Kidney stones, a CT scan of my innards, visits to the ER as well as my GP not to mention a bunch of blood tests with a whack of other acronyms have literally put me off my beer. And not just because I have been reminded to be careful as we all should with the effects of malty goodness on our internal health. Given that I have been given the big pills that one takes when that invisible knife digs in and twists, you sorta have to be abstaining just in care you need to hit the big red button and take one. So, I am taking a break which has led to a number of observations:
⇒ One belt buckle notch has been gained. Already. At this rate, I might have my burly boyish figure back by next autumn. It is tempting... yet slightly shocking. It's not so much that I am losing weight as deflating. Drinking 20 litres of water a day doesn't hurt with this either. Taking a break may be good even when it is forced upon me.
⇒ The stash is looking good, too. I have a quite separate joy in shopping for beer, you know. In fact, during one particular bout of, shall we say, moderate flank mega-noogie, there was nothing I found more comforting than a stroll amongst beer shelves picking out a few to stick away. That, too, can be one's happy place.
⇒ And samples will come in. I got a phone call last night during a very bad zap from the nicest people in beer, the good folk behind the new beer from the new Bush Pilot Brewing telling me a sample was on its way. Between wincing, I had to tell them I had to tell them the bottle would have to sit. But, as my friend in beer shared the 25 ingredients (listed on the label by the way) , I realized what a hypocrite I was. It's a collaboration with a traveling Nordic brewer, a contract brew, a brew filled with fancy non-beer ingredients, it will be likely past my normal price point and, when the sample came, I saw it had a dipped wax top. And yet I want it. It may need a new name - as metheglin is to mead. But I want it.
⇒ Beer writing also fills a space. I actually have two pieces on the go, not just the longer bit with Max but a medium scale one with Craig. Both footnote laden, one is formal and one is not. One on request and one on spec. But both are serious. So productive I am.
Funny. The imposition is not turning out to be an imposition. Not sure I am ready to take up swishing, spitting and pouring out the stuff in the stash. But there is a heck of a lot to explore about beer other than beer. I had no idea.