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Striking a beer balance

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This month’s Session topic (a regular query posed by a chosen member of the beer blogging world) comes from Bryan Roth over at his “This is Why I’m Drunk” site: Finding a beer balance. Or, in short: How do you, the consumer, blogger or whomever, maintain a sane and healthy lifestyle while pursuing an interest in craft beer?

Right now I wish I were Tim Cigelske, DRAFT’s Beer Runner. His answer would simply be a link to his blog. Or, more specifically, this recent post.

I think the real question at the heart of this month’s topic—if you distill it down—is simply: How do I explore craft beer without becoming a complete, drunken blowhard?

The more you drink, the more you learn. But, it can be easy to forget that quantity and variety are completely different approaches to “more.”

To each their own, for sure. But, over the years I’ve seen enough to know when someone’s on the right path, or the wrong path when it comes to exploring, learning and sharing the beauty of craft beer.

You’re doing it wrong if:
* Special tastings or brand showcases at your local pub turn into an excuse to get drunk.
* When out drinking with friends, you turn into the guy who continues to talk about beer when the conversation’s ventured elsewhere.
* Instead of posting informative contributions on beer rating site forums, you derail topics.
* You can’t remember how you got home from the beer festival yesterday.
* You can’t manage to keep beer in the fridge.
* The longest you’ve been able to cellar a beer is two days.
* You’ve stopped trying to figure out beer.

You’re doing it right if:
* You pregame your beer session with a run, swim, walk, bike—or shots…with a basketball.
* The history, culture or science of beer inspires you to explore topics that have nothing to do with beer.
* You have a responsible understanding of when a session beer should be in your hand, as opposed to a barleywine.
* Your beer conversations are collaborative, not combative or condescending.
* You enjoy learning about the people and process behind your pints.
* Beer is a singular, colorful thread woven into your greater fabric.
* You subscribe to DRAFT.

Some of the best stories in beer have nothing to do with what’s inside the glass. So if you really want to let beer flow through your life with value, balance and ease, take your nose out of the pint once in a while and look around.

How do you balance beer in your life?


Chris Staten is DRAFT’s beer editor. Follow him on Twitter at @DRAFTbeereditor and email him at chris.staten@draftmag.com.


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  • BBB (@BmoreBistroBeer) says:

    I’m doing it RIGHT!!!!!

  • Chase Craft Beer @ChaseCraftBeer says:

    This month being session beer month is great. It’s great because it reminds people that just because it’s a low abv, doesn’t mean less flavor. I do agree that there are some craft beer jock’s. The one’s that take beer geek to an uber ridiculous high, and belittle other craft beer drinkers because they don’t know as much as them, or haven’t had the latest release as soon as it hit taps or bottles.
    I’d like to transfer my day-to-day life attitude into beer; that is loving, seeking, and sharing in a positive way. Point someone in a new direction instead of shove. Enlighten instead of brag.
    Well before I rant more. I’d like to say I enjoyed the post and the insights. Cheers!

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