“Beer is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy.” – attributed to Ben Franklin but apparently mistakenly.
In the supposed source for the quotation he is actually talking about wine (his drink of choice). Now, this is Internet research so who knows, maybe at some point he did say something similar about beer.
If he didn’t say it, he should have.
I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment. Let us not quarrel over history and merchandizing, let us instead appreciate our cups.
Since launching this blog I’ve second-guessed my choice of “beer” many, many times.
In Be In I described the additional meaning of “beer” – symbolic of life lived with intentional joie de vivre – whatever joy means to you.
For me the enjoyment – often but not exclusively – is beer.
I am not a lush. I can go a week or 3 without having a beer and usually I hold myself to 1 or 2 when I do imbibe. It is a social and almost culinary passion for me – ditto for coffee. I don’t have many other vices (see: coffee).
Beer is my invitation to myself to have fun.
As I wrote in my intro to “tales from my local” – I don’t like beer because boys like beer (though definite side benefit and yes, I am judging you by what you order). I don’t drink beer to get drunk (bourbon is much more efficient for that). It isn’t the idea of doing something naughty or verboten (tons of better options for that) but alcohol does have its effects and so, of course, ordering a beer is a conscious choice to relax and relish.
I like the taste, the variety, the fuzzy warmth and quenching cool that comes with different varieties. I’ve been a stouts and porters gal for a while but have been discovering the beauties of Double and Black IPAs of late.
A girl walks into a bar and says ouch.
So I am obviously not a teetotaler. BTW I found out the origins of the word the other day – hey it isn’t tea-totaler like I thought. Summary: it means derives from “total abstinence.”
I know it is hard to tell given the length of the preceding section and the title of this blog but I also don’t often advertise my beer love. I own exactly one piece of clothing with a brewery emblem on it — a hat I purchased with my second-ever Growler (Barley-wine) which I wear running.
In tv, sharing a pint is a friendly work-related rite but, wanting to be taken “seriously” I usually don’t express my love of beer in “professional” situations. [quotation marks = air quotes for wry emphasis]
I had to do some assignments for a digital media course last semester though and, for lack of a better muse, I chose to do a few using CBB. I was shocked when 2 of my 4 group-mates wrote feedback indicating that my material was ok but they could’t really appreciate it because they don’t drink. <gulp>
These are future librarians and all but… really? It spooked me.
Can I be considered professional and still have ‘beer” in my blog name?
I have considered moving this space to something more PC countless times. Thankfully my stronger self has reminded me to flinch forward and not back.
This could have been coffeebooksandchocolate but 1- that was getting ridiculously long and 2- Beer was an act of daring.
I have the less-abashed guts in my online persona that I often don’t in my personal life.
I often flinch when the two intersect. This is not just because of beer in my title but it is often what I fixate on. Underlying of course is my fears and the uncomfortable tenuousness I still bring to expressing my desire to be happy in my own way.
As much as it expresses a quest for joy, the final B forces me to continue to be out there, living in the sometimes scary truth.
I like the me who can walk into a new bar because of the lengthy menu, order a dark beer, and share stories and laughs with strangers. She is the confident blogger behind Coffee, Books and Beer. She is who I want more of – not less.
Thankfully, I have received very positive feedback from bloggers I admire and readers saying “hey cool name – 3 of my favorite things too.” These are my people.
Those that are turned off by “beer” in my blog title aren’t my tribe, my audience, my peers or my allies. Those I want to read and get something out of this blog – the people who I want to have conversations with – are the ones that would order pints with me.
To scratch an <gasp> adult beverage from my site would be bow to some lasting vestiges of conservative temperance. I should not limit my voice to conform to ideas I don’t hold.
Inspiration, Information, Intentional Enjoyment – all on your terms and in your way. Keeping CBB whole – those three equally important parts of myself and my credo – is foundational to moving forward.
I’m not going to tell you to “follow your bliss,” “find your passion” or “love what you do so you never have to work.” I’m simply, constantly reminding myself and thusly you: be in the moment and enjoy your bless’d beer.
If it isn’t beer, what is your intentional enjoyment?
If it is beer - Want to grab a pint? I’m going to be traveling through most of the summer! Follow that and more @coffeebooksbeer Or please spread virtual cheer by sharing a suggestion for a great brew in the comments below.
PS – Happy Leap Day!
PPS – Photos this week are all my own. Check out #beertography for mouth-wartering beer-pron