Beer the Blues Away: a non-alcoholic’s guide to befriending beer during tumultuous times



I consider alighting from a breakup as a badge of honor akin to surviving a deadly war battle. I say this without pissing at the memories of the young men and women who fought during World Wars I and II. Mine was a figurative shot through the heart. Still, I felt pain after numerous romantic fragmentation I underwent. Each time I manage to get out of it a stronger person. I pick up the pieces as I labored on with life. Painfully, but not totally lost. Thanks to a new friend who came in with varying taste and alcohol level.


When Blues Comes to Town

The first step out of a break-up deals with answering questions from your family and friends. Moms who have became fond of your ex-girlfriend would certainly kick off the dreaded Q & A. “What happened with the two of you?” Moms will always be our moms and even if you explained everything she’ll still see you as the one who screwed up. Or maybe you really did.

Enjoying a Chang beer with a friend in Chiang Mai, Thailand
The last time it happened to me, I was still in denial mode. “How dare her do this to me”. I keep telling myself. The girl who had gone off the grid from your life for a month and next thing you know she was in a new relationship. I swear I was a man who could torch the heavens from where I was standing. Seething with anger and self-pity. The answers would soon come knocking at my door like a battering ram. Truth that would hit me hard.

Larue beer in Hoi An, Vietnam
Notwithstanding all of these, I felt completely alone. I needed the company of my friends. Humming the Beatles song With a Little Help from My Friends over rounds of buckets of beers – the answers came arriving at the doorsteps of my consciousness, I felt the twinge of each, reverberating through my spine, my head and into my heart like stabbing needles. All these failed relationships have taught me nothing. I still came up short in fulfilling a desire to keep love alive. I let my guard down and it cost me another shot at a romantic contentment. However, despite all of these realities, I slowly but surely started to get back to my feet.

Beer to the Rescue

Inviting my friends to “Let’s have a beer” became a fitting call for help. A few of my close friends knows that when I was the one intimating for beer sessions, something is up. And that time – something was really up; my devastated self.

A bottle of Myanmar beer in where else but Bagan, Myanmar
My process of drinking beer remained the same. A slow-down downing of a few bottles of ice cold San Miguel or Red Horse – or what I really prefer, a random selection from the many local craft beers being served now in a number of pubs in the city.

I was never a drinker, but somehow I managed to associate beer drinking to a therapy session where I get to share my feelings with a friend with less inhibitions as opposed to being fully sober.

Had a fun night with my friend Angeline in the wild Patong area in Phuket, Thailand
One doesn’t have to be stupendously drunk in order to unleash one’s inner demons out, a few bottles of beer – from my experiences injects just the right amounts of chemicals into my stream of consciousness, making me more expressive about things that troubles me. Doing so, I ended up listening to good advices – which were also intellectualized by friends under the influence of alcohol. Hidden brilliance comes out whenever we have drinks together. It is an amazement how a small round-table beer session ends up summoning a poet, a theological expert, a historian, a political analyst, a life coach and even a love guru – we end up wearing these hats when we get under the spell of beer.

Controlled Drunkenness

Similar to how city builders uses the method of controlled demolition in clearing off old buildings. The same can be said for beer drinking. I never wanted to add more misery by becoming too drunk and crawling my way home. The best thing about controlling my drunkenness is I am able to let lose all my worries, while letting all the good vibes of a drinking session with old and new friends linger for a while. I somehow felt the loosening of life’s grasp on me.

Settled for a beer in can in Okinawa, Japan. 
One of my favorite writers, Charles Bukowski once wrote “When you drank, the world was still out there, but for the moment it didn’t have you by the throat.”
Amidst the sound of laughter and clanking of beer bottles and mugs and the echoing chorus of ‘cheers’, I finally erased the stigma that beer drinkers are no-good trouble makers.

For when I again experienced trouble in paradise, I found comfort through with the help of my friends. Some of the best conversations I shared with people are really – made over bottles of beer.

Is in a Relationship with Beer

Most of the time I thank my palpitating condition whenever I consumed more than five bottles of beer, for limiting my alcohol intake – thereby saving me from becoming a wasted drunk. I am now currently reveling with my relationship with a snifter. I never ended up as Nicolas Cage's character in Leaving Las Vegas, Instead I ended up embracing the company of friends, who for good and worst times have proven to be right there for me. Well, only if I start out with a “Let’s have a beer tonight” invite.

One of those Tinder dates in a beer on tap place in Makati
Alright, two bottles only” would come as the most replies. However, without you knowing it, two bottles have turned into a few buckets and by 2:00 am, nobody wants to wrap up the animated conversation yet. I guess in some cases; beer becomes the anabolic steroid for living life absolutely devoid of desolations and uncertainties. I don’t find it as a form of escapism, rather a necessary method to madness. But, only under controlled drunkenness.