On a year without craft beer.

Yesterday was a little heavy. Let’s lighten up a bit.

I didn’t plan for 2016 to be the Year Without Craft Beer. It just happened. January I embraced an ascetic lifestyle – OK, a more ascetic lifestyle, let’s be frank – and I discovered I wasn’t really missing my hefeweizens or stouts. I won’t say I didn’t like them — but I didn’t miss them when they weren’t around. You could say they weren’t sparking joy in my life, aside from the usual joy alcohol brings for a brief time.

It’s also very freeing to not be constantly up on something – the latest glassware, or brewery, or chasing a Trappist ale through the vagaries of a provincial liquor board system. Some people really enjoy that, and I can’t fault them. I mean, I read city reports in my spare time. It was just becoming a chore. As I get older, I find myself less inclined to prove myself, to explain myself all the time.  It’s exhausting! Besides, as a supertaster, most IPAs are wasted on me. Ales are right out. I can tell some wheat beers apart in close proximity, but I discovered at the end of the day I want something cold, not too sweet, and affordable. (Reader, I drink GW Light.)

I don’t mean for this to be a snooty thinkpiece, one you write after you ascend to a higher plane. I do enough of that elsewhere, and I know how perversely enjoyable being superior is, a smugness shot through with tiny little barbs in your soul. Rather it’s about the maturity that springs from, or caused by, when you decide a thing isn’t for you. “Oh, it’s not really my thing” – what freedom these words give you! You’ve had a look at it, you’ve tested it from all angles, and it’s not really fitting in with what you want or need, so you set it aside and thank it. I’m not worried I’m closing myself off. My interests are as varied as ever. It’s just — it doesn’t apply to me anymore. And knowing when things don’t apply to you is the real key here.