Thursday 12 November 2009

Lauren’s blog: What it’s like to go out with a beer geek

Oh dear, what have I done? Inspired by yesterday’s blog to/about my girlfriend Lauren, she has decided to write what it’s like from her side of things... This could also be subtitled: the view from the other half (or the other side of the table), as some of the pictures will confirm. And this is all her doing, too.

If you read Mark’s blog regularly you will know he has a long suffering girlfriend, I am that girlfriend and I thought I would give this blogging a go.

Mark is a beer geek and this has both pros and cons. Let me start with the pros, hmmmmm, yes the pros, actually let’s come back to that and let’s start with the cons.

I am most frustrated by the amount of Mark’s times he dedicates to his love of beer. He is either drinking, reading, buying or writing about beer, this leaves very little time for anything else, and most importantly no money for presents. When cleaning the flat I often come across bottle tops (Mark insists on hiding these on the top shelf where he thinks I won’t find them... wrong!) and empty bottles (he has taken to using these for flowers; I think this is to stop me throwing them out). Our wardrobe, commonly used for clothes, is used to store beer, and until recently a whole corner of the bedroom was taken up by a box of beer (it might be worth mentioning the 19 bottles I’ve just ordered from Brewdog... I’m eyeing up that corner again). The fridge is always full of beer which I am not allowed to lay down to make more room for my hummus and Coke Zero. I hate washing the odd shaped glasses and finding space for them in the cupboard (Mark is very precious about his glasses). I have been dragged along to beer festivals, often bribed with chocolate and biscuits and magazines. I am often the only female with her own teeth (I haven’t taken her to any good beer festivals, just the down-market smelly ones, so this is probably my fault!) and Mark always leaves me alone while he finds anther beer lover to talk to, and this seems to invite strange drunk men to sit next to me and strike up conversations about the odd band which have been deafening me. After a festival, beer night, pub, or evening in front of the tele with a few beers, I have been kept awake listening to Mark talking in his sleep when he has had one-too-many (yes, it’s quite odd, and he often laughs in his sleep when he has had more than 2 pints, weirdo). And I always know when he’s getting drunk because he doesn’t stop talking, yabbering on about everything and anything, usually beer-related.

And no, I don’t want to just try a sip. I don’t care how good you think it is, I don’t want to try it.

The pros of being with a beer geek are the sheer passion and enthusiasm which I find so infectious. I enjoy smelling the different beers, looking at the pretty labels and watching that smile on his face when he opens the special beer he has been waiting for all week. I enjoy listening while Mark tells me what people are saying on twitter, who is drinking what and where, and reading the lovely comments on his blog (I’m sure there are more pros than this... she gets to go on lovely day trips to different pubs... anything else...).

Sometimes I do wish Mark wrote about biscuits or cake because the tasting would be much more fun and I could share in his enthusiasm, but really I enjoy his passion, and I know it makes him happy. I think that my life would be quite dull without Mark’s interest in beer and the pros far outweigh the cons. I am so proud that this beer geek is all mine.

(During the writing of this blog I also discovered how annoying it is when you are trying to write whilst somebody talks to you. I will in future leave him to write in peace).

Lots of love from Lauren.

There we go. All I have done is a quick clean-up edit. I think this post is great and it made me smile. What do you think your other half would write if she had the chance? See if they’ll do it! And I’ll be reminding Lauren of this post on Saturday night when she comes home and sees six very drunk chaps and a lot of empty bottles of stout (plus general food carnage) spread around the flat.


  1. Eileen has long agreed to write why as a woman she drinks beer. She has a different and less patronising (that word again) take than,say, Bittersweet Partnership.

    But she is a busy woman. It's hard to get her to sit down and actually do it. Watch this ... oops ...that space.

    And Lauren. You are a tolerant woman, but you have countless years of this ahead. (-;

  2. "And no, I don’t want to just try a sip"

    classic :)

  3. Haahaa! Excellent! :D I'm sure there are many silent beer widows (my own wife included, although she's not really silent about it). They now have a voice! :D

  4. Excellent!
    But I will not show this to my wife.

  5. Excellent post, Lauren! Emily say's she sympathises with you and said im not quite as geeky with the beer (yet) although she does have to put up with my chilli addiction too.

    maybe you should all start a beer widows blog where you can whinge about us all and put your comments on the beers that we have made you sip ;o)

  6. The biggest pro, of course, is that when he goes out alone, you know exactly where he is (pub, beer festival or brewery) and exactly the kind of people he is socialising with (fellow beer geeks). It's not like he is going to run off with the lady with no teeth from the cider bar - is it ?

  7. I'm going to have to get Sarah to post a reply, we must be long lost twins Mark.

    Bottle tops everywhere, check.
    Beer taking up cupboard space, check.
    Bottles must be standing, check.
    Precious beer glass collection that I get mad at if Sarah leaves suds all over, check.

    And I look forward to your future posts about biscuits and cakes!

  8. Mark, you are clearly a lucky, lucky man. Lauren, it's very nice to virtually meet you and you clearly have the patience of a saint. I'm sure the vast majority of beer widows / widowers would be a lot less understanding (or have a much more elaborate and / or expensive bribery & compensation scheme in place...)

    Luckily (extremely luckily) for me my lovely wife Jo is a bit of a beer geek herself - a Guinness fanatic for many, many years, she's gradually converting herself to a slightly wider range of beers. And she enjoys the aroma of some of the stronger ones I open at home (and has a much better nose for flavours than me as well). Not sure how she'd take to posting her own thoughts... it would probably just consist of a photo of her rolling her eyes or something. Might be able to persuade her to do a quick tasting notes round-up though. We'll see...

  9. Professor Pie-Tin12 November 2009 at 10:53

    You're all completely bonkers.
    Why on earth would you take your wife or partner out with you when the intention is to drink beer until you are quite possibly pissed.
    Drinking nights are for drinking.
    Girlie nights involve a couple of drinks ( sat at a bloody table instead of standing in your usual spot at the bar which can be clearly seen in the pictures accompanying Lauren's piece) , the cinema and a meal with a clearly signposted bit of jiggery-pokery at the end of it all.
    All this New Man cobblers of trying to involve your missus in your pub time is absolute bollocks.
    They'd much rather be at home watching Corrie or swigging wine with their sisters.
    Trust me - a woman's place is not in the pub when you are there.

  10. Lauren - Why not start the 'Pencil and Biscuit' blog and spend you weekends dragging Mark round W.I. baking sales at village fetes?

    Mark - 'Saturday night when she comes home and sees six very drunk chaps and a lot of empty bottles of stout (plus general food carnage) spread around the flat.'- I can't wait.

  11. Very nice answer Mrs!
    To sum all of the comments... Lauren for president!
    You guys are a nice team, you know :)
    ( I'd actually read a Pencil & Biscuit blog btw! )

  12. Ha ha, this is great Lauren! Loved it. I do sympathise with you. I wonder if this is how my boyfriend feels when I'm banging on about food all the time. I'm going to see if he will write a post!

  13. That's exactly what I ended up doing. Got a small fridge for the cellar and took the shelves out so the bottles could be upright. ;)

  14. Lauren, you forgot to mention all the wonderful people you have met via Mark's unhealthy obsession! *Cough*

    I always suspected Mark was a hideous lightweight but laughing in your sleep after more than two pints...!!! :-D

  15. ....this could get dangerous....

  16. All this outpouring of emotion is having a strange affect on me. I've suddenly developed a hankering to sit down and watch Mamma Mia...

  17. Thanks for your comments everyone. I do hope I haven't created a monster with this one, but it's been fun and interesting!

    I think Lauren now appreciates writing a bit more and she knows what it's like to receive lots of comments and she likes it!

    I have pitched the idea of a Pencil & Coke Zero blog to Lauren but I don't think it'll work... a twitter from Lauren could be funny though but let's not go there.

    I think everyone should try and get their other half to write something - it could be very funny!

    Dubbel, that was a typo I failed to correct... it's meant to say 12 ;)

    And this has now developed into a competition - who will get the most comments and who will get the most hits...

  18. Sarah (who goes out with another beer geek, Mark from November 2009 at 20:36

    How funny, when I was reading I began thinking 'has someone become me'!What you have written is my life for the last three months and for the future I'm sure! I am often required to smell beers of which I have no interest in, all I know is that I look forward to washing up the various different glasses that are used for each one. My kitchen has two cupboards, one for my wine and normal glasses, and another for beer branded glasses! its the way forward - honest!

    I admire the fact that you found so many positives for your Marks love of beer, but the highlight for me is that I have now discovered a love of fruit beers, sometimes its a tough decision between one of them or a rose at the weekend!

    Oh and if you wish to start a biscuit and cake blog then I'm all for it! mmmmm custard creams!!! :-)

  19. Lauren,
    I think you just wrote, for your Mark, almost exactly what my Wife would have said about me! The pros and cons are almost exactly the same(except for the toothless women)! The other difference is that Pam likes to sip the beer and wishes she could drink it. Thanks for giving your perspective, both of us enjoyed reading it.

  20. My wife used to hate cleaning my glassware. Then one day she used a dirty sponge to clean them instead of the clean beer glass only baby bottle cleaner I keep near the sink. "You know what? You can clean your own glasses!"

    "No offense honey, but I think I'd prefer that."

    We've been happy with the arrangement since. Well, she's not happy that my glasses take up so much room, but tolerant.

  21. Sarah, that's great - I think you should write a post :)

    Mark, it certainly seems to have struck a chord!

    Mario, tolerant is the word.

    And Lauren will be writing a comment back to everyone soon, I promise!

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  23. Bless both of you!

    Four years ago before we met, my other half was a confirmed Carling & Lime gal. Now she's a paid up member of CAMRA, works at beer festivals and likes mild, porter, stout and cider (none of this tasteless light stuff she says!).

    There's time for you yet, Lauren!

  24. Lauren (Mark's lovely girlfriend)14 November 2009 at 09:05

    Hello everybody, Thank you for your lovely comments. I feel like we've all shared a virtual pint and a coke zero.

    Tandleman, that's a worrying thought!

    Mark, it sounds like you have a wonderful girlfriend!

    Pete, don't you boys make too much mess on Saturday!

    Luca, you are welcome to come visit for a beer any time :)

    Brad, I've met a lot of lovely people through Mark's obsession with beer... And your girlfriend is one of the best :)

    Sarah, thank you for your comments, it's so nice to know I'm not alone! Be great to meet for a biscuit some time... Custard creams are my faves!!

    Mario, I'm going to try that next time! (Don't tell Mark)

    Thanks again everyone. I now understand what it's like to have people read your writing and comment on it and it's fun! I might even join twitter soon!!

  25. great post, enjoyed reading it while sitting with a favourite brewdog,hardcore.

    my favourite is always planning days out to specefic pubs/brewerys under the disguise of a simple day out or weekend away...they never learn the real motives behind suggesting going somewhere