Jul 20, 2012

How #CraftBeer Saved Me From Becoming An Alcoholic


I've toyed with the idea of writing this post for many, many months.  What it reveals is personal, but ultimately freeing and hopefully helpful.  Alcoholism runs in my family, as it does in millions of other families in America.  It's a terrible thing.  It's a disease.  It ruins lives.  It tears families apart.  It can kill and it had its sights set on me. 

I'm not hear to say I beat alcoholism.  I don't believe I was an alcoholic...yet, but I was showing all the classic signs.  I was drinking to excess, and unaware of my limits.  I was missing events in my life because of hangovers.  I embarrassed myself and my family on occasion.  I had what's called a "drinking problem" or was a "binge drinker".  Regardless, I was headed down an rocky path.

When socializing in large groups or in party situations I'd grab the macro beer that "tasted great" or was "less filling"; the one everyone else was drinking.  Then I'd grab another.  And another, and another.  Soon, I had consumed enough of the yellow fizzy stuff to drown a brown bear.  Don't ask me why I drank so much.  I couldn't tell you.  I don't know why I blew right past my limit without so much as a hesitation.  It never even occurred to me to slow down or stop.  

The stuff tasted damn nearly like water.  I wasn't appreciating the beer at all.  I was enjoying how fourteen or more light beers made me feel, and I'm ashamed to admit that I did this much more often than any adult should.  It seems that alcohol has a way of altering your decision making skills.

Then about four years ago, give or take, I really started delving into and exploring craft beer.  I went back to picking up a six pack of anything I hadn't tasted before to share with family and friends.  I began to appreciate what I was drinking.  I began to really TASTE it.  Think about it.  Talk about it.  Read about it.  ENJOY it.  I slowed down to smell the roses (or hops in this case).

In craft beer I found a sort of salvation, both literally and figuratively.  Now I drink beer in moderation.  I appreciate it.  I don't swill it.  I sip it.  I don't punch holes in cans.  I collect fine, tuliped glassware.  

Craft beer taught me to appreciate the science and art of brewing beer.  Craft beer taught me to enjoy the little things like differences in hops, malts and yeasts.  More importantly, craft beer taught me some things in life are worth slowing down for and how to take the time to appreciate those things.  My drinking and my life are in check now, and I credit craft beer with that.

I urge you to not waste another day of your life or a dollar of your paycheck on bad beer.  Find craft beer.  Embrace craft beer.  Enjoy craft beer.  In moderation, of course.  

It's time to take control.  You can do it, but if you think you may have a problem there are lots of places to turn.  Life is simply too precious not to seek the help you need...whatever form it may take.

Alcoholics Anonymous


The Mayo Clinic