To My Valentine’s Day Sweetheart: Beer

After reading Wes Janisen’s amazing article, Let Vodka Be Your Valentine, on Thought Catalog, I was inspired to write my own alcoholic homage.

So, a very Happy Valentine’s Day to a love I celebrate as much as I can: beer.

Beer and I go way back. It’s been a subject of photographs I’ve taken since I first started with my amateur photography and expat life, which you can see here. My relationship with beer has now grown, as beer is something I’ve become quite a nerd about, having read many books on beer and even doing my Master’s dissertation on perceptions of real ale in Great Britain.

So when I say, “I love beer,” I mean it. I really do love beer.

I can talk at length about the delicious creamy-sweet notes of the Left Hand Milk Stout above, or the beautiful toasted-smoke tones of a Darkstar Smoked Porter. I can enthuse about the lovely caramel malts that make Brooklyn Lager so special, or tell you about the wonderful taste of chocolate bliss one gets from a grateful gulp of the Heartless Chocolate Stout by RedWillow Brewery.

And there’s more beer out there I have yet to explore and acquaint myself with, as more and more brewers come out and produce finely-crafted ales and lagers to delight the palettes of beer lovers all over the world.

Sure, it hasn’t all been rosy. There’ve been rough patches–going to a bar at a venue only to find beer variants I’m not fond of on offer being a most recent disappointment. But that’s not beer’s fault. In fact, there are many places to find good beer in London, where one can enjoy a good pint or bottle of something special. In my search for good beer, I have stumbled upon magnificent places all over this city who love beer as well as I do (or at least enough to have some good beer on): The Dean Swift near Tower Bridge, The Snooty Fox near Canonbury Station, The Jolly Butchers of Stoke Newington, Jerusalem Tavern of Clerkenwell. There are even more places I haven’t yet been, but my thirst (ha!) for amazing beer will likely take me to areas of London that I have yet to thoroughly explore, and perhaps even beyond the M25 once I get up enough gumption.

Back in Orlando, there are a number of places to get good beer, but I’ll just give a quick shout to my two favourite places to sit with a drink: Redlight Redlight and Stardust Video & Coffee.

So why should you love beer? Well, beer is ace. If you bring beer to most parties, it’s always welcome, unless your host or hostess happens to be gluten-intolerent (if this is you: my sympathies). In its many varieties and styles, beer can always be surprising and exciting when you try something new. Yet there is also a sense of comfort and familiarity when you go into a pub and they have one of your favourites on, or if you go into a bar and see your preferred bottle on the list of what they have on offer, particularly if it’s a new place you’re unfamiliar with.

What’s more, a bottle or pint goes amazingly well with many activities: reading, writing, socialising, board gaming, baking, knitting.

Just not a lot of beer, though, as then your knitting might come out a bit wonky and you might get a little loose with those needles and poke someone’s eye out.

So yeah, beer is just great. Which is why this Valentine’s Day, it gets a place second-to-none in my heart.


One thought on “To My Valentine’s Day Sweetheart: Beer

  1. That is so romantic! I bet the beers that were not mentioned are very jealous! I must admit that I have never heard of Knitting while Drinking (KWD). Sounds pretty dangerous but exciting. Happy V-Day!

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