As beer drinkers, we’ve all done it; at some point or other, we will have told ourselves a white lie relating to our favoured pastime. It’s pretty much inevitable, really. From the tiniest of devils perched on the shoulder, chittering to your subconscious as you weigh up that second bag of scampi fries, to the trumpeting elephant that thunders along behind, as you clink back to the supermarket entrance to swap your basket for a trolley. These whispermonkeys become louder, of course – and increasingly impossible to ignore – the more you progress along your drinking trajectory. It may also be a coincidence that these friendly falsehoods also seem to become weightier as your evening/afternoon/early lunch continues. So, what are some of these oft-told ‘little white lies of beer’?
Little White Lie level 1: Falsifying your Date of Birth
Right at the base of this pyramid of self-acquiescence are surely the DOB filters on your bookmarked brewery websites. This ‘Over Age Verification’ is more prevalent in US sites, but does anyone actually enter their real age? Or – depending on the set-up – do you simply put 01-01-1901, or whatever random year of birth your mousefinger scrolls down to? It’s not so much a lie as an un-thought, akin to thumping the snooze button.
LWL level 2: Shaving the ABV
‘Hmm…so Bungdon’s Elftickler is 6%? Well, that’s not much more than the Monty’s Old Gossamer, and I was going to have five pints of that; so I guess I can have four pints of the Eartickler. Oh, with whisky chasers, naturally.’
No beer drinker, ever, has rounded up the abv. (See also: ‘it’s only 9%’)
LWL level 3: Repeat the manta: Choice Is Good
There you are, wobbling on an ironically retro BMX-saddle bar stool at SmashDraft, the UK’s latest chrome-forward craft destination. Isn’t the variety fantastic? Fifty keg and four cask beers. After ten minutes, you’ve narrowed it to a shortlist of twenty. Still, the barstaff get paid, either way. What was tap 38 again?
LWL level 4: Fruit Beer is good for you!
Who among us hasn’t lifted a bottle of something vibrantly-coloured from the low countries and bypassed the internal self-censor with the little white lie ‘well, it’s got fruit in it’? Let’s face it, if Belgian fruit beers don’t already count towards your five-a-day, they really should.
LWL level 5: Isn’t this beer festival fun?
‘Well, admittedly, there aren’t any seats as the old buggers nipped in at ten o’clock when the doors opened, but perching on this lighting fusebox isn’t so bad. Oh, and the first four beers I circled in the programme aren’t on until tomorrow. Still, pork pie jelly, wedged in the ears, does drown out the oompah band…’
LWL level 6: I’ll stop after this one…
You’ve worked your way through to the bottom of the chalkboard at the Pug & Peanut and have risen, one arm in the left sleeve of your coat, waving to Gary and Brenda behind the bar with the other. And then, you suddenly think, ‘Well, I guess I could stay for one more…’
LWL level 7: Kebabs are a legitimate foodstuff
Is there more of a beer-related little white lie than this?