There’s nothing better than a good session of nice beer or cider with family and friends, whether it is at the pub on a Saturday afternoon or at home entertaining guests over a nice meal.    Alcohol, for all the negatives that are wheeled out by the health concerns in this country, is the social glue much of the population still use.  We entertain our guests at home with a 4 pack or bottle of wine, many of us have a weekly run out to the pub with colleagues to enjoy lunch and a pint.  Many sports clubs finish a training session or celebrate post match at the local pub, whilst the same place is usual location for socialising with groups of friends or acquaintances on many occasions.

A session can be anything from a couple of pints upwards, it doesn’t need to be the best beer out there, although that helps.  It’s the company or even the enjoyment of one’s own company that matters.  It can just be a friendly barman or a couple of the regulars who happen to be in the pub at the time, as long as the conversation flows if that is what you want, that is what matters.  The demands on our time mean that for many, there is not the time to enjoy this simple pleasure as much as we would like to.  Speaking personally, it is those small pauses in life that take the sometimes hard edge off life. just stopping for an hour and letting time pass by while you enjoy a pint or two.  Other people have different methods, but whatever your choice, it’s things like this that help the soul restore balance after a hard week.

This view is not reported in the media often now, who would have us believe that alcohol is the root of all evil, with violence in differing settings being blamed on the substance.  As much as I hate to quote the NRA in a positive aspect I will in this case “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”, and in the same context, alcohol does not cause social problems, people cause social problems.  Alcohol only allows the human mind to act as it wants to without the self control aspect which is inbuilt to most people.  If you are a quieter person who becomes the gregarious life of the party after a few pints, it is something which is inside you which is being suppressed.  If you become unpleasant when drinking, it is a flaw in your personality which you can control in day to day life, but once the mind becomes uncensored by alcohol, it comes out.   Alcohol is merely a facilitator.

Of course there are genuinely addicted alcoholics (and the same issues exist with drugs, both licensed and illegal) who require a constant supply of alcohol to cope with day to day life, but alcohol is their tool of choice, the path of their life led to their addiction and in other social circles an addiction to alcohol could just as easily been replaced by a dependency on Class A or Class B narcotics.  Some people of course have addictive personalities and are more prone to addiction than others and exposure to any drug, legal or not is probably not the best idea.

If human beings had not invented alcohol, the our ingenuity would have ensured we grew or manufactured a substance to inebriate ourselves and we would be having the same discussions about that now.  For example if cannabis had took alcohols place in history, we’d be having arguments about the definition of “craft pot”, and how the big companies were copying each other by bringing out “fruit infused” variations which all smoked the same, as well as moaning it was taxed too much.  It is human nature to moan and complain as well, an economically useful trait which provides millions of call centre workers with jobs all over the world.

We all, as a race, need a release from life occasionally else we would all go stir crazy.   Native tribes in the Americas use mescal and other similar plant derived drugs to reach a higher place.  Some people do this without substance, but my guess is that most people reading this will enjoy a glass of wine, a gin and tonic, a pint of beer or straight single malt whiskey at some time during the week.  Lets just enjoy that fact and keep ourselves sane, whilst helping those that need it.  It is all about balance, and if our souls can achieve this then life is better.