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Slow Down, Geezer Drinking

April 1, 2015

I’m more of an old fashioned prankster. So today I won’t be trying to fool you in my prose. Today’s post is not a ruse.

Tonight I’ll celebrate this foolish holiday at Slidin’ Dirty with a room full of Yelpers and their compatriots. There will even be extra special treats for those early birds who check into the event first on their smart phones. The doors open at 7pm, but you have to be on the list to get in. And, regrettably, the list is full.

If you want in on future Yelp events, keep an eye on the events page, follow Yelp Albany on Facebook, subscribe to the Twitter feed, or do whatever it is people do on Instagram.

Yeah. I’m old. And for a while I thought that staying hooked into social media would keep me young. But that was a false hope. I’m slowing down. Last Saturday I hung out in a bar and did some afternoon drinking. I was able to drink three ten-ounce glasses of beer. That was it. I wanted more, but I just didn’t have a fourth in me.

The interesting thing is that this change isn’t just affecting how much I’m drinking, it’s actually changing what I’m drinking.

Beer is rising up the ranks as one of my favorite things, not just because of its increasing complexity, but also because of its convenient packaging.

Long ago I made the case for drinking more wine. I argued that it was easy to preserve leftover wine using vacuum pumps and containers of inert gas. Sparkling wines can be saved as well, with the simple application of a special closure. But recently I’ve found resealed bottles of wine sitting around for upwards of a week. We just don’t get back around to finishing it, and then drinking the remnants becomes more of a burden than a joy.

Boxed wine is another solution, and there is some tasty boxed wine on the market these days, but it takes us forever to get through one of those boxes. Like an idiot I just bought a five liter box last night. But I was looking down the barrel of a beer-free Passover.

Distilled spirits have their time and their place. Over time I’ve learned the benefits of stocking a limited bar at home. It means I have to make hard choices at the liquor store and on trips to distilleries. But otherwise we would be overrun with bottles that never get emptied.

These days it’s bottles or cans of beer that I find myself reaching for over and over again.

Twelve ounces is just about right for me. Especially if what I’m drinking is notably bitter or otherwise interesting. I’ll drink it slowly. I’ll drink it thoughtfully. And sometimes even those last couple of ounces can be a push the get through. Some of that has to do with higher alcohol beers. Some of it just has to do with fatigue. At the recent All Over Albany party, I nursed one beer for the entire three hour event. But that one was closer to sixteen ounces.

Currently I’m vexed by the fact that some nicer beers only come in larger form bottles, and like wine, I am finding them increasingly difficult to get through in a sitting.

And it’s fun to have a few different bottles of beer in the house for different moods. Something simple just to quench the heat of fiery foods, something bitter, something bright, or something dark. I’m still not so into the sweet and syrupy, but it’s amazing how many styles of beer can be found in this corner of the world.

Tonight there is going to be beer from Rare Form Brewing (Troy), Shmaltz Brewing (Clifton Park), Paradox Brewing (Schroon Lake), Olde Saratoga Brewing (Saratoga Springs), and Mad Jack Brewing (Schenectady). Plus Albany’s Nine Pin will be at Slidin’ Dirty with cider.

Cider I can drink over Passover.

Surely, they will pour smaller samples on request, as I’d love to try as many as I can. But the other side of the coin is that just having a few sips of something doesn’t let you fully experience it. That may not make a lot of sense right now. I tell you what, let’s expand on that tomorrow.

Now stay vigilant out there today. I’d hate to see you look foolish by accident.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 1, 2015 9:30 am

    I am with you on beer vs. wine for those of a certain age. It’s also more nutritionally complete so you net out in better shape if memory fails and you forget to eat lunch and dinner. And if you are concerned about not finishing one of those 24 ounce craft beers (or are you talking about a 40 of malt liquor? That was a question) plug it with one of your wine bottle corks and it should be fine till the next day.

  2. April 1, 2015 9:42 am

    The problem with being a wine drinker is better wines can get very expensive, and I cannot afford to drop big bucks on wine. I’m stuck drinking stuff under $20/bottle. Not that there aren’t good wines at that price, but you get my point.

    Beer though is a whole ‘nother story. Great beers don’t cost a whole lot more than the cheap ones, and that means anybody can drink great one’s. Plus it’s just cool to drink a six pack of Genny Screamers in the back yard when you’re grilling up some burgers.

  3. Brendan B. permalink
    April 1, 2015 10:14 am

    I’m in for team wine here. First, I wanted to address storage after having a glass. I saw you were using gas and or a vacuum system. That’s great, but not needed. You can simply cork the bottle and put it in the fridge. The wine holds for a week strong without really losing any luster and in my cases can improve. I have even corked bubble and gone back two weeks later with plenty of lively bubbles awaiting me.

    As for the cost, there’s plenty of sub 20 dollar wines that are super strong values. Exit 9 and empire have a vast selection for this price point and I’m convinced some of these values could fool sommeliers across the us into thinking they were a much higher price point. I recommend mixing up your stores as different wine buyers improves your options. Plenty of shops offer free tastings and open bottles everyday to try before you buy, most of which are always under 15 bucks.

    I love beer too, but as you get into more interesting and smaller production breweries the prices rocket up really quickly. 4 packs for 14-18 bucks is becoming more and more common all the time. 16oz – 22oz bottles running 9-20 even more so.

    Gatta pay the cost to be the boss.

  4. April 1, 2015 10:34 am

    As a result of my extensive pre-op blood-work I’ve learned a lot about what’s going on inside my body. One of those things is that my kidneys have begun to show signs of extended, and excessive alcohol use. I quit my good friend bourbon, and all hard liquor since it was common to have 3-4 bourbons per night. I’m lucky, my wife likes good beer, so I have a friend to split a bottle with. We buy a mixed 6-pack at the beverage center and enjoy splitting bottles through the weekend. In six weeks my kidneys are normal and Jennifer and I have something to really enjoy doing together. I also feel a heck-of-a-lot better in the mornings.

  5. April 5, 2015 10:12 pm

    This is exactly why Chris and I have gotten away from wine. Don’t get me wrong, we still love it, but we aren’t drinking it at the same volume. In fact, this reminds me that we have quite a few nice reds we bought a few years back in Oregon and California that at one point we were waiting very impatiently for the mid 20-teens to pop open. Where does the time go?

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