twentyeight days later
"His fear began when he tried to go 28 days without a beer. His terror began when he realised he had. All too easily".
It was an idea that seemed too obvious at the time. I need to lose weight. I'm eating healthily. I don't want to exercise madly as that's how I knackered my clicky knees last time. I wanted a kick-start that could lead to sustained weight loss.
Obvious, really. Put less into my body than I use up. Cut out the easy calories.
Stop drinking beer.
So I did.
No hem and haw. None of this 'sensible drinking at weekends' malarkey. With my logical, rational, statistical, analytical work-head on I decided to cut beer out of my diet completely. Every pint I didn't drink would save me 200-ish calories. Plus more in ancillary pork scratchings / salted peanuts / chocolate brownies / cheesy chips.
What's more, I could use the process as a sensory experiment. I've been involved in several aroma / flavour tests this year (which I will make time to write about, apologies to aroxa and the University of Nottingham for my tardy journalism). Here would be an interesting one; how would beer feel to me after 28 days of abstinence?
Immense. Just... immense.
At the first sniff of Thornbridge Jaipur as I poured it, I actually salivated. I was acutely aware of the sensation. I wasn't expecting that. The aroma was... complex. It's like my nose was presented with a paper fortune teller and I went yep, they're the aromas I remember. And then paper was swiftly manipulated and subtle gradations and variations flashed past.
The taste? Honestly? Almost too bitter. I haven't looked into the physiology of the palate, but maybe 28 days is long enough to give it a hard reset.
You know how beery types are prone to saying, "ah, Throxheads IPAEIEIO. Doesn't taste anything like as hoppy and fruity as it used to"? What if that's true? And what if it isn't the brewer's recipe but the drinker's palate than needs re-calibrating?
I need to think this through some more. I need to open another beer to make sure these results aren't a busted flush.
Meanwhile with nine pounds lost, the experiment continues. Maybe another beer tonight, then that's it until a Burton and Derby trip on Saturday 28th July; beers at Unity Plaza by Pride Park Stadium and the choicest pubs near Derby railway station before the Coopers Tavern and all points onwards towards the Pirelli for the Brewers v Rams. If you're around, come join the fun. It's a day's drinking punctuated by ninety minutes of heckling.
And if you're still wondering how it feels to drink beer after not drinking beer for 28 days - try it. It's only beer, after all...