The Session #76 – Compulsion

So, after missing a month or two, I once again find time to contribute to The Session, which is this month hosted by Glen Humphries of beer is your friend.

The topic this month focuses on what compels us to buy more beer, especially when some of us already have fridges and cupboards and boxes full of the stuff.

I’m certainly guilty of buying and hoarding beer. Some of it has a virtual date on it. I’ve not actually written on any of my bottles when I’m going to drink them, but there are some that I’ve mentally earmarked for certain special occasions, birthdays, weddings and the such.

At the other end of the scale, there are the casual beers. These usually don’t last long, as I don’t need a reason to drink them. They’re easily available, relatively cheap, and I enjoy drinking them.

Inbetween those beers are the beers that make up the bulk of my hoard. The mixture of rare beers or beers that could benefit from a bit of ageing (those many bottles of Bourbon County for example). Whilst I don’t find it impossible to open these bottles, I do tend to look for a special occasion, or theme to do so. As an example, two weekends ago I finally opened my 2003 bottle of Edwin Tucker’s Empress Porter, in a verticle tasting which included the three subsequent releases (from 2006, 2010 and 2013).

So, with that in mind, what does compel me to buy more bottles?

Well, if I didn’t, I’d soon find myself running out of beer to drink at home, though as things stand, I’d be good for a few weeks, and probably months. The main reason is probably that I enjoy it. I enjoy going into bottle shops. Most times I probably end up spending more than I should, but I end up leaving with good beer, that I can either drink myself, or in most cases, share with friends or family.

Last week, as I was walking to Bitter Virtue, I began to wonder if my buying patterns would be different if I had such a shop on my door step. I came to the conclusion that I would probably still have a hoard of vintage beers and 750s, but that the more casual beers would be bought on a night by night basis. It would be a win-win situation. I wouldn’t need to store the beers myself, and I’d have access to a much bigger choice. All I’d need to do is walk a bit further to pick them up (and also pay for them, but then I would have had to have done that if I was storing them at home anyway).

Looking back on all of this though, I suppose the biggest reason that compels me to buy more beer, is that I like drinking beer. It seems a rather obvious answer, but there you go. I like beer, so I buy beer.


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