“When I’m my Dad’s age, I still want to drink what I like.” My recollection of the quote may not be precise, but the words definitely reflect the sentiments expressed by Leigh Linley to myself and Chris Hall at the Stewart’s Brewery. Come fifty, sixty, hell, even seventy, Leigh still wants to be able to enjoy a range of beer in one sitting; not necessarily to get rip-roaringly slaughtered, but to be able to have more than one without saying “that’s enough for today.”
Then, like some shady homeopathic drug dealer, Leigh imparted to us his weapon of choice against the ravages of time and booze: Milk Thistle. I had heard of milk thistle before, from researching hangover cures and talking with a med student friend, but had never tried it. It’s meant to help repair damaged liver cells and reverse the overall negative effects of alcohol if taken consistently.
It led me to wonder if other beer geeks take any such precautions. I realised my own protection against the ravages of time and booze was drinking ‘better’. Non-beer geek friends and colleagues are often amazed, impressed and appalled in equal measure at the number of my Untappd check-ins, wondering how I’m still alive. Simply because I talk about beer more gives the impression I drink more, but these are people who will binge on Tuesday nights or demolish two bottles of wine on a Thursday. I choose to drink less quantity to enjoy better quality.
Then, it seems there are other beery types who subscribe to the Hunter S. Thompson approach:
“I tend to sweat heavily in warm climates. My clothes are soaking wet from dawn to dusk. This worried me at first, but when I went to a doctor and described my normal daily intake of booze, drugs and poison he told me to come back when the sweating stopped.”
– Hunter. S Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
For your viewing pleasure, the booze-pickled body of Chris Hall will likely be installed as a permanent exhibit in some London museum, as a terrible warning to some and a holy beer martyr to others. Once the sweating stops, that is. But, again, is this the false perspective of someone who is seen to passionately talk about beer on social media appearing as if they drink more than someone who goes home and quietly demolishes a crate of Stella?
I’m losing the thread. Assuming you drink alcohol, whether you’re a Real Ale Man, Craft Wanker, Beer Geek or just passing through, do you do anything to mitigate the potential damage caused by alcohol?