As Stan reminded, it's time again for The Session, edition #76 this month. This month's is hosted at beer is your friend where, in part, the challenge for today was framed as follows:
Is buying heaps of beer something you worry about? Do you look at your Aladdin’s Cave of beer and feel even a smidge of guilt about how much it all cost you? Or do you just rub your hands together, cackle with glee and say ‘‘it’s mine! All mine!’’ What lengths do you go to to hide this compulsion? For instance, do you try and sneak beer into the house so your other half doesn’t see it? (Not saying that I’ve done this. Oh, okay, I have done this).
This is a good question. It gets to the heart of some issues around beer that go unaddressed. In Stan's response, we have a Joe Ely lyric which includes the lines "She collected/Chain letters, Irish setters, go-getters/She just needed more." I agree with his point that the drive to buy is a compulsion but I draw another point from the lyric which is that we need to think about the underlying factors which cause the compulsion. And it is screamingly obvious that one factor that is present with good beer compulsion is the alcohol.
Disagree or uncomfortable with the notion? Just remember that there is an extremely low percentage of stamp collectors who are in it for sniffing and licking the glue. I would suggest that there is a greater percentage of craft beer drinkers, producers and thinkers who play a line and maybe even go well past it. Nothing, for example, beats the fun of watching the Friday night twitter feed and calculating the millilitres of pure alcohol being downed as they are also being recorded for posterity. But what is the percentage of craft beer nation going there? No idea.
I have had the happy occasion to distance myself from actual drinking more than once in my life. Nothing tastes better than a good beer after two weeks without any booze. Yet... I still buy. The stash, in fact, is alarmingly full. As there is also nothing that looks better than a brimming cold room filled not only with a couple hundred good bottles of beer but fifty of sleeping wines, a good selection of pops and juices not to mention jars of jams and jellies. Heck, with a little work upgrading the space, I'd age cheeses and hams in there, too.
Point? Asking why more than once in a while is a great idea. Are your compulsions healthy? Do you, to borrow from the Ely lyric, just need more? Maybe. Are there good beer folk around you that you should have a word with about their habits? Why not? See, if this is a community and we are all one happy family then having concern about your fellow fan's health and pocketbook is worth chatting about, too. Unless this is all an elaborate covering for a well thought out and culturally appropriate binge.