When I finally decided to try to record at least one beer a day for the whole year, it was a daunting task. Not because I would be drinking a new beer every day for 366 days, that's the easy part. It is being able to stop at one most days that worries me. I know how much I love to explore Craft Beer and all it has to offer, but I must use caution as the year goes on. It is so simple to cruise through three or four new brews a night, never mind a sprinkling of old favourites. My intention is not to get hammered every day, but rather to expand my palette and hopefully my mind.
With this as my goal, I am doing my best to really stretch out and enjoy that first beer of the evening. Last night I opened the Waterloo Spiced Dunkel and it was a different brew. Full of cinnamon, nutmeg and other spices, it is reminiscent of a pumpkin beer or winter ale. Lovely texture with a finish that includes my nemesis flavour, the clove. I was not trying to drink this slow, but as with a lot of craft beers, you just don't pound them. I sipped along for about 45 minutes and by then it was a little after 10 p.m., so time for bed.
That is one of my "tricks" for drinking less while trying to still keep this beer train rolling. The other is quite simple, I delay that first beer until after I have finished all my chores, eaten dinner or accomplished anything else I need to do. This can mean I open my first beer as late as 9 p.m., which when you need to be up at 6 a.m., is awfully close to bed time. This forces me to choose wisely, enjoy responsibly and keep my demons in check.
Some nights you feel the groove and have a couple and really enjoy them. Other nights are one and done. Both appeal to me, but it is a test most days to limit myself to a reasonable consumption. There is always the desire to squeeze one more in and that can snowball into a whole lot more beer than I need or want to drink.
So I use my mind and discipline every day to control my desires. I have so much planned for this year and waking up hung over and wasting even one day is not one of them. I love meeting all the people who enjoy beer as much as I do and don't want to be that drunk guy when we grab a pint. And finally, I have been building a new life that includes beer, but oh so much else. Travelling, writing, exploring Ontario and connecting with friends (new and old) require a sober and dedicated approach from me. So with that in mind, I will try to keep approaching each beer as a new experience and use Just One Beer as my guiding light.
Unless you come over, then I'll crack another open and share it.