Friday, 1 May 2020

The Session, Quarantine Edition: Where Are You At

Whelp, The Session is running again, and Al at Fuggled has asked a simple question that's perhaps more meaningful now than it would be at a lot of other times - where are we all at right now?

Well, we're broadly fine. To steal a line from Brian Aldiss (throwing some very British shade at the works of John Wyndham), we're having a very cosy catastrophe - working from home in a comfortable house, pottering in the garden, getting food orders in from local farm shops and delis, and largely insulated from the direct effects of the pandemic.

Beer-wise, I'm still drinking nice stuff. I've bought cases in from Duration and Burning Sky and I'm eyeing up Partizan's online shop. I've also had nice things delivered from Thirsty, our local bar and bottle shop, and I've done a couple of batches of homebrew. We've also got a nice stash of assorted lambics and other odds and ends to raid.

But there's a slight regret even associated with having nice beer to drink, and that's the awareness that - particularly with Alison being temporarily off the sauce for (otherwise harmless) medical reasons - there's no-one else drinking it with me.

This isn't just about the social aspect of beer culture, although we are missing the pub and we are missing seeing friends. It's about the realization that even the pleasure of good beer itself is partly in sharing it with other people. It's missing getting a round of pints in and all stopping a second to mutually appreciate the beer before the conversation kicks up again. It's missing somebody trying your homebrew at a barbecue and saying "wait, you brewed this yourself?" It's missing the moment when someone coming back from the bar at a beer festival saying "you lot have got to try this - no, just smell it, even!" It's about rummaging in the cupboard to find just that special bottle to share with someone.

So yeah, I'm fine, things are as comfortable as they could be under the circumstances, but I'm still looking forward to being out and have friends to share beers with again.

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