The Session 65: One is the loneliest number...

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session_logo.jpgOn the first Friday of every month, there's a beer blog roundup called The Session. Someone picks a topic, and everyone blogs about it. This month, Nate wants to know:

The way I see it is that I love beer and pubs and I don't see why I should only go to the pub when I'm with other people.

Am I weird for going to the pub alone?

How do you feel about going to the pub alone? Do you feel it's necessary to be around friends to spend time in a pub?

No, fine, and no, respectively. As Nate mentions earlier in his post, there is a stigma attached to drinking alone that ultimately boils down to concerns about alcoholism. And those are valid concerns. I realized a while ago that the majority of my drinking is done alone. It's not that I don't drink with other people, I certainly do, but my most interesting drinking happens when I'm home alone. For a number of reasons, I try to keep my drinking in check. I don't usually drink to get drunk. It's fine to do so on occasion, but my obsession with beer (and scotch/bourbon) is less about drunkenness and more about flavor.

There is a hedonistic aspect to all this which is troublesome. Sometimes I wonder if I'll end up solving puzzle boxes and playing with Cenobites, but for the most part, I've got things under control. I generally only drink on weekends, with the occasional happy hour (or beer club meeting) for fun... but that's with other people. I digress. This session is about going to the pub alone. I do this too, but not super often.

There are a few reasons I'd end up at a pub by myself (Beerbecue has some other reasons too, all of which are excellent). One is that the pub will have some hard-to-find beer I've been trying to track down. Stuff like Pliny or Hopslam or anything by Hill Farmstead. This does not preclude going to the pub with friends, and sometimes the stars align and that happens, but my friends are not as obsessed with beer as I am, so I sometimes go it alone. Another reason I like to go to the pub alone is that most places with a great beer selection also have great food, and you know, I like good food. Again, none of this precludes going with friends, but these visits are often extemporaneous and unplanned, so if no one's around, I end up at the pub alone, with a good meal and fantastic beer. Ain't nothing wrong with that.

Finally, I usually find that I'm not alone at the pub. I'd say that about 90% of the time I go to the pub alone, I end up having some interesting conversations with other patrons (with 9% being uninteresting or frustrating conversations and 1% being no discussion at all). It turns out that beer dorks are friendly, outgoing folk. I'm a massive introvert and I live in an area where striking up conversations with strangers is... unusual. But it happens in good beer bars, and for the most part, it's a welcome development.

Again, none of this is to say that going it alone is preferable (or not, for that matter), but I also don't think there's anything wrong with it. I like that I do both from time to time, but honestly, I don't think it would matter all that much if I did one or the other exclusively. In the end, I like beer and I like pubs, which is all that really matters. Alone, with friend, with strangers, whatever. There are pros and cons to everything, and anything in moderation can be a good thing. That being said, I can't wait for my next visit to Teresa's, or the Station Taproom, or the Side Bar, or Iron Hill, or even Victory. Come join me! Or not! It doesn't matter!

2 Comments

Video silliness aside, I think I might actually prefer going to the bar alone when I am beer geeking it up. Although, the Haybag is beer geeky and is very opinionated about it, which is fun. But my other friends aren't as beer geeky as I am (although I do have a couple of buddies who are usually up for beer dinners).

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Hi, my name is Mark, and I like beer.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark published on July 6, 2012 10:47 PM.

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