Day 18 of Sober October..
Thankfully, time flies, even when you are not having fun. Which is perfect this month. Our Sober for October experience is more than 50% complete and while it has been challenging at times, the benefits are notable. On the positive side, I feel fitter, have more energy, Sleep well and most importantly, make far fewer loo runs during the night.
Sounds pretty good! now for the negatives, I need a drink! Not in a "I'm an Alcoholic and that's my first thought of the day" kind of way, but in a responsible drinker, thirst quenching sense. Booze, in moderation, is a big part of my life. So taking a month off is a big sacrifice, but one worth making for such a good cause.
To help me through these 31 days, I have been planning the details of My Ultimate Man Trip. Some months ago Mrs LJ stamped my passport for a solo vacation. So before she had time to consider what she agreed to, I had my flight, hotel and car hire booked. Fast forward five months and the clock is ticking rapidly towards departure.
The Initial plan was based around a Bucket List trip to the Super Bowl. With flights booked to Orlando, the plan had to change. Its seems the NFL don't negotiate over the price of a ticket to the game. $6500 was the cheapest option available. Now Considering return flights from Orlando to Houston (The Host City) for a few nights were only $100, the thought of staying in a Hostel out by Houston Airport and paying $400 for the privilege, coupled with the game ticket.. Well that's $7000 of beer tokens.
So Plan B was born. LiquorJunky is embarking on a solo "research" trip to Orlando. The plan is to watch the Super Bowl, that's the point of the trip after all. The exact venue hasn't been confirmed as there are a list of options available. Front runner is spending Super Bowl Sunday with the ladies of Twin Peaks, pictured above. In addition I am dropping by some of the best watering holes in the Orlando area. Enjoying the hospitality in moderation of course. The plan needs some tweaks to get the most out of it, but two of the main experiences have been set in stone.
Some of the best cocktails can be found at the Walt Disney World resort, a few miles South West of Orlando. While our trip is only a week, we have to be selective. The Monorail Bar Crawl, essentially a trip to every bar in the Disney Hotels on the Magic Kingdom Monorail loop is top of the list and the plan for day 1. A Lapu Lapu in The Polynesian resort is a right of passage, even at my age
A lot of time will be spent at the Universal Orlando Resort. The Citywalk complex is home to many bars and restaurants, including the World famous Hard Rock Café, Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville and many more. The new NBC Bar has an extensive Craft Beer selection, plenty to keep cool on the hopefully hot Feb days.
With only 106 days to go, the planning is in full swing. More details will be released as soon as we have them. Stay Tuned
Believe it or not Guinness Rye Pale Ale started off as a Home Brew, Albeit a Home Brew from the house of Arthur Guinness! The open Brewery Project, which is the experimental team responsible for the Brewers Project releases, cooked it up for the office Christmas Party.
Well ok, it was a little more than a festive shindig. Originally Intended as a Christmas gift for colleagues, friends and families, it wasn't long before it was tapped in the office bar (how cool would a drink there be) . Fortunately it proved so popular that eventually Rye Pale Ale was greenlit for public production and last month it was released in 500ml bottles for the UK.
Guinness describe this Ale as boasting a peppery bite and citrus and grapefruit notes, perfectly balanced with crystal malt to leave a toasted biscuit flavour. Weighing in at 5% Rye Pale pours a dark Orange/Amber with a thin head. Its light on the carbonation with a dry finish. It may not be as Hoppy as some similar Ale's but it holds its own.
Its the fifth and newest member of the Brewers Project, the youngest and in some ways unplanned sibling of the brood. Like the baby of most families a lot of people will have a fondness for the nipper. I like it more than some of its older brothers already!
Available in the UK with an RRP of £1.99 per 500ml bottle, its certainly one to try. Guinness have already gained my admiration for their Brewers project. If they are listening, are there plans for a pint on draught?
Excuse the title, it's a bit dramatic.
So Sober for October has officially begun. To be honest it seemed like a looooong way off, when we signed up on September 2nd. It may only be Day 2, but that isn't helped by the terrible timing, sports wise. This is of course Ryder Cup Weekend. Not to mention a full calendar of matches in the Guinness Pro 12, Premier League and NFL. I cant help but think June would be a better month!! Now normally we would have been making short work of an assortment of beers and spirits, all enjoyed responsibly of course. Instead the LiquorJunky bar hasn't opened its doors. (Mrs LJ is planning to use it for a coffee morning apparently) So although we have been thrown in at the deep end, we are managing to stay afloat so far.
31 Days booze free isn't much to ask, when the end goal is beating Cancer! Obviously I am not going to beat the various forms of the Big C by keeping the beer on Ice until November. The money raised by donations and sponsorship will go into research and treatment! Aside from all that, I have given this some thought and I am looking forward to a good nights sleep, waking refreshed and rested. Lets face it, as much as we love Alcohol, it has its downsides! The Beer Buzz often wears off in the middle of the night, as you crash down to restless sleep and more trips to the toilet than your grandmother!
This seems like a strange admission for someone who runs a website entitled LiquorJunky, but I can admit that sometimes I overindulge. Its comforting to reach for the bottle after a long day. Sports, films, even Netflix seems more enjoyable with a bottle of your favourite brew. Moderation is key in this battle.
So, while November 1st is red ringed on the calendar, and beer will be consumed when we hit that magic date, it will be in Moderation. Pouring out the contents of the fridge is a step too far, leaving one or two behind is the way forward.
I intend to change my drinking habits. I am not an Alcoholic by any means, but if I am honest, I could cut back. The plan is to go for quality over quantity. Adopt the European style of consumption. Don't rush to get drunk or achieve that buzz. Sip a cocktail or glass of wine over a number of hours, maybe sip water in between or introduce food and nibbles. I had a dry run at this in September, which gave me the chance to try out several new craft beers. I am going to need something to fill the site through October after all.
If you fancy a change in your consumption, now is the time. You don't have to go Sober for October, but cheers to all those Sober Heroes out there. Only 29 left to go!