Your birthday. Christmas. A mate’s farewell before heading off to the UK to find their future life partner in an Edinburgh pub. All very valid reasons for consuming a few beers with fellow humans.
Sharing beers with mates has proven health benefits. Sharing your worries, your funny stories and your hopes and dreams with a friend over a cold glass of Stomping Ground makes life good. It enhances positive emotions and strengthens bonds of friendship. There’s even studies about it! BFFs J. R. R. Tolkien and Lewis Carroll shared their latest literary masterpieces with each other over an ale in an Oxford pub. I personally have come up with great ideas with cronies whilst sharing a beer or two, including FeBURNary, a charity where participants can grow sideburns in aid of people who lose their homes in bushfires, and a podcast about the art of sighing – the different types and the reasons for sighing. PLEASE DON’T STEAL THESE IDEAS.
Despite all the great things that can result from sharing a beer with others, sigh, I find something magical about drinking alone. I’m not talking about the type of drinking where you’re home by yourself in the dark of the lounge room, in your underpants, guzzling a $10 bottle of cabernet sauvignon on a Tuesday night whilst ranting about things on Twitter you’ll later regret. Although I’m not talking about it, please know there’s no judgement from me. I have been known to be sprawled on the couch in my underpants with no bra and nothing else apart from a frosty glass full of a fine IPA. I’m watching some movie starring Lucy Liu on Stan (I’m too cool for Netflix), in the dark…except for a lamp that is inadvertently shining directly onto my nakedness and providing a free zoo exhibit for the Airbnb-ers. They’re gawking at me from the serviced apartments next door. When this happens (yes, it may possibly have happened more than once) I stand up, take a bow, and finish off my Modus Operandi Zoo Feeder IPA in the bedroom.
Ummm where was I?
Drinking alone. Specifically going out to drink alone. Maybe because I’m now officially old in Hollywood Years (i.e. a woman over 30) I am much more comfortable in my own skin and less self-conscious than I was when I was wee, but I absolutely love heading to a bar for a quiet craft beer on my own.
Here’s why it’s great:
No financial stress
When it comes to buying rounds, we all know it can become quite interesting reading when you check that credit card statement a few days later. When you’re buying the round, it’s only you! Go on – treat yourself to one of those delightfully refreshing Hippy Berliner Cucumber Editions from 8 Wired and then treat yourself to 5 more.
No boring conversations
Look, Norman may have a great theory on why Excel Spreadsheets are fascinating, but his droning voice can really distract you from the complexities of the taste of the rare breed of Mountain Goat you’re trying to enjoy. Without the shudder and heightened anxiety that comes with saying the word “spreadsheet” out loud, you’re free to concentrate on your new favourite beer.
You’re also free to just be with your own thoughts and just relax in your own company. You don’t have to worry about being witty, or being full of beer knowledge, or remembering Wendy’s brother’s boyfriend’s name. You can just be you.
You can do what you goddamn want
With a beer in hand, perched on a table people watching, listening to Harry Styles’ new single, reading a book or writing an article for Froth magazine, I am content. These are some of life’s great pleasures. No one can judge my literary or musical tastes if they’re not present. People will probably come up every 5 minutes asking if they can steal the other chairs at the table, but it’s also fascinating to quietly observe human behaviour when it comes to pub chair ownership.
Getting tired? Well guess what? You don’t have to keep trying to give your significant other oh-so-subtle hints that you want to leave such as the leg kick or “the eyes” or the furious “Celia, we are going home right now” in the ear because they won’t be there! You can call that Uber and leave whenever you goddamn want. Maybe just after one more Fury & Son.
I’ve convinced you, haven’t I? Well, go on, put some pants on and get out there. Head to your favourite bar, grab a beer and nab that table for one tonight.