It isn’t hard to give up beer.
Provided, of course, you don’t go to any stores that sell decent beers, and you forego reading beer blogs and avoid pubs altogether, even crap pubs because you might end up having a Guinness.
See, it’s easy.
Except what happens when you realize that after 5 years of immigration limbo, this country you’ve been living in has finally adopted you? Through an arcane, Kafkaesque ritual involving metal benches, bulletproof glass and endless paperwork it has secured you to its bosom as tenderly any bureaucratic behemoth could.
My passport now reads SETTLEMENT, and I can stay.
So you see, I had to plan carefully on that day, because I really, really wanted a beer. I ended up at the Gunmakers because I knew Jeff would have Old Rosie on and in some twisted logic I felt that drinking cider would allow me to continue my fast with some integrity. But when Mr. Malting and my friend P both had pints of Old Engine Oil it became harder. But I persevered, I will have you know. Even when Jesus John showed up, regaling me with tales of Hardcore IPA on cask at the Rake, I did. not. waver.
I think John would have rather been at the London Drinker fest, which was no doubt where Jeff, the Landlord, was. Last year I attempted to go and couldn’t contemplate standing in the queue which wrapped around the block– glimpses of the interior revealed it to be packed. After the surreal ordeal at the Border Agency, the last thing I wanted to do was be in a crowd.
But what this means is we are no longer tied to London for work permits, etc. We can live anywhere in the UK, and I think we are both ready to find a new place. I am already planning beery pilgrimages of this fair isle, if anyone has some suggestions, I’m getting out my maps. Those of you in the UK, tell me about your locals. Which nearby breweries do you favor? In short, what’s it like where you are?