If there’s such a thing as a healthy obsession, then I’m healthily obsessed with beer.
Since moving to Wellington a few years ago, I’ve become fascinated with every facet of beer – from how it’s brewed, to how our beer culture is evolving. I guess beer is kind of my hobby…and unlike skiing or golf (or ski-golf, which is surely a thing), beer is a super-accessible, multi-faceted hobby which requires a pretty meek investment relative to other obsessions.
Lately I’ve been trying my best (with varying success) to stick to spending around $20/week on my beery hobby. Based on a survey of n=a few friends I asked, I’ve found that this is a pretty common limit – or, at least, it’s pretty common to set a limit within your budget and then attempt to stick to it. I guess this has the twin-benefit of minimising how much you’re spending on so-called ‘luxury items’ (hmmph) and keeping the amount of booze you’re drinking per week in check.
Every week, I deal with the same conundrum: I like beer, but I love good beer. Living in Wellington, I’m absolutely positively (*cough*) spoilt for choice in this regard – a trip to the beer aisle at Thorndon New World (the star of the photo above) can cause time to sink into a black hole. Then there’s the fill-your-own selection at Regional Wines and Spirits…sometimes, when I close my eyes and dream hard enough, I’m standing there, in front of the 20ish taps of crafty goodness, empty rigger in hand…
Since developing a taste for beer that actually tastes like something, I’m always searching for the best value that I can possibly extract from my $20-ish. I’ve come to the realisation that my definition of value can vary from week to week: some weeks, I want a lot of something forgettable (which oddly coincides with the amount of work I have to do that week), while some weeks I want a little of something really special. Okay – I always want a lot of something really special – but as accessible as beer is as a hobby, there’s only so much Yeastie Boys or Garage Project that $20-ish can buy.
This blog is all about trying to find the balance between beer quantity and beer quality. Whatever my yardstick for value happens to be for a given week, I’m keen to make a record of my experiences – if only as an insurance policy against my goldfish-esque (or goldfish-ish) memory.
So here are the rules of my wee experiment:
- I can only spend $20-ish per week (+/- $3);
- I can’t have the same beer(s) every week (that would make for a boring experiment);
- I will run the experiment from July right up until Christmas 2013, at which point I’ll crown the Beer Money Champion(s).
Sounds all too easy…which almost certainly means it won’t be. But it’s only beer, so how hard can it be?