Sober September Sucks

It’s no secret that drinking beer isn’t the friendliest thing you can do for your figure – hence the term “beer gut.” There are many ways to enjoy a regular brew and keep your tummy from growing, but sometimes, you just need to force yourself to take a break. After all, you can have too much of a good thing (something we’ve all learned from those lovely next-day hangovers).

After several months of eating healthy during the week, regular exercise, and having fun on the weekend – my boyfriend and I realized that something was not working and there was negative progress made in our weight loss goals. Beer was definitely not the root cause – grocery shopping and then ordering a pizza certainly contributed too. But, we did not have any big plans for the month, so we realized September was the perfect time to attempt this alcohol hiatus (and yes, we did forget a very important September activity…more on that later).

The end of August approached and we prepared ourselves for our sober adventure. I was dreading it – I knew we had so many delicious bombers just waiting to be opened and empty growlers begging to be filled. No matter my hesitations, I embraced the challenge with open arms. September 1st was hard. We took that day to do some household chores and all I wanted was a light, crisp lager while I vacuumed. September 2nd was hard. We lounged around and all I wanted was a hoppy pale ale to sip while I binge-watched Workaholics. September 3rd was hard. It was Labor Day – ‘nuff said. But after that, it got easy.

Sure, there were times when I really wanted a cold one to relax at the end of the day, but I found it surprisingly easy to resist. One thing that I know helped was keeping the beers out of the main fridge. My boyfriend and I are fortunate enough to have a rental with plenty of room for an upstairs mini fridge and that is precisely where all of our yummy boozy beverages were exiled to. Outta sight – outta mind! It worked better than I anticipated.

Overall, I’m very pleased with this month’s turnout. Of course I’ve missed my favorite drinks, but I’m proud that I have actually stuck something out this long (I’m not usually the best with that whole “will power” thing people claim to have). However, a week into September I made a very disturbing realization – Recess Brewing’s Oktoberfest, which I have been thinking about since before I moved to the area in March, falls on September 29th. After giving it sufficient thought, my boyfriend and I decided that we will end the hiatus two days early and attend the event we’ve been dreaming about for months. I’ve justified it by reminding myself I was on an antibiotic at the end of August that did not even allow me to drink (wisdom teeth) – so, technically, I will still make it a full month even if I drink before October 1st.

I will likely do another sober month at some point (I imagine January will be a reasonable time), but I am really looking forward to a booze-filled October! I have some exciting, beer-y events coming up! Oktoberfest, of course, and a beer dinner a couple weeks later. And I can’t wait to get my hands on some pumpkin ales as well! Other than that, I’m really excited to taste these beers that I brought with me from Chicago-land, before I moved. Sober September hasn’t really sucked – but I’m very happy it’s almost done!

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Left: “Recreational Intent” – a collaboration amongst Pipeworks, Three Floyds, Half Acre, 18th Street, Dark Matter Coffee, and Koji from Craftheads and Bar Sals in Japan. This beer is described as a “Double imperial pale ale brewed with honey, lactose, and coffee,” with an ABV of 9.0%. I’m looking forward to tasting this one seeing as it has so many incredible businesses in one beer. I am not entirely certain if that flavor profile will be my particular taste, but I’m certainly intrigued.

Middle: Pipeworks Brewing Co. & Keith Lonergan’s “Smore Money Smore Problems.” Described as an “Ale brewed with graham crackers, cacao nibs, vanilla, & natural flavor.” This beer has an ABV of 10.0%. I am so excited to try this one! Possibly a bit more than the other two. I absolutely love dessert beers (and dessert drinks in general – chocolate martini anyone?!). I also have a huge soft spot for s’mores.

Right: Pipeworks Brewing Co.’s “Arowana.” An “Imperial IPA brewed with honey, peach puree, and citra hops,” with an ABV of 9.5%. I really think I will enjoy this one.  Granted, this seems to be a bit more of a summer beer and it may technically be fall, but here in the Midwest – we could easily have summer until Halloween…and then just skip right to winter. So as long as we’re still getting 80+ degree days, I’m still drinking my summer beers!

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