

Here are just a few I recommend:

Detox Teas:

# 1: Dandy Live Detox: Unlike roasted dandelion root tea which has a watery coffee and Cracker Jack character, this dandelion tea is very approachable yet flavorful, slightly fruity, and well balanced. 5/5 stars. (Contains milk thistle seed, lemongrass leaf and a blend of other tasty stuff).

By the way, not all dandelion teas are the same and most contain additional ingredients other than just dandelion.  For example, EveryDay Detox Dandelion from Traditional Medicinals has a dominant black licorice anise character to it, which might be a good substitute for those trying to go a month without ouzo.

# 2: Detox Herbal Supplement with Green Tea: Although this tea from Lipton contains dandelion and nettle, it also contains grapefruit, which is by far the star of the show.  If you like grapefruit, this is the detox tea for you.  Not only that, but just one bag is powerful enough to make a pint of tea.

Other Highly Recommended Teas:

Tulsi Sweet Rose Tea: If you’ve ever seen a cat devour a rose bud, you’ll know why after you try this gentle sweet rose tea from Tulsi.

Yogi Mango Ginger and Lemon Ginger: Both of these fruity-ginger teas pack big flavor and nail the balance between the fruit and the ginger.  As a bonus, only one bag of either of these blends is strong enough to make a respectable pint of tea.  (Chai tea is another example of where you can easily get away with one bag per pint.)


Day 10:
  I started to notice that I’m not feeling as full from a pint of tea as I do from a pint of beer.  Hmmm… I need to google something. Be right back.  Okay, so I’m not sure if this has anything to do with it, but it turns out that google says a pint of beer has 208 calories, while a pint of tea has approximately 0-6 (and roughly 20 with a teaspoon of honey).

Analysis: Need to double quadruple-down on the tea.  Might also pick up some Whey Protein for some shakes while I’m at it.

Day 11: I forgot to mention that I was being a little strategic about when I decided to go dry.  No birthdays or any big beer events I could think are going on this month.  Well, aside from packaging a bunch of beer, writing about beer every day, and living in a house that’s swimming in what even the most liberal alcoholic would call “triggers”.

But here’s the point: if you want to give this awful month-long experiment a try yourself, you don’t have to be a trend-bot and get in line with all the Dry Januaryists.  Do whatever month or 30ish day period that works best for you and have “fun”.

Day 12: Today I realized that despite my bragging about being strategic with regards to when I chose to abstain from the drink, if I were more strategic, I would have chosen February to go dry (fewer days).

Day 13: “Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life.”

~ George Bernard Shaw

Day 14: It’s been two weeks with no beer or alcohol in general.  I lost 10 pounds, went down a belt notch, and got thinner in the face.  Yep, you’ve probably heard that alcohol can puffy up your mug like a milder version of pregnant-face.  According to a British dermatologist, this happens because alcohol causes peripheral blood vessels to expand and widen (puff-face), which allows more blood to flow through our skin, also making the skin appear redder. 

Science aside, my working hypothesis is that if you lose 10 pounds through dieting, some of that weight is probably going to come off the face.

Day 15: Speaking of oft mentioned benefits of quitting booze, I was really looking forward to the mountains of money I’d be saving after going cold turkey.

In my case, it just so happens that I probably already spent the same if not more on alcohol this month in anticipation of next month when I’ll be celebrating my accomplishment of the month that I didn’t drink any alcohol.

Day 16: Alcohol gives you infinite patience for stupidity.”

~ Sammy Davis, Jr.

Day 17: “5 women reveal the pros and cons of not drinking alcohol for 30 days” is the tagline of the currently top-ranked article on google when I search “not drinking for a month”.

Here are some word-bites from that piece and some reactions:

“I spent more time with my daughter connecting, not battling.”

I don’t have a daughter, but if I did, I would like to think that whether I was drinking or not, I would still have the courage to face her on the field of battle.

“I saved money and lost weight—but friends pushed me to sip.”

I didn’t save money, but I lost weight.  My friends didn’t push me to sip because my friends weren’t birthed out of the devil’s butthole.

“[Not drinking] helped my anxiety and depression, and I couldn’t stand being around drunk friends.”

Two things: (1) paradoxically, it sounds like alcohol is having the exact opposite effect on this person than it does for mostly everyone else (anxiety and depression-wise), and (2) this person might want to think about picking up some new friends at the friend store.

Day 18: “Work is the curse of the drinking classes.”

~ Oscar Wilde

Day 19: Instead of being known as the person who created “Dry January” that encourages people not to drink alcohol for a month, I’d rather be known as the one who invented “Job-Free July”, the month where employers give their staff a paid month off in July.  Employees could use that month to enjoy some drinks while really reflecting on the negative effects of working.  Bloggers could then write 400 million similar sounding articles about what it was like to give up working for a month.

Day 20: “You’re not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.”

~ Dean Martin

Day 21: Lurk around any of the alcohol-related subs (chat forums) on the popular website reddit, and eventually the topic of “do I drink too much” comes up.  Folks chime in with their own personal yardsticks for diagnosing alcoholism from a certain minimum number of drinks consumed in a week/month, to throwing up blood.

From a medical prospective, alcoholism (which is considered both a physical and mental illness) is said to exist when at least two of the following are true:

1)      a person drinks large amounts over a long time period,
2)      has difficulty cutting down,
3)      acquiring and drinking alcohol takes up a great deal of time,
4)      alcohol is strongly desired,
5)      usage results in not fulfilling responsibilities,|
6)      usage results in social problems,
7)      usage results in health problems,
8)      usage results in risky situations (drinking and drive, unsafe sex, etc.),
9)      withdrawal occurs when stopping,
10)   and alcohol tolerance has occurred with use.

It’s probably just a strange coincidence, but those ten lines were all part of my fraternity oath.  Go Kappa Epsilon Gamma (K.E.G.)!!!

Day 22: “An alcoholic is someone you don’t like who drinks as much as you do.”

~ Dylan Thomas

Day 23: In case I needed more proof that I’m living in my own private Truman Show, a large study came out today indicating that “the safest level of drinking is none,” suggesting that any level of alcohol consumption increases a range of certain health risks including cancer.  Perfect timing yet again, The Matrix.

Despite that report, my best thinking/total guessing tells me that if by the time I get cancer from alcohol, there should be a cure.  Then again, if billionaire Steve Jobs couldn’t beat cancer… (Huh, I would’ve thought he had an app for that.  Oh well, at least we got the Apple Watch.)

Day 24:  “The worst thing about some men is that when they are not drunk they are sober.”

~ William Butler Yeats

Day 25: There’s plenty of advice out there on how to prep for a month with no drinking including how to reduce or navigate social situations where others might be drinking and even having a few “white lies” at the ready like being on antibiotics or finishing up a project at work.

F that. I really wanted to test my steel, so not only did I not try to avoid situations where people would encourage me to drink, I went head-first into them.  I happily served drinks, packaged lots of beer, and gladly gave beer money to urban outdoors men/stationary non-workers.

Long story short, it wasn’t hard to deal with the supposed social pressure.  “I’ll have a tea” was the only phrase necessary.  (Alright, I didn’t go dry during my birth month, so I guess I wasn’t that hardcore.)

Day 26: You’ve probably heard of that age old secrete to losing weight: diet and exercise.  But there’s an important part that’s missing, namely that diet is more critical than exercise when it comes to weight loss, with some folks putting it at 75% diet and 25% exercise. 

In my case though, I lost 10 pounds in 14 days from not drinking beer, but the ratio was more like 110% diet and -10% exercise seeing as how I was probably lazier this month exercise-wise than usual.  Nevertheless, weight loss is typical for people who give up booze for a month, as was shown in this study where people lost on average 3 pounds.

Day 27: Abstainer: a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.”

~ Ambrose Bierce

Day 28: 28 days.  It’s not only the arbitrarily chosen number of days of sobriety used to break alcoholics of their dependency, it’s also the amount of time it takes for England to be totally overrun by a zombie apocalypse.

Day 29: “In vino veritas” is Latin for “In wine, truth”, and suggests that a person under the influence is more likely to speak their unfiltered thoughts.  Sure does make you suspicious of all the things sober people really think about you but refrain from saying. 

Day 30: “Whoever drinks beer, he is quick to sleep; whoever sleeps long, does not sin; whoever does not sin, enters Heaven! Thus, let us drink beer!”

~ Martin Luther

Day 31: So here we are.  The final day of “Dry August.”  I suppose there are some people who quit drinking for a month and had some sort of eye-opening, transformative, life-altering, grand revelation about the woes of alcohol.  That’s not me.

And with that, here’s the sugar-free truth of what a month of not drinking looks like:

Cons:

1. Did the same mundane domestic chores I typically do in a month, but with the added benefit of being able to focus more intensely on the boringness of those tasks.
2. Experienced reduced buy-in from people when attempting to blame stupid things I say while sober on alcohol.
3. Found humans more insufferable than usual.
4. Additional time gained from not going out as much only to be reallocated to staying in and watching mediocre content on Netflix.
5. Unlike some anecdotal accounts suggest, I didn’t really notice much of an improvement in the “quality” of my sleep. In fact, I was sleepier and found it more difficult to get out of bed.
6. I might have developed a tea addiction.

Pros:

1. I have to admit that swapping beer for tea really caused me to lose weight and fast. (Note to self: Need to copyright this idea and cash in quick.) In the past, I was under the impression that the reputed “beer belly” was a bit of a myth actually caused by the additional food people typically consume along with the beer. But I concede, beer seems to contribute pounds to the body.
2. Not that I had any doubt, but I proved to myself that I had the will power to go without beer or any alcohol for a month (and possibly indefinitely), but I see no compelling reason to punish myself any further.
3. No hangovers reported.
4. I enjoyed all the tea, and I’ll probably swap out tea for beer more often.
5. No breweries in my city filed for bankruptcy.
6. No polar bears joined ISIS (yet).
7. And sorry, not sorry, but a month without beer really made me appreciate beer more than almost any time in my life.

Last Words

Tomorrow shall be a glorious beer-filled day—a day that will shake the very foundations of the great beer hall of Valhalla.

Skål! (Viking for cheers.)


Hi, I’m D.J. Pander.  I like beer.  I also blog. Follow me on Myspace.

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