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Wednesday 9 December 2009

When is 'too much' really too much?

I have been thinking a lot about the brewing industry recently and the direction in which it and modern day drinkers are going in. Everything seems like it is constantly pushing the boundaries all the time. Whether it be the 30 year old who should know better in the pub boasting about having been on an 18 pint bender the previous weekend or whether it be a 27% strength beer, everything seems to be getting more extreme. We like our cars extreme, our sports extreme, but the question remains: do we really need our drinks industry to be extreme?

My answer.......Yes, I think we do. We have to remember the good old phrase of days gone past and that is- Everything has a time and a place. There are plenty cases which I can recall (or not) heading out with a friend on a weekday afternoon after lectures had finished for the day and sinking a good 6 pints of Ossian, Peters Well or Schiehallion before dinner. Those day were great, equally like taking a lot of time over a complex and strong bottle of beer is great. The problem is, the way people view it! We have to stop pandering to the political correctness that has been created in our society. Don't get me wrong......alcohol should ultimately be respected, that is what this blog is all about. Nevertheless alcohol should also be enjoyed and this is something that our government do not seem to understand.

We have a problem with binge drinking right? Well yes we do, but the stats and figures regularly pulled up are really off the mark because they tend to regard someone who has gone down his local boozer for a couple after work as a 'binge drinker'. We all know that is just plain wrong. Everyone knows their limits and it is their responsability as an adult drinker to stick to these. We all know that we have limits when we need to go to the loo, but you rarely see someone standing around excusing themselves because they pushed this limit. Head into any city centre on a saturday night though and you will find someone slumped beside a bin saying 'im ssoory, it wiz that last glass of wine'.

We need to remember how special alcohol is. Thats why I tend to drink craft beer or small batch spirits because when you are drinking them, they command respect. I think about the work that has gone into producing the beer and even if im drinking a pint of BrewDog in a pub in Edinburgh, I still go back to my visit to the brewery. Thats what it should really be all about.

Back to the question though.......when is too much really too much? I think it is really everyones own choice ultimately. There can be all the guidelines and alcohol tracking apps that you want, but it will not stop people from enjoying themselves. Thats what alcohol is ultimately about....enjoyment,pleasure and socialising. We need to stop thinking about alcohol as a taboo because frankly it just encourages those who want to abuse it to do so. Good beer needs respect whether it is drunk in a litre or 330ml. All I ask is just dont be the person sitting beside the bin!


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