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Stick to democracy's death spiral, plus Belgian tripel and harm reduction
Last night was not ideal.
Remember how nice yesterday morning was? Anyhow.
Last night I joked that the civic unpleasantries had forced me to interrupt Dryuary with an emergency Wetnesday. It was a good line but also a lie. I’ve never observed Dry January for a couple different reasons, one being that January first is among my favorite party days. This year we had champagne, the real wood-cork, thick-foil shit, and our favorite celebration beer, Allagash Curieux, which I maintain is the best beer ever brewed in New England.
So I’m not a Dryuarist, but I respect the notion. Every year around this time there’s a limp little drunkard’s culture war twixt those who celebate and those who don’t, and I mostly stay out of it, because none of my business. But since I had that good joke about it last night and last paragraph, here’s my two pints: The people rejecting it on the grounds that it’s our civic duty to support the small business troops during these trying times can get fucked. No one is obligated to drink someone else’s way to profitability. If it’s in the budget, of course it’s a nice and valuable gesture to buy gift cards and t-shirts and so forth, maybe big bottles of beer to drink over the course of the year. I’m all for that. I want the breweries and independent bottle shops to thrive. But it’s not my explicit daily responsibility to make it so.
That’s a small self-interested minority of the dissenters, though. The more common midwinter soaks deploy the smug and true argument that it’d be healthier to just drink moderately throughout the year. Oh, you don’t say?? Should I also cure my unemployment by learning to code? Perhaps I could look into being a smidge taller, a touch baller? Look, we can only do what we can do, and if moderation’s not your strength then it’s a fine idea to eke out whatever little benefit you can from lightening your liver’s load by a hundred drinks or two during the darkest month of the year.
My own thing this year is I’m looking for 150 dry days and 125 moist* days. So no one given day can make or break my stride, but “first Wednesday of January” was certainly factored into the cumulative as a dry one. Well they say drinking runs in the genes and it sure did in my case last night, namely the genes of Ben Sasse, a glistening little bitch from a long line of them. I know he wasn’t the worst guy on TV, but he was the one who sent me to the fridge, whence I pulled Allagash Tripel.
Remember Allagash Curieux, from before? Tripel is the base beer, Curieux is the barrel-aged version. The other difference is $8 per fourski. That’s significant! I’m not going to lie, even though I haven’t worked in nine months and can’t code or whistle, the enhanced dole kicked back in this week and my wife has a good gig. So not to brag, but let’s just say I had at least that extra $8 in my sweatpants when I entered the beer store (Social Wines on Mass Ave in Cambridge if you’re local and like cool stores owned by cool ladies), and probably even more--I’m at that level where I don’t even always know my disposable income, as it’s tied up in an evolving portfolio of small- and medium-sized bills invested in a diversified array of sweatpant pockets. But last night wasn’t a celebratory occasion, more a “hmmm, what’s 9% ABV?” one.
As I was saying, Allagash Tripel tastes like several things nice, specifically honey and cloves and a bit of the banana bubblegum. Sometimes it tastes gingery to me, though yesterday it didn’t. I’d had ginger a couple hours earlier in my night soup, perhaps a muddying of the perceptional waters. Also I love ginger and didn’t love last night, so maybe it was a classic Josh Hawley’s madeleine deal.
Today’s recommendations: Allagash Tripel, and doing whatever you can to dial down the drinking here and there around the edges if you or your doctor, cat, or probation officer think that’s worth looking into (they always do). I talked to a guy yesterday who’s aiming for one seven-day stretch a month, which strikes me as a pretty sound program.
*By moist I mean A) just a couple pops, maybe a couple couple, a casual amount; and B) to incite all youse who pretend to hate that word. People who hate moist are like people who fear clowns, in that they don’t really exist. Buddy, that’s played out, get a new quirk! May I suggest joining me in an exaggerated aversion to mayonnaise, for instance? Come on in, the mustard’s fine.