This month's Session is hosted by Nate Southwood of Booze, Beats & Bites. His chosen topic: So lonely.
"The way I see it is that I love beer and pubs and I don’t see why I should only go to the pub when I’m with other people. Am I weird for going to the pub alone?
How do you feel about going to the pub alone? Do you feel it’s necessary to be around friends to spend time in a pub?"
Preamble: Busy busy mid-winter days have flown by. Another month has past and a birthday celebrated with good beer around old Melbourne town. Yes. I have aged a little deeper into my thirties. And so returns the first Friday of the month and a post, my third, for The Session, which continues to be excellent incentive to keep me blogging unrestrained in my own thoughts on a general beer topic. This month we explore drinking alone in a pub. A sign of alcoholism to some, a welcome comfort to others.
Drinking alone is the pub is something I am very familiar with, from my early ignorant beering days to current times, thanks to the low-population and non-craft-beer-drinking demographic of my new home town that can often result in me solely occupying the Oscar's Ale House bar at 5pm on a Sunday. For me, drinking alone is simply a consequence of me loving good beer. It often allows me a moment to escape in my own quiet space, to clear my mind and reset my energy, but ultimately it's the sensory-to-psychological journey a solo beer takes me on that gives the appeal to drinking alone.
So lonely: Pubs are made for drinking. In draught form, a beer poured from the tap to your glass is the purpose of the pub. Their buildings provide the space, atmosphere and character to consume and experience beer across all levels of social interaction.
However, never will the pub’s aesthetic provision be more clear and rewarding to you than when you drink alone.
The beauty of the construction, the passing fascination of the nooks, the comfort of curious background noise…it’s all there, around you, as you drink and think. Often the beer is simply a prop and a means to let your mind wander away from the heavy thoughts of everyday modern life.
Then, when your eyes do return to the delicious pint of beer in your hand, you may notice that the beer is lingering longer in your mouth. The tasty moreish bitterness clings to your tongue, not washed away by the saliva of conversation and pace of social exchange.
With the right beer in hand I will never be lonely. The character and finish of the beer is more prevalent, just as everything around me becomes a little more randomly intriguing.
I write this as I sit alone, drinking a pint in my local bar. The room is almost empty except for a few other fellow isolated drinkers. I observe their lonesome acts with beer in hand. One is standing at the end of the bar in a frozen stare oblivious to his full glass of beer; one reads a book as he turns his beer glass; one sways in the cold outside as he smokes, with his other arm straight against his side, beer glass extending below.
So find your spot, alone in the pub, drink your beer…and let your mind lose on the physical and cerebral. When beered up, the analytical brain-strain is inhibited. Creative decision making flows and lightens the load…and it’s all of your own, free of influence of others. A good beer will guide you through and thank you when it’s finished.
What a strange power of release this quiet beer has. Maybe I’ll have another....then go talk to someone...