I’d Kill for a Beer*

Like all beer lovers, I’ve hit a patch where I’m trying to lay off of the nectar of the gods for a bit, and I’ll be honest – it’s the hardest it’s ever been.

As you might recall, I broke my toe a few weeks ago, which kept me from working out for a few days.  No big deal, right?  Well just about when my toe was feeling better, I caught this creeping crud head cold that’s been going around, the one that lingers for a few weeks.  It would just about go away and then come back with a vengeance.  Anyway, it was another reason not to get up at 5:30 A.M. and jump around in the basement (gotta love that P90X!).  It was smart to rest up and sleep in, right?

But seeing as I was sleeping in, I could stay up a little later.  And if I’m staying up, why not catch up on some movies streaming on Netflix?  And if I’m watching a movie, why not enjoy a couple of Troegs Mad Elf’s from the garage?  And some chips?  And some cheese and crackers? 

Why settle for six-pack abs when you can have a keg?

After a couple of weeks of carbo-loading right before bed, my midsection got a little squishy (at an alarmingly fast rate, BTW), my core began to unravel, my pants didn’t fit right, and I felt like I had butter running through my veins, which may have been the case.

So even though it’s the holidays, I’ve decided to right the ship and get back on track before my muscles atrophy and my growing gut pulls my back out again.  So that means no more staying up late, waking up and pushing “play,” and laying off of the beers, at least during the week.  The waking up and working out part isn’t too bad, but the no beer thing is making me crazy.

It’s been a few days, and I’m doing good, but the cravings have been immense!  It might be because I got used to having a beer or two (or three) every night, or because I’ve been stressed a bit lately at work.  But my real suspicion is that it’s because this is my favorite time of the year to drink beer.  It’s been really cold, and there’s nothing like curling up with a hearty ale or a barrel aged stout on a winter’s night.

Last night, I could actually hear the Founders Backwoods Bastards calling me from the garage.  “Jyyyym,” they cried (with a Southern accent, of course). “why doncha y’all come’n crack us open?” I’m proud to say I resisted, but I could feel my longing all the way down my spine.

I’m sure it’ll get better over time, but man, could I go for a beer!  I’m gonna have a couple this weekend, but I’m going to try to stay on the straight and narrow all the way through the holidays.  I know it goes against the vibe of the season, but I look at it like I’ve done all my celebrating, just a couple of weeks early.

So let me ask you, when was the last time you put the brakes on and cut back or *gasp* even stopped drinking beer for a bit?  As always, let us know below.

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*Things I would kill for a beer exclude mammals of all kinds, reptiles, fish and insects over 1/2″ in length (or anything that would be really squishy or oozy).  So basically, that leaves houseflies or mosquitoes.

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Categories: Beer, Lifestyle

Author:Jim

Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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55 Comments on “I’d Kill for a Beer*”

  1. December 10, 2010 at 11:09 am #

    My beer fast last month was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done… if I was going out to eat, I’d choose to eat at a restaurant with no craft-beer selection so as to resist the temptation. And I spent a lot of time out of my house… away from the beer cellar. It was the only way I stayed sane.

    • December 10, 2010 at 11:21 am #

      Yeah, it’s the flavor I miss – I love beer!

      For the past year or so I’ve been on a pretty strict regimen of no beer during the week, eating well and working out. But give me an excuse and I’ll go nuts. The good news is I’m used to it, so it’s not so painful going back to being “good,” but that doesn’t make it suck any less!

  2. December 10, 2010 at 11:33 am #

    I didn’t break my toe, but I can relate to the rest of the stuff for sure. I agree its a tough time of year to cut back, but its what needs to be done! Jim, at least that Southern fella in the garage wasn’t telling you to go streaking with the temperatures being so cold and whatnot. (I’ve heard on the interwebs that you don’t miss many streaking opportunities.)

    Anyway, for awhile there I was having one beer per week which was rough to say the least. Now, I’ve sort of gone onto a plan like yours where I’ll keep the workweek beer free and then enjoy my weekend, except for last night where I went off the plan and the night before too.

    I guess ultimately I’m doomed!

    Damn I miss my high(er) metabolism!

    • December 10, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

      I usually go with the flow on weeknights and have the occasional beer, but the flow became a flood and now I need to unlearn some deliciously bad habits. Sounds like you’ve got it under control.

      And yes, I’m glad they didn’t tell me to streak, but I’m even more glad they didn’t yell, “squeal lika piggay for me, boih! Squeeeee! Squeeee!”

      Actually, I had better drink ’em fast – I think I hear a banjo!

  3. David
    December 10, 2010 at 11:42 am #

    Do what I did: Go all in. Drink what you want, eat foods you find delicious and get fat. I have learned to embrace my gut and marvel at it daily. Now, I just have to get my wife on board…..

    • Don
      December 10, 2010 at 11:53 am #

      There is wisdom in that comment David…

    • December 10, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

      I’m good with that approach except for one thing – my damn back! It’s awful and will go out and make me a cripple if I don’t keep in tip-top shape.

      It’s great to have an incentive to be healthy, but it’s a real impedance to me embracing my inner Homer Simpson!

  4. December 10, 2010 at 11:54 am #

    Hang in there, buddy. I had major surgery in May. Had half of my large intestine removed when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. So I had to lay off for 6 weeks during recovery. Still, they told me that beer would be bad for me. They gave me a loophole, though, when they said that different people have different triggers for their Crohn’s Disease.

    So I tried beer again, and it actually HELPED with pain. In fact, I found out online that some people take beer extract pills to help with any pain. Me, I prefer the liquid form. 😉

    I’ll raise one for you this weekend. Happy Holidays.

    • December 10, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

      Sorry to hear about your guts. My back goes haywire on me sometimes, bad enough where it’d put a lesser man out of commission. 😉

      I too use beer as my go-to pain reliever when my back acts up. Years ago was given pills, but I find two beers of an ABV of over 8% work better than two Advil and taste better, too!

  5. Don
    December 10, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    Jyyyymmm, Its us’n the Backwuuds Bastards. If’n you ain’t gonna drank us, ship us’n out to your bruuther. We belong in Ideehoe, not New Jersaaay….

    • December 10, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

      I’m not gonna send them, but they’d certainly feel at home out there…

  6. Matt
    December 10, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

    A beer is about 180-220 calories. You can’t find a way to eat that many fewer calories during the day to give yourself some wiggle room? I just don’t believe in starving yourself of the simple pleasures in life to the point where you’re tormented. A middle aged man has at least 2000 calories to play with, even more if you’re exercising the way you describe.

    • Don
      December 10, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

      Matt, Jim’s problem is his back. He has the back of an 80 year old former bull rider. So the weight isn’t a problem too much just in and of itself, but it is the impact on his spine that keeps him from over indulging on a consistent basis. I have no doubt that Jim will have plenty of fun and libation over the holiday!

      • December 10, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

        You make it sound like beer is bad for my back Don.

    • December 10, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

      That’s what I typically do, Matt, but I now have to make up for lost ground (added girth, actually). So I need to be on point for a few weeks and let the “swelling” go down a bit.

      Usually I play it loose on week nights and will have a beer when I want one, but not every night. But right now I gotta get back on track, and doing that requires discipline.

      • Matt
        December 10, 2010 at 1:19 pm #

        I admire your dedication. It’s always easier to justify popping that crown top than to stick to your game plan.

        • December 10, 2010 at 1:21 pm #

          Tell me about it – I was so close to caving last night! I found myself in the garage, reaching for the Founders. But I went back into the house and gulped some water, which is the cold shower of the beer world.

  7. Dave
    December 10, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    Jim, my fasts have gotten fewer and further between, and shorter in duration. But I can appreciate the value of good beer fast. I find that even after a week’s time, that first beer tastes great, like the FIRST beer you ever had. I really notice flavors a lot more on a fast-freshened palette.

    Any time that I’m sick I’m forced into a beer fast, but that’s OK because I don’t really want one anyway. Nothing makes a head cold and clogged sinuses worse than a beer, especially one that I can’t taste.

    I too could easily balloon up in the belly and already suffer from chronic back pain, all the more reason to watch my general beer intake. I may have 1 or 2 beers one night during the week, but usually the bulk of the work week is beer-free for me. And sometimes it’s just good to give the old bod a rest.

    Tonight, however, will definitely not be one of those nights as I was just fortunate enough to score a six-pack of Bell’s Batch 10,000, featuring nine million hop varieties and 14 million different grains. Looking forward to that. It’s 5:00 somewhere, right?

    • December 10, 2010 at 1:33 pm #

      That’s how I roll, too, Dave.

      Except for the Bells. 😦

      I get no Bells. 😦 😦

      • Dave
        December 10, 2010 at 1:47 pm #

        Yeah, regional distribution stinks when you’re not in the right region. Are there some good New Jersey microbreweries that only distribute locally? It’s been too long since I’ve been back to NJ, and somehow I feel like “Jersey Shore” just isn’t telling the whole story.

        • December 10, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

          We get lots of great beer here, just not everything (Bells, New Glarus and lots of hyped California stuff come to mind). But we don’t brew much here because of the old time fat-cat brewing laws on the books. They make it very hard for the fledgling brewer here, and many flee to NY or PA to brew.

          I can get Bells and Central Waters and a few others if I drive an hour, but I’m lazy and spoiled.

          And getting fat. Did I mention that? 🙂

      • Don
        December 10, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

        I believe the proper terminology would be you HAVE no Bal…uh I mean Bells 😉 😉

  8. Mark S.
    December 10, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    A couple of years ago I got serious and joined the weight watchers online program to lose some weight that had crept up on me during my early 30’s. I swore off beer entirely for the first few months, and after that made sure to not keep many beers “in stock” in my basement. As mentioned above, another strategy was going out to eat at restaraunts that didn’t feature any interesting beers (lots of sushi and BYOB places). Both of these strategies helped a lot.

    So the solution to your problem might be to work through your backlog first before starting your diet! No beer in the garage and basement = no temptation.

    🙂

    A couple of years ago Guinness ran an ad campaign that stated that a bottle of Guiness has only 120 calories. Not sure if that’s true.

    I’ve found that the beer itself isn’t too bad if taken in moderation during the weekends. As you notes, it’s the combination of factors that leads to trouble:
    1. snacking while drinking usually leads to eating without taking into account how much you’re actually eating
    2. beer also slows down your digestive system
    3. drinking and snacking up until you go to sleep further compounds the slow digestion issue (always try to stop at least an hour before you go to sleep)

    #3 can also lead to acid reflux, by the way.

    • December 10, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

      I’m usually fine. I work out like a maniac, eat like a 22 year old girl and drink what I like in moderation.

      What I’ve learned is a guy in his late 30’s can’t stop doing that and not expect middle age to drop the flabhammer on him!

      Also, Weight Watchers is good stuff. I did some writing and promotions for them a few years back and I still use what I learned back then. Mostly it’s eating healthy foods in moderation – who woulda thunk it?

    • Don
      December 10, 2010 at 4:38 pm #

      One flaw in your plan Mark. Jim probably has enough in his garage to last him for a year! He has a hoarding problem that he discussed here: https://beerandwhiskeybros.com/2010/11/11/confessions-of-a-beer-hoarder/

      • December 10, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

        I think you have a pretty solid point there, bro.

        For once.

      • Mark S.
        December 10, 2010 at 11:32 pm #

        I was trying to give Jim an “out”…

        😉

        “I’d love to diet, but you see, I have all this beer I have to drink first…”

        🙂

  9. December 10, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    I just realized I’m ready to write a book: The Beer Diet.

    I’ll boil it down for you – eat less food / drink more beer!

    • Alex
      December 10, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

      Excerpt from the chapter on food pairings: “Bourbon County Stout pairs extremely well with . . . nothing. If you must have something, make it a rice cake. You may as well be drinking drawn butter, fatso.”

      It really is amazing what a difference midweek abstinence makes; I should be more vigilant about it than I have been, especially recently.

      • December 10, 2010 at 4:04 pm #

        Love it! I sense another infographic!

      • Alex
        December 10, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

        Nice!

      • Don
        December 10, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

        What’s wrong with drinking drawn butter???

      • Alex
        December 10, 2010 at 5:24 pm #

        Oh, there is absolutely nothing wrong with drinking drawn butter, Don. I was just illustrating how tasty Bourbon County Stout is. Yeah, that’s it . . .

        [shows self out]

        • Don
          December 10, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

          Sometimes I’ll mix it with sugar and call it “Shame Soup”.

        • December 10, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

          Way to go, Don, he left.

          Why are you always so touchy about drawn butter?

  10. 1Time4got
    December 10, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

    Jim,

    I admire your dedication, but since I’ve returned to journalism, I’ve found my writing isn’t the same without having at least a beer or two a night after work. Something about the nectar of the gods really frees up those creative juices. Nothing beats a good cold beer after beating a deadline. Last night I enjoyed three Blue Moons for slamming out a 600-word piece with no corrections in 28 minutes.

    Thankfully I run enough to keep the beer from hitting my belly, but when I overdo it the run in the morning reminds me I’m no longer 21.

    • December 10, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

      Yes, beer and writing do go well, but not at the same time.

      And *BEER SNOB ALERT* I usually save the Blue Moons for when I screw up – I consider them punishment! *END SNOBBERY*

      🙂

      • 1Time4got
        December 10, 2010 at 5:45 pm #

        I blame the top dog where I work for my lapse into Blue Moons, Jim. They’re his favorite, so I suppose every now and then I indulge in a bit of conformity. Shiner Bock is the beer of my native land, so when I come back to my senses I have to double up on them to remove the moon wash from my mouth. This weekend might be a good time to start.

        • December 10, 2010 at 5:50 pm #

          We always say “drink what you like” around here, but I couldn’t let that one go by.

          A little flare up of Beerdouchicus I guess. 😉

        • Don
          December 10, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

          Don’t let Jim fool ya…He knows where Beerdouchicus lives…

        • December 10, 2010 at 5:53 pm #

          Yes, I can give you the address in Marsing, Idaho.

          Oh wait, that’s Beerdooficus. Never mind.

      • Matt
        December 10, 2010 at 6:43 pm #

        Here is the opposite end of the spectrum of the beerdouchicus. The YellowFizzyIgnoramous. It is taking every ounce of my will to keep from making this guy’s life miserable.

        http://bit.ly/gAh240

        • Don
          December 10, 2010 at 7:04 pm #

          That guy is a rare Kegostandouchicus. When he makes fun of the guys that drink good beer…

        • Don
          December 10, 2010 at 7:05 pm #

          That said, my bottle of Bourbon County Rare is in the mail! 😀

        • December 10, 2010 at 7:16 pm #

          That’s actually Brewmagnon. Don’t worry, he won’t get too far up the ladder.

  11. December 10, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    My goal is to develop a drink that causes weight and tastes like beer.
    Been on a week beer fast because of a cold. No beer or whiskey although I almost cracked last night as I am almost over it. I have gone months without having a beer although the joy of whiskey does sustain me.

    • December 10, 2010 at 5:23 pm #

      They do make a beer that causes weight loss, John. It’s called Olde English 800. You drink 40 ounces, puke your guts out, and viola! Half the calories you consumed that day are gone!

  12. Mark S.
    December 10, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

    I have noticed that drinking a good beer can often help cure a minor cold, cough, or sore throat.

    Anyway, tonight I had the Schafly’s Reserve, and am following with a Southern Tier Chokolat Stout. Fun times!

    • December 10, 2010 at 11:26 pm #

      Two of my favorites. Enjoy (and pace yourself).

  13. Mark S.
    December 10, 2010 at 11:36 pm #

    Quick review – the Schafly’s was worth every cent, but I definitely couldn’t drink it very week. The Chokolat Stout was initially good, but it “insisted upon itself”* too much. A 22-oz bottle was too much.

    *from the Family Guy

    • December 10, 2010 at 11:51 pm #

      I could drink the Schlafly’s Reserve every night, as long as we’re talking about the imperial stout and not the barleywine.

      But I agree that the Choklat has a high opinion of itself, and while excellent, it’s not an everyday beer.

      Still, two excellent choices and I give you credit for typing so well after them. 🙂

  14. December 12, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    I stopped for a while last night right before bed.

    Thanks to the roommate bottling homebrewed gruit this afternoon, I’ve already resumed my normal buzz.

    I skipped the caffeine today, though, so I gotta dig out some Four Loko.

    • December 12, 2010 at 2:26 pm #

      Gruit!

      What a great word.

      And yeah, Four Loko is quite a timesaver for the daytime drunk. 😉

  15. Rachel
    December 14, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    I’m always happy to have my husband as a drinking buddy. We split beers so we can taste more with fewer calories.

    • December 14, 2010 at 2:29 pm #

      It’s great to have a partner who loves beer in the house.

      Even better is a partner who loves beer AND being thrifty. I can always pawn off a beer I don’t like to my wife when I tell her I’m gonna pour it out!

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