Recently in the last couple of weeks something has happened to me – twice – that has never happened before. Maybe it’s a sign of my advancing years, I don’t know, but it certainly was something I never remotely considered back in the day. I guess it happens to every beer fan as they get older.
On two different visits to bottle shops, I bought the wrong beer.
When I say that, I don’t mean I had heard about the latest imperial chia seed and papaya weizengose and inadvertently selected one from a different brewery. I mean, I went in to buy one specific beer (that I know and love) and somehow picked up another and paid for it without noticing.
Just the other day I went to Beer Zoo here in Edinburgh to buy a bottle of Swannay’s Imperial Stout, and only noticed when I went into the cupboard to get it out that I’d actually bought Swannay Orkney Porter.
I know, Champagne problems, right?
The strange thing is that I realised my erroneous purchase only after picking the beer up, putting it on the counter, paying for it, putting it in a [Boots carrier] bag, taking it home, putting it in the beer cupboard and then reaching for it later. At no point during any of those moments did I twig that I’d mistaken one for the other. And it happened to me a few weeks ago as well. So what’s going on?
Well it could be one of two things – either I am getting more careless in my advancing years and don’t look twice at the shelf before snatching what (I think) I want, or the retina-blistering array of craft beer that shines from your average beer shelf just looks too confusing for frail old forty-somethings like myself. You only have to glance at a shelf of cans from Beavertown, Magic Rock, Drygate and Flying Dog to need a sit down.
Anyway, it doesn’t really matter. I ended up with one of the best beers in the world so it’s all good. Maybe the inconvenience of having to drink every drop will make me think twice about looking away whilst grabbing a beer. Keep your eyes on the prize beer fans. That’s the lesson here. Caveat Emptor.