“He was a wise man who invented beer.” – Plato, philosopher, circa 400 B.C.
“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” – Benjamin Franklin, statesman, circa 1780
“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.” – Abraham Lincoln, president, circa 1858
“Give me a woman who loves beer and I will conquer the world.” – Kaiser Wilhelm, emperor, circa 1935
“I’m not drunk, I only had bee threers.” – Danny Lorenzini, my pal, circa 1972
There’s nothing like having a couple of beers with friends. The trick is to know your limit.
After that statement by my buddy Danny, we told him his limit was “bee.”
I often discuss drinking with my college students. And I often begin by sharing with them what I told my own kids when they reached that age where I knew they’d be tempted to take a drink. “I wish you wouldn’t,” I said. “Not until you are 21 and even then in moderation. But I’m a realist. I know you are going to drink. So, the rule is this: don’t die or cause a death because of drinking. And you have to make that decision before you even go out for the night.”
More than once I’d get a call from by son when he was in college in Savannah, Georgia. It would go something like this: “Dad, I’m walking downtown to get my car. I had one too many last night, so I left the car there and took a cab home.”
That’s all I asked for.
Well, that and one other thing. For him to get to the point where drinking became a social thing, where rather than drinking just to get drunk, he would learn to appreciate a good beer or a well made cocktail over rich conversation. That went for my daughter too. And for every young person I encounter.
I speak from experience. It’s been a long time since I’ve crossed the line but as a young man I knew what it was to wake up in the morning and not remember driving home. That’s not good. I was young and foolish, but mostly lucky.
The answer was not to become a teetotaler. The answer was to grow up.
Now, I’ll catch up with a friend over beers, share a bottle of wine with dinner or order a sherry afterwards and enjoy all of it without making an idiot of myself. But I must add that I might also catch up with a friend over coffee, order a bottle of sparkling water with dinner or stop for an ice cream sundae afterwards and have just as much fun.
The point is there’s nothing wrong with alcohol having a place in your life as long as that’s all it has, a place. And that’s up to you.
One thing that will help you go from being a beer guzzler out to get hammered to a beer connoisseur capable of enjoying a good beer for its quality and taste is the current popularity of craft beers. There will be 99 of them available for sampling at the annual Electric City Craft Brew Fest tomorrow, Saturday, April 18, at Montage Mountain. I will be there helping out as a volunteer. Stop by and say hello.
And if your goal is to sample all 99, please, please show up with a designated driver. It’s a long walk off that mountain.