Beware the Green Eyes of Envy: Beer and Compulsion

green eyes

Note: I’m on vacation during next week’s Session, so I’m posting this early.

It’s time for another round of The Session, a monthly event where beer bloggers from around the world get together to talk shop.

session_logo_all_text_300This month, Glen from Beer is Your Friend (how true) wants to know about compulsion:

Like most beer fans, I tend to buy way more beer than I can drink. I can have a fridge full, plus a few boxes of bottles, plus homebrew and still I’ll walk into a shop and buy some more. Or order some more online. Or do both in the space of a few days.

Essentially, he’s curious: what’s up with the hording? In the cellar, the fridge, the liverstomach…

Well, lots, I suppose. But I swear I don’t have a problem.

six pack-beerConveniently, I can tie this month’s collaborative Session post to this week’s announcement of the Six-Pack Project. A dirty little secret behind the Six-Pack Project is this: when I travel, I want to sample as much local beer as I can find. I hope the Six-Pack Project helps like-minded people who are constantly in search of good beer find what they’re looking for.

But my compulsion isn’t necessarily about buying or hording beer, it’s about the need to experience beer. Especially from breweries I can’t find or have never heard of. Hell, arguably my favorite beer from last year’s Great American Beer Festival was one I never would have known – an “Imperial Sundae” porter from Mustang Brewing out of Oklahoma.

I try to keep a varied selection of brews at home, but I also try to stick to a budget. That’s helped by a stock of homebrews, which makes me think twice about going to my local beer store to find a newly released bottle. It means my stock of beers may be more than Average Joe Drinker, but it’s nowhere near some cellars.

Ultimately, compulsion for me and many other beer lovers may simply be driven by keeping up with everyone else. Sites like Beer Advocate or Rate Beer and apps like Untappd provide us with a constant stream of what everyone else is drinking (so does this blog) and when you see something good, you want it.

It’s hard to fight off compulsion to sample. It’s difficult to avoid wanting new experiences. It’s also a tough task to avoid the green eyes of envy.

+Bryan Roth
“Don’t drink to get drunk. Drink to enjoy life.” — Jack Kerouac


12 thoughts on “Beware the Green Eyes of Envy: Beer and Compulsion

  1. Since I’m usually lazy and forget to partake in The Session, this should act as my reminder! Noted.

  2. I try to avoid the beer (and whisky) hoarding thing because (a) I lack the space, (b) I too need to stick to a budget, and (c) I try my best to not piss the wife off (failing miserably FYI). I just grab stuff as I see it instead of going on a non-stop hunt for the next “Holy Grail Ale”.

    1. I have strict space constraints (fridge/closets) agreed upon with The Missus, which most definitely helps me control my “problem.” I’ll shift things around weekly, but usually like to wait until I’m running low so I can make a big trip to my bottle shop.


      1. I’m the same way. Unless of course I see something special.

        So how does one get in on The Session? I nominate The Alemonger since much like you, he can actually write.

      2. Super easy. Just keep tabs on the monthly topics and post away. The link(s) in my post should take you to corresponding sites with extra info.

        Hope you decide to join soon!

    2. That’s the next “Holy Ale”…

      1. Wait – what? Who can write? I think that Zombie Dust has gotten to you.

  3. Funny thing is that I wrote my Session post last night thinking today was the first Friday in June. Oh well, I’ll be ahead of the game next week.

    In regards to your post in particular, I don’t differ much at all.I buy what I consider a lot but never let it get out of control.

    1. I’ve got too many things going on to pay attention to deadlines! REBEL.

      I’ve typically found my budget has been a good constraint as well as space, especially since I feel awfully proud of myself if I go a month and end up well below what I would consider my allotment for brew. It’s the small victories…

  4. I think we’re on the same page here. While do feel somewhat of a constant urge to mount up in a Quest for another Holy Ale (usually without the coconut shells), I’m far from a hoarder – of craft beer anyway. I tend to make 2/3 trips to local craft beer shops every month and, more often than not, I don’t have a particular target brew (unless I’m in a Quest Phase like the gloriously unsuccessful one I finally disbanded for Stone & Co. Dayman).

    The craft beer fridge is usually at least half full and there are always 10-15 different breweries and styles on hand to deal with most mood and food pairing needs. I have no more than 2 boxes of “aging” brews – mostly unintentional and currently a case of home brew on hand as well.

    I do the same thing you do when traveling – all (or most) local, usually smaller brewery offerings that I know I’ll never get anywhere else. I’m heading back to Austin tomorrow morning and I’m already looking forward to the Ginger Man’s stellar selection of Austin & other Texas brewed treats.


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