I decided to ask everyone why they drink? At first I thought the topic might be a little too dumbed down, but when I tried to answer the question I realized it would be a lot more complex than I initially anticipated. If someone asked me why I drink Green Tea the answer would be short and to the point. I drink Green Tea because it's slightly tastier than water and the health benefits are many. But ask me why I like to drink beer and I'm not sure I could ever really give an answer I'll be fully satisfied with. But here we are, the question was asked, and so I'll do the best I can to explain why I drink.
I drink to connect.
I drink to connect with myself. From the time I wake up in the morning until the time I go to bed at night my brain is an electric highway of racing thoughts. One thought hasn't ended and another begins. As the day goes on and my brain is filled with endless post-it notes to come back to later, there comes a time when I'm ready to slow down. I don't want to think about what I did yesterday or what needs to be done tomorrow. I want to stop and say "Hey, Doug! You're alive right now. Isn't that cool?" I've tried meditation in the past to achieve these moments of connecting with myself, and while it was cool and definitely worked, meditation is hard as hell unless you're extremely dedicated. It's a lot easier for me to sit with a beer for thirty minutes than it is to find a quiet a room and sit still for the same amount of time. And besides, my back hurts a lot less in my la-z-boy than it does trying to sit up straight on the floor. One beer and thirty minutes is all I need to relax, remember how lucky I am that my heart's still ticking, and have the added bonus of some awesome flavor when I've picked a great beer.
I drink to connect with the past. Besides beer and writing, another hobby I love is listening to classical music. It's beautiful on its own, but what I find extremely interesting is thinking about how many lives have been touched by the sounds of someone like Mozart. People have been listening to his music for over 200 years . The fact that I can connect with people whose lives have long since ended is awesome. I might not know anything about someone who lived 200 years ago, but it's comforting to know that the emotions and problems they felt then are the same that I feel today. Similarly, I can find the same connection with people who are no longer with us when I drink beers like those from Weihenstephan. They've been around since 1040. Think about that, because that's crazy. I don't know if I'm drinking the same beer that someone had 1000 years ago but that doesn't even matter. When I'm drinking a beer and dealing with whatever troubles might be going on, it's comforting to look down at my beer and know that somewhere down the line, someone else was drinking a beer and dealing with something not all that different from myself.
I drink to connect with friends. I'm a shy guy and meeting new people has never been my forte. I'm usually calculating and quiet, but a shared interest in drinking good beer has allowed me to open up and meet a lot of great people. Just two weeks ago I was able to share a couple beers with four other local beer bloggers. I would have never met any of them had it not been for beer and I can honestly say that as good as the beer was that day, it wasn't nearly as satisfying as meeting a bunch of welcoming guys who just wanted to geek out about something and share a couple laughs. It was an awesome day and I only hope that drinking beer will allow relationships like this to grow and for more to spring up in the future.
There are an endless number of reasons to drink beer and I'm sure more than a few of them will be covered in other entries for this month's Session. As for me, I will always drink to connect. Beer reminds me that I'm alive.