Friday, June 7, 2013

The Session #76: Examining Our Compulsion.

It's time for  Session #76 hosted by Glen Humphries who blogs at Beer is Your Friend. This month's topic is Compulsion and how it affects our life with beer. Or as Glen states down below
Like most beer fans, I tend to buy way more beer than I can drink. I can have a fridge full, plus a few boxes of bottles, plus homebrew and still I’ll walk into a shop and buy some more. Or order some more online. Or do both in the space of a few days. Why do we do stuff like this?
When this month's Session was announced, it came at about the same time I decided to make some changes in the way I go about purchasing beer. In the past I've had up to three 5 gallon batches of homebrew bottled in the basement and a table full of craft brew I had acquired over the months. Some of those bottles I purchased myself and others were given to me as a gift. Either way, I had a lot of beer in my basement. Upstairs in the fridge I almost always had half of one shelf entirely dedicated to beer and many times that still wasn't enough for me. I'd pick up a 6 pack of something on a Friday or Saturday night and drink it over the weekend despite having a hundred different options already on site.

I was content to go on like that, just having a basement full of beer and adding to it whenever the spirit compelled me. However, I want to kick my homebrew game up to the next level and perfect my craft. The only way to do that is to brew more often. That creates a problem because I end up with a basement full of homebrew that is rather hard to drink through. I can give some away but there still ends up being a backlog of beers to drink and that's made even harder to deal with when I'm also spending beer drinking time on commercial stuff.

I was forced to make a decision. In order to to ensure that I can brew more often I had to make sure I was drinking through my batches in a proper amount of time. The only way I was going to be able to do that was to cut out the compulsory buys I had such a good time participating in during the past. I didn't want to give up buying commercial craft beer for my house altogether, so I decided that I would only purchase beers made in Maryland, Pennsylvania, DC, and Delaware. This way I was allowing myself some variation at home, but by keeping it local I significantly shortened the pot in which I was picking from. And when I was out and about the town I was free to drink any beer I wanted from anywhere in the world. Overall, it seemed like a fair trade off to me and I'm proud to say that I haven't added to my stockpile since my decision was made.

With all that said, to answer the original question why do I keep buying beer despite having a ton of beers in house, my answer is rather simple. Options. I might already have 50 different bottles to choose from but on any given night none of them might strike me as "the beer" I want to sit down with. If I add one more to the pile I'm that much more likely to be sitting down with the perfect beer on that specific night and for me that's what it's all about.

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