Category: Beer Inspired Thoughts (Page 1 of 9)

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 Six “New” Beer Styles of 2018

It was revealed at the 2018 National Homebrew Conference by Gordon Strong, current president of the Beer Judge Certification Program, that six beer styles are on the verge of being officially canonized into the defacto authority on beer styles, the BJCP Beer Style Guidelines.

Technically these new beer styles aren’t exactly new, nor have they yet been formally inducted into the BJCP Beer Style Guidelines as fully-fledged beer styles because the guidelines are only revised every five years or so. This means that until the next revamp of the guidelines occurs, these “new” beer styles are considered “provisional” and may be subject to revision.

That said, in addition to the already 121 existing BJCP beer styles, the new provisional styles are:

1. New England IPA: Generally an American IPA but with intense fruit flavor and aroma, soft body, smooth mouthfeel, often opaque, hazy, less perceived bitterness, always hop-forward, “juicy”, malt in background, with a soft finish and no sulfate bite.

2. Grisette: Essentially a session version of a saison ale with wheat. Originating in Belgium as a style associated with coal miners (not farm workers), a Grisette exhibits a saison-like aroma (spicy, phenolic, fruit/citrusy), high carbonation, big white head, and is often dry-hopped.

3. New Zealand Pilsner: This style can be brewed as either an ale or lager and is similar to a German Pils, but is not as crisp and sharp in the finish, has a softer, maltier balance with slightly more body. NZ Pils utilizes New Zealand hop varieties (Motueka, Riwaka, Nelson Sauvin, etc.) which commonly exhibit notes of tropical fruit, melon, lime, gooseberry, grass, and citrus.
New Zealand Pilsner

4. Burton Ale:  Popular in Burton, England before IPAs were invented, and widely exported to the Baltic countries, Burton ales are dark, rich, malty, sweet, and bitter with moderately strong alcohol. Full bodied and chewy with a balanced hoppy finish and a complex malty and hoppy aroma. Dark dried fruit notes accentuate the malty richness, while the hops help balance the sweeter finish.
Burton Ale

5. Mexican Lager: A dry refreshing lager that usually incorporates corn, noble-type hops, and always uses Mexican yeast. The range of the style is wide in terms of bitterness, hops, and malt flavor, but is modeled around craft versions (Ska’s Mexican Logger, etc.), not mass-produced industrial examples.

6. Catharina Sour: A local Brazilian style, this light and sour fruit beer exhibits clean lactic sourness (not funk or acetic vinegar notes), strong and immediately noticeable fresh fruit character (often tropical), low bitterness, light body, high carbonation and incorporates wheat at roughly equal proportions to barley. With an ABV of 4-5.5%, Catharina sour is like a stronger version of a Berliner Weisse (not as sour as a lambic or gueuze), refreshing, and typically kettle soured, followed by a clean ale yeast fermentation.


Hi, I’m Dan: Beer Editor for Beer Syndicate, Beer and Drinking Blogger, Beer Judge, Award-Winning Brewer, Beer Reviewer, American Homebrewers Association Member, Shameless Beer Promoter, and Beer Traveler.

 

Analysis of the Hangover Cures from Three Sheets

If you’ve never heard of the drinking/travel show Three Sheets, well, not to oversell it, but it is very likely the greatest drinking show.  Ever.  Over the course of four seasons (52 episodes), endearingly witty host Zane Lamprey (a.k.a. “The Guinea Pig of Booze”) traversed the globe and imbibed in everything from a majestic $10,000 bottle of 50-year-old scotch in Scotland, to snake penis wine in Taiwan.

[Three Sheets Logo]

(By the way, if you missed the original series run, you can find it on YouTube, Hulu, etc.  And if you’re thirsty for new episodes, you’re in luck because Three Sheets is coming back!)

Of course, being a dedicated drinking diplomat usually comes at a price which is customarily paid in the form of a hangover.  But with almost every new hangover came a hangover cure— some more effective than others.

That said, sometimes the actual effectiveness of the hangover cures presented on the show was a bit vague.  But we did our homework, and it turns out that there’s actually a Three Sheets book (4.5/5 stars on Amazon) that offered more clarity.  So in the spirit of thoroughness, we’ll take a look at the hangover cures/remedies listed on the show and book.

(If you’re curious what caused the hangover in each episode, check out our quasi episode guide called Every Hangover Cure from Three Sheets.)

Analysis of the Hangover Cures from Three Sheets (T.V. Show)

We’re going to keep this analysis pretty simple and only look at four things: (1) the hangover cure from a given episode, (2) the country/city with which the cure is associated, (3) the cultural accuracy of the cure, and (4) the cure’s effectiveness.  To be fair, in cases where we were unable to confirm the cultural accuracy of a given hangover cure, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not culturally accurate.

Also, it should go without saying that the effectiveness of a given hangover cure is purely based on Zane’s personal experience, so your mileage may vary.  In addition, not every episode of Three Sheets contains a hangover cure either because no hangover was reported, as with the Japan and Greece episodes, or simply because none was given, as with the episodes for London, New York, Vince, Barcelona, Saigon, Cognac, Lithuania, and Barbados.

Lastly, we didn’t list the hangover cure for the Poland episode (splashing around at an indoor waterpark) mainly because Zane pointed out that getting in water was one of his personal hangover cures and it was therefore not directly linked to that particular country.  (This might also explain why we weren’t able to confirm the cultural accuracy of similar hangover cures for Denmark, Croatia and Tahiti.)

Below is a sortable list of the hangover cures from Three Sheets (T.V. Show):

Hangover Cure
(T.V.)
Country/
City
Confirmed as
Culturally Accurate?
Did it work?
ChocolateBelgiumNoYes
Tortas ahogadas (meat sandwich w/ hot sauce)Tequila (Mexico)YesYes
A cold dip in the AdriaticCroatiaNoYes
Fried shrimp, shrimp ceviche, frog legs, and beetle larvaThe PhilippinesYesYes
A liver-targeted reflexology massageTaipei (Taiwan)NoYes
Açaí (smoothie)Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)YesYes
Lamprey eelPortugalYesYes
An icy cold dip in the Limfjord sea.DenmarkNoYes
Pad kee mao (spicy drunken noodles).Bangkok (Thailand)YesYes
A canyon swing over a 360 foot canyon.New ZealandNoYes
Swimming with the dolphinsTahitiNoYes
Poutine and beerWhistler (Canada)YesYes
Sancocho soupPanamaYesYes
Marijuana (tea)JamaicaNoYes
Irish coffeeIrelandSort of. Alcohol in general is, not specifically "Irish coffee".Unknown, but yes per the book.
Champagne and a hamburgerLas Vega (USA)NoUnknown, but yes per the book.
Scrambled ostrich eggCape Town (South Africa)YesUnknown, but yes per the book.
Chicken soupTanzaniaYes, "supu" (soup) chicken or otherwise.Maybe, but yes per the book.
Coffee/coffee+beer/coffee+brandyCosta RicaSort of. Alcohol in general is.Maybe. (The booze got Zane drunk again.)
MicheladaBelizeYesMaybe. (Hangover was postponed.)
White sausage (veal) and a pretzelMunich (Germany)YesMaybe, but not instantly.
Sopa marina (seafood soup)ChileYes (a.k.a. Caldillo de Congrío)Maybe
A lomilomi (Hawaiian-style) massageHawaiiNoMaybe
Fish stew with hot saucePuerto RicoSort of. Asopao (chicken & rice soup) is, but fish stew isn't.Maybe
Herring sandwichAmsterdam (Netherlands)YesMaybe
Scrambled eggs, biscuits, sausage with a drink of coffee and whiskyKentucky, USANoNot fully
Cockles and laverbreadWalesYesNo
Haejang-guk (hangover soup)South KoreaYesUnknown
ChampagneChampagne (Fr.)NoUnknown
A soak in a beer bathCzech RepublicNoUnknown
Fire cuppingHong KongYesUnknown
Fried eggs, fried toast, beans, pork sausage and Danish baconGibraltarNoUnknown
A hamburger with a battered and fried patty, battered and fried candy bars, and fried pizzaScotlandNoUnknown
BBQ and yerba matéArgentinaNoUnknown
A buttery baked potatoMoscow (Russia)NoUnknown
Zip-liningSt. MartinNoUnknown
(1) Riding a quad and (2) downing "Buffalo Milk" (mixed drink)Namibia(1) No, and (2) yesUnknown
Labskaus (corned beef, onions and potatoes)Hamburg (Germany)YesUnknown
Black pudding, Cumberland sausage, smoked herring, a pork sausage and a double-vodka bloody MaryNewcastle (England)Yes (English breakfast & alcohol)Unknown
Lobster soup and Icelandic vodkaIcelandNoUnknown

The chart below shows how common a particular hangover cure from Three Sheets were:

* Because the composition of “breakfast food” can vary from culture to culture, we use the term when a given culture refers to their dish/hangover cure as breakfast food.

Analysis of the Hangover Remedies from Three Sheets (Book)

For this analysis, we keep it really simple and just list three things: (1) the hangover remedy, (2) the country/city with which the hangover remedy is associated, and (3) the remedy’s effectiveness.

By the way, the book points out that there is no such thing as a total hangover cure (because that wouldn’t stay a secret for long), and therefore uses the term hangover remedy instead of cure.

In addition, the book spells out the effectiveness of all but one hangover remedy by assigning each one a rating of 1 – 3 (or 4) sheets.  To explain, “a hangover remedy that gets a one-sheet rating would do the trick if you only had a few beers the night before.  Two sheets is for the morning after you had more than a few but you still remember how you got home.  A remedy that’s three sheets is effective for even the surliest of hangovers— the ones that usually linger until well into the next evening.”

And last but not least, despite the fact that the book is clearer than the show when it comes to hangover remedies, only 15 remedies were discussed, some of which were different than what were featured on the show.

Below is a sortable list of the hangover remedies from Three Sheets (Book):

Hangover Remedy (Book)Country/CityEffectiveness
(1 - 4 Sheets)
Onion soupChampagne, France1
HaggisScotland1
Mussels & friesBelgium2
Green tea, miso soup and "genki" caffinated drinksJapan2
Liver-targeted reflexology massageTaipei (Taiwan)2
MatéArgentina2
Chicken soupTanzania2
Scrambled ostrich eggSouth Africa2
Pickle soupPoland2
Irish coffeeIreland3
Tortas ahogadas (meat sandwich w/ hot sauce)Tequila, Mexico3
Champagne & a hambugerLas Vegas, USA3
Marijuana (tea)Jamaica4
Canyon swing (like a bungee jump)New Zealand4
Coconut juice w/ a shot of ginSt. MartinInconclusive

Last Words

In an interview, Zane candidly summed up his experience with hangover cures:

Q: Have you ever experienced a hangover cure that actually worked?

A: If I had found something that was a hangover cure, I would have much more money than I do now. I definitely have found remedies. A big meal and go back to sleep is the best I can do. I’ve done cold water a few times.

Q: You’re not talking about drinking cold water?

A: No, submerging my entire self into it. Your endorphins and your adrenaline start pumping because your body thinks you’re about to die so at that point your hangover becomes tertiary. I think that’s the best you can do — put your hangover in third place.

Cheers!


Hi, I’m Dan: Beer Editor for Beer Syndicate, Beer and Drinking Blogger, Beer Judge, Gold Medal-Winning Homebrewer, Beer Reviewer, American Homebrewers Association Member, Shameless Beer Promoter, and Beer Traveler.

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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