Beer weariness, is it….terminal?

There’s been a lot of talk about healthy living of late, in fact it’s hard to get away from it to be honest. We’ve had the horse meat scandal (thank god they are only testing for hoss, just wait until they get as far as testing for Tiddles DNA at the takeaway).

funny-horse_wallpaperThen yesterday we saw the spine chilling news break that eating bacon is going to kill you too. This I don’t mind if it’s going to be a long, slow and extremely tasty death, but if you tell me I have to stop eating it immediately, you can put me down now, call me Shergar and mince me into a lasagne as it ain’t gonna happen..

Even in the blogosphere though, there have been a few knocking about, the most recent of which I’ve read was from Rich over at The Beer Cast, where “Beer Sleep” was the topic. Then there was a post from Chris Dixon where he quite candidly admitted that he needed to make lifestyle changes and literally get on his bike. All of this struck a chord with me as I’d been having loads of really weird nightmares, was constantly tired and basically looked like a bag of shit shrink wrapped into a fluorescent green coat.


Now where did I put that belt…?

As far as health “expert” scaremongering goes I’ve always been a firm believer in doing what I think myself in terms of what I eat and drink. I love my food, generally I eat well, love cooking and the pleasure it give me and others. The same goes with beer. I have been economic with the truth to my doctor and the practice nurse many many times whilst fighting the effects of obesity and high blood pressure, why, because I enjoy it, it makes me happy and I’d rather be fat with a red face than be miserable and I’d look to get healthier in other ways.

So where is all this wittering going you may ask yourself?

What_No_BeerWell this week I had a bit of a change of heart and stopped drinking alcohol for three whole days…

This may not seem much, but is probably longer than I’ve ever done so for about six years. Not because I was told to by some jumped up university scientist on the BBC News, who’d spent eighteen squillion quid researching whether eating chorizo on a Wednesday makes your genitals turn orange, I abstained because I wanted to.

Being fair I think a few things led me to this rather drastic decision. The blogs of Rich and Chris certainly played their part, especially the bit about sleep or lack of it. Also, a rather unfortunate incident I had with a belt not worn for a while when preparing to go to a wedding at which I saw photographs of myself in a new light, those incidents too played on my mind.

Most importantly of all though, for once I just didn’t fancy one for reasons I can only describe as beer weariness. Day one came and went and day two followed likewise. On day three I started out intending to have a beer, but in the end never quite got around to it settling for a late night cuppa and one of the best nights sleep I’ve had in months. The sleep thing of course may have been pure coincidence as clearly lots of factors influence that. For me though the one thing I took from the time off was the fact that I could do it easily as and when I decided to and not as a result of being pushed into doing so. It sort of proved (if only to myself) that my theory of having a couple of decent bottles, even if daily, doesn’t mean I’m an alcohol dependant fool drinking my way to an early grave.

One thing that did scare me though was the beer fatigue, this was new to me, it hadn’t happened before, EEEK, was it….PERMANENT?

I scanned the news channels, nothing. The papers too were useless and there was absolutely bugger all on NHS Direct to help me in my hour of need. In a last-ditch attempt to get some emergency aid I called the university scientist bloke, even he was useless and said he didn’t know but would research it once he figured out how to stop his John-Thomas smelling of paprika.

WhirlpoolIn desperation I approached the fridge all stealthy, like Dumbo attempting to steal an iced-bun. I opened the door and oh so carefully took out a bottle of something big and hoppy (it was beer by the way, not a rabbit waiting for the pot). In a flash it was open, in a glass, then sweeping across my tongue like a wave of gurgling effervescent tropical elixir cascading into a bottomless whirlpool…

OK there may have been a teensy bit of artistic licence used there but yes, it was good and more importantly, I WAS CURED!!

Joking aside as I know there are some real issues I’ve made light of here, I do genuinely intend taking a few breaks now and then, I want to lose some of this pork I’m carrying around, feel better in myself and prevent future episodes of beer weariness..

Has that ever happened to you, not hangover induced just not fancying beer?


30 thoughts on “Beer weariness, is it….terminal?

  1. Interesting blog. I relate to a lot of it as I’m currently on a diet. My love of beer is the main reason I’ve piled the pounds on and the time has come to call a halt. I seriously couldn’t remember the last time I didn’t have a beer of an evening so I wondered how I’d manage. I’ve had a drink on two nights out of 25 now and I truly do feel heaps better in myself. I was a real insomniac for years and that has changed completely, I am sleeping heaps better. I’m not at all evangelical about this as I am missing the beer, no beer fatigue for me, but I’m seriously aiming to reduce the number of nights a week I drink even beyond the diet. I’ll never be a non-drinker though, life’s too short! 🙂

    • Thanks Jackie, a lot of tongue firmly in cheek jest in there I know, but I’m glad it gave you something to relate to. I really hope I can stick to having breaks as I think it will help in several ways, the added bonus of course being I’ll hopefully shed some well needed pounds.

      It’s great to hear you are doing so well though, keep it up & keep me posted on how it’s going. Cheers

  2. I don’t drink beer (or any other booze) every day. Shock horror. And when I do have a beer I don’t drink a great deal in terms of volume (a couple of thirds or halves and that’s me done) except when I go to beer fests, of course. Much better for you to have dry days so good on both you, Phil and Jackie!

    • I’m pretty much the same Marv, weekends I drink more but rarely go out before 9:15-30 and in the week it was a small bottle or two most nights unless it was an event. When I used to have a break or was ill I’d still probably have a whisky or brandy before bed though, so a total break was a real rarity.

      I genuinely feel it will benefit me health wise and on days when I do drink though too, a nice break to refresh the senses.

      Thanks to you both for the comments


  3. I ran into this several weeks ago, and I was going to write about it. I just generally didn’t feel like a beer. Mine had an element of hop weariness to it as well. Something was wonky with my palate and hops. Everything was tasting the same. Even Hopslam and Troegs Nugget Nectar were tasting booooring. So, for a week, I drank nothing for the most part…I had a bourbon one night and a martini another night (and I had a Rodenbach for lunch once when I met up with the Haybag at a Belgian joint). After a week, I was “cured”.

    Quite frankly, I’ve given up drinking for Lent twice before (once completely and once on “school nights”), and I didn’t feel noticeably better than when I average a beer or two per night. I’ll just exercise more.

    Nice post.

    • I think that’s about the size of it, get off our collective asses and move about a bit, make room for more beers, cheers

  4. Great topic. As a rule (well more like a guideline) I try not drinking anything Monday or Tuesday as atonement for the evils I’ve done to my body Friday, Saturday, Sunday. As for beer burn out, yes I’ve had it happen two different ways. One way is the way you describe where I just don’t want a beer. And another is when I’m tired of “hunting” beers, go to the liquor store, buy a couple of sixes of some Victory or such that I really like and don’t step back into a liquor store for something “new and interesting” for a week to ten days. .

    • Thanks, I’m not one for setting particular days for non drinking (as I said, not taken a proper break for years) but you are right it helps and about the beer searching. I vowed this year to look out for more and more local, or at least not so niche beers that I could be missing out on, I haven’t, but definitely should

  5. I went six days from having alcohol then on Wednesday I had 1 pint and 3 halves total of 7.5 units, then last night I had 4 halves total of 6 units tonight I’ll most likely have 5 to 6 halves then I’ll not be drinking for at least 2 weeks.

  6. It used to happen to me occasionally when I was a student – maybe a sign I was overdoing it in classic student fashion the rest of the time… Fortunately, our SU bar had fizzy apple juice on tap and it looked a bit like cider or lager, so if ever I had beer weariness yet still wanted a drink with my friends, nobody asked questions.

  7. I always find it quite a nice feeling — reassuring to know that my body and mind are still capable of not fancying a beer.

    • Exactly what I thought Bailey, I wondered if I would pine for it, get the shakes, not sleep etc, but nothing happened. It’s reassuring as you quite rightly say.

  8. Great post here Phil.

    There’s a genuine weariness that comes from having had too much over a short period of time. And a genuine weariness that comes from just not fancying a beer. I generally suffer from the former on a Sunday/Monday and the later has happened a number of times, although not really recently.

    I am wholly with you on the issue of weight, but I do believe that’s more about poor diet and a lazy lack of exercise on my part at least. Hopefully at least one of those issues is being addressed!

    Hopefully you can find the right balance bud 🙂

    • Thanks Chris, it’s the curse of the beer geek, maybe I should invent a proper term for it in a sort of Macc Triangle ©filrd stylee?

      Looking forward to warmer days and getting fitter one way or another mate, I know you are too.

  9. Hi mate – been meaning to comment on this for a while – I read it with some interest as Zak and I were having a similar conversation recently at a beer event about ‘the elephant in the room’…lifestyle.
    Yes, it’s an occupational hazard, and I’m sure food critics have similar discussions. End of the day, if you want to keep enjoying beer for longer in life, then it’s got to be moderate, hasn’t it? Diabetes, Heart attack, liver issues – not to mention (dare I say it) alcoholism – will stop us all in our tracks. It’s not good to binge, or constantly drink alcohol – be it beer, wine, or anything – and ‘blogging about it’ is no real excuse. It’s certainly about balance, to yourself and the people around you.

    • I think that last line hits it home Leigh, balance, my Mrs puts up with a lot of beer stuff that I’m sure she’d rather not as do others, it has a danger to dominate everything you do, ever searching for the next new thing etc..

      All those health issues too, especially with someone my size are a real danger, all the more reason to take a break.

      Cheers bud

    • Sweet lordy, how many of those points ring true, I bet for you too? I think that should be made into a poster and stuck on every blogger/beer lovers wall right next to the computer and another by the fridge as a sort of reality check.

      It’s amazing how much support he gets, disappointment and a genuine appreciation for his previous efforts. What’s with the negative remarks though, so bitter for a bloke just choosing another path and having the balls to say so

  10. A good read. Beer is a funny old thing to be geeky and obsessive about – gives enjoyment, takes health (if not appropriately moderated & balanced). I try to balance it by being geeky about cycling too. This helps. However it is far easier to down some good beers than to fit a really good cycle in (purely on a psychological front). So overall the beer is winning the war on my health at the moment. 🙂

    I took all of January off alcohol this year – an unprecedented move. I did feel guilty about it, and on a couple of occasions was made to feel guilty about it too, by folk who thought I was “letting the side down”. (Mostly w.r.t supporting pubs.) Physically & mentally I felt refreshed and productive though – enough so that I’m wondering about doing a month off mid-year too.

    I think that you just need to work out a comfortable lifestyle that works for you. Some people are happy enough being a bit overweight, living a life of late nights, late mornings, and tired days. Some people just aren’t as badly affected as others too it seems. I moved home so I have a daily commute that adds up to an hour cycling, this helps. In 2013 I’m making a point of doing more cycling events too – especially if beer is involved. I’m going the 180 mile London Revolution in a Windsor & Eton Brewery team for example. Would also love to see some “MtB” brewery events, where I mean “Mountain Biking” as opposed to “Meet the Brewer” 😉

    • I’m not sure I could manage a month if I’m honest although I’ve often considered it as some sort of sponsored charity stunt, not through being physically and mentally able to, just that I enjoy it and wouldn’t want to. Maybe I’m just kidding myself too…

      I bought a bike last year and it was promptly nicked after less than two weeks, I did really enjoy it though and have replaced it, hoping the weather picks up soon so I can stop using it as an excuse for getting off my fat ass!! 🙂


      • I didn’t expect to manage the full month, but found it got easier after the first week. Mainly I did it to prove to myself I *could* do it. But yeah, it’s like abstaining from any fun things you enjoy… part exercise in self-discipline, part masochism. Why bother? 🙂

        The really hard part is the chunk it took out of my so-called “social life”… I like hanging out in pubs, chatting with my favourite landlords, going to beer events, etc. I did manage a handful of outings – but it is difficult & not as fun when you’re drinking soda water!

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