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Good Beer Hunting

Oct 12, 2022

Like many craft beer enthusiasts entering their late 30s and early 40s, I’ve found the booze real estate in my refrigerator is starting to shrink. First, I started adding cans of LaCroix knockoffs from ALDI. Then I swapped a few beers for some hard kombuchas, followed by regular kombuchas. Right now, I’ve got cans of fruited sparkling tea, and recently I realized that the only alcohol I have left in the house are samples for work.

I am, like thousands of others, beginning to dabble in reducing my alcohol consumption. The motivations for doing so are myriad, whether it be intentionally for health, economically because of inflation, or for any number of other reasons. These shifts, once cast as secrets among craft beer fans, became much more openly discussed when longtime beer writer Norman Miller announced he was giving up alcohol for health reasons in 2018, along with his beer column, “The Beer Nut.” It was a revolutionary admission, and one that resonated with fellow beer writer Jerard Fagerberg, among many others.

In the first piece for his new column, Let Go Or Get Dragged, Jerard speaks with Norman four years after that announcement of his sobriety. You’ll hear clips from Jerard and Norman’s conversation today, as well as Jerard’s inspiration for the column, his personal drinking history, and his approach to sobriety. We’ll also discuss the pros and cons of non-alcoholic beer, and the societal movement that’s seeing more Americans embrace being sober-curious. This isn’t a critique on the beer industry itself: Rather, it’s a holistic look at how alcohol shapes our lives, our culture, our minds, and our bodies.