I’ve had a happy little dream brewing in the back of my brain for the past several years. In it, there are two tap handles sticking out from the door of my beer fridge in the garage, one a fount of New Holland Dragons Milk, the other a free-flowing supply of a lovely pale ale.
I’ve researched it, looked at pricing, I even diagrammed it here back in 2010.
But thankfully, I never did anything about it, which is good – because now I think it would have been a mistake, for five very valid reasons:
For instance, sometimes I finish a can of Dales Pale Ale, but still want a “little taste” more. Right now, that means opening another 12 ounce can, which would be much more than a “little taste,” so I don’t do it. I let the moment pass and the craving subside.
HOWEVER, if I had Dales on tap, it’d be very easy to wander out to the garage and pull that “little taste” from the spigot. And then maybe another. And then one more. Probably while standing there in front of the fridge. Those little pours would easily add up to the beer I decided I really didn’t want to drink, and who knows where that might lead.
In other words, I’m too weak a man to be trusted with a beer fountain.
You’re on the clock the moment you put a beer on tap. The microbial forces of nature and chemistry immediately begin working against the beer you’ve broken the seal on, slowly turning it from a glorious expression of the brewer’s art into a flat and sour keg full of wasted glory. In other words, you gotta finish the beer before it goes bad.
I’m pretty familiar with the demons in my head, and I know they’d be cooing about how I need to get out there and finish that beer before it goes to waste. How I’m not giving into temptation (as outlined above), but rather how I’m doing a service to the men and women who worked hard to make such a glorious beverage in the first place. Drink it now before it goes bad. Finish your plate, fatty.
It would be very easy to rationalize drinking in excess under the guise of “saving” the beer.
So it turns out that beer contains these things called “calories.” When consumed in excess of what the body needs for fuel (especially just before bed), these calories are converted, through the magic of biology, into an energy storage substance called “fat.” This fat typically girds itself around the middle of the torso, ensuring you feel ashamed of your body whenever visiting water parks or the beach.
A beer tap is nothing if not a caloric fountain, and one that I certainly would have trouble resisting. Making things even worse is the fact that drinking to excess will undoubted lead to the Snack Monster slipping its leash and ravaging the cabinets for anything crunchy and/or containing cheese. Nothing for my girlish figure like piling an entire bag of Munchies (the Super Friends of snacks) on top of 30 ounces of Imperial Stout.
The end game here is a wardrobe comprised mostly from pants with elastic waistbands.
For me, the worse kind of guilt is boomerang guilt, the kind that comes from making the same mistake over and over again, even after feeling bad about it and telling yourself you’re going to do better next time.
I imagine a river of beer flowing through my garage will pull me back into making the same poor choices time and again, which will lead to an awful case of boomerang guilt, which is something I don’t need in my life.
I’m a fickle man, a shameful follower of fads. I have a garage full of brewing equipment that has sat unused for almost two years (although I do use the big orange Home Depot bucket for washing the car on occasion), and I have two carboys full of what by now is compost feeder (it was homebrew 18 months ago, but my aversion to bottling has led to “extreme aging,” to be kind to myself).
I’m wise enough to know the same fate would most likely befall my kegerator, which requires maintenance and regular cleaning (two things which I do not excel at) to perform optimally.
Here’s how I see my failure unfolding: I give into temptation, driven by the pressure of not wanting to waste the beer I’ve tapped, and feel guilt about my out-of-control behavior and eventual corpulence. My better self rides in to the rescue, and I curb my tap-curling to the point where the beer in the kegs go flatter than Kansas. I then let the beers stew there, ruining the kegs, the lines, and generally mucking up the whole show. Eventually, I purge the entire system from my life, disposing of it wholesale at the dump on a fit of shame and anger.
Instead, maybe I should just cut to the chase and drill and spackle two holes in the door of my beer fridge and pretend I’ve been there, and I’ve done that.
For me, a kegerator is nothing but the fast lane to failure.