I’m in full-on get-in-shape mode right now. I’m waking up at the crack of dawn to work out, I’m watching what I eat like a hawk, and I even got one of those Nike+ Fuelband gizmos to remind me to get off my ass and move around.
On the beer front, I’ve gotten very rigid about my weekday beer consumption – there is none. Not to say that I’ll never have a beer on a Wednesday night ever again, but I need to approach life with an aggressive discipline for the next several weeks in order to reboot my lifestyle from one that’s too lax to one that’s fun, healthy and sustainable. While many of these adjustments have been easier than others, there’s one habit that I can’t seem to break.
You see, I feel at my most relaxed on a weekend night, sitting alone in my mission-style recliner in the small office upstairs catching up on my TV shows. Right now, I have last week’s Mad Men waiting for me, a new episode of Top Gear (the British version), and I’m interested in watching Veep, the new show on HBO. Of course, the last show I started watching on HBO (Luck, which was like Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, but with degenerate gamblers) was cancelled when I was four episodes in, so maybe I should wait until Julia Loius-Dreyfus and the gang get greenlit for a second season before I give them my heart. Anyway, I enjoy a little “me time” when watching my stories, and when I do so, I also enjoy a thick glass of beer.
Mostly my cravings go to two beers in particular – Schlafly’s Reserve Imperial Stout and New Holland Dragons Milk. I’m like a bug in a rug with either in my hands and something good flickering on the screen. And when I’m watching shows in the mancave without one, I hear them calling me from downstairs. I develop a craving somewhere deep in my spine for a toe-curling barrel aged beer that’s very, very hard to resist.
That’s not to say that I don’t resist it sometimes. If I have an early morning the next day or don’t think I’ll really get the full enjoyment out of one (or, like now, if I don’t want to ingest 700 calories worth of liquid carbs right before falling asleep), I can sit there and drink water, and the experience is almost the same. Almost. But if I’m honest, nothing beats swirling a goblet full of rich beery awesomeness under my nose while watching King Joffrey being an absolute monster.
Right now I’m up in the air about what to do about this. I figure there are a few ways to go. I can stay the hell out of the mancave for awhile, thus removing the siren song of the barrel-aged ales. I can watch my shows with a glass of water, or perhaps seltzer, which will give my palate a bubbly massage akin to a beer. Or I can say screw it, and call it a cheat day or whatever and drink my beers and watch my shows, understanding that a life without a little decadence isn’t much of a life at all.
Of the three, I’ll probably do the one that involves drinking good beers – it’s the easiest, the most delicious, and it give me something to look forward to on a Wednesday night when I’m eating hummus and black beans on a whole wheat tortilla. You gotta live a little, right?
How about you – what your favorite beer drinking ritual, the one that would be the hardest to give up? As always, let us know below!