When Fetching Beer Gets Complicated

I have a beer problem.

Wait. That doesn’t sound right. I don’t even drink this popular beverage—never acquired a taste—but I am indeed going through a beer-related crisis.

It all started at a fundraising event, too many months ago. An item at the silent auction table caught my husband’s eye—a gift certificate for his favorite local brewery. It offered the ultimate temptation: “A Special Four-Case Selection of Fine Beers.”

Faster than you can say “beer me,” he pulled out his mighty pen. A quiet sword fight with other auction attendees ensued. But this was the good stuff. My husband “won.”

I would have been thrilled if he had bid on four cases of wine, but no, we were suddenly the proud owners of a lot of beer. Almost 99 bottles, like the song.

There was a complication, though. It turned out we wouldn’t be hearing the clinking of way too many amber vessels when we hit potholes on the drive home. Once we were handed the victory certificate, we learned the beer had to be picked up at another time and place. Such sobering fine print.

We were instructed to claim our prize at the brewery’s warehouse, which was an unfamiliar address somewhere around or past downtown. Not only that, we had to follow a strict beer-claiming procedure. So much effort.

An email form had to be filled out. The certificate number was some kind of critical big deal. Once the paperwork was complete, the instructions informed us, we would have to wait until a company representative contacted us to set up a time to get the liquid loot. Can you imagine? Paperwork and appointments and wacky GPS coordinates for what…beer?

The worst part—we’d have to choose from very limited windows of pickup times, all during inconvenient office hours. My schedule is more flexible than my husband’s, so I stupidly volunteered to chair the beer retrieval committee. What a mistake. I’ve had no incentive to drive an hour round trip to an industrial booze district.

As of press time, I have not hopped to the task, so to speak. And it’s been getting weird around my household. The tension has escalated because my husband has stopped buying the occasional six-pack. It seems he doesn’t want to have even a small supply at home when the motherlode is apparently coming. He’s been wrongly assuming I’d burst ahead through the flaming hoops and take the journey “any day now.”

For months, the guy has been living beer-less-ly. When things were normal, he would always enjoy holding a chilled brewski while grilling on the deck. He’d flip a burger, gaze out to the yard, and sip his beloved beverage. Yet now he can’t. Or rather, won’t.

So lately, when my husband grills, he digs into the wine stash. Namely, my refreshing, crisp Riesling. He’s never been a Riesling drinker, ever, and I’m irritated. I tell myself he’s subconsciously seeking something fermented, chilled and Octoberfest-y. This is the best my guy can do to cope with our ironic beer void.

But then again, hmm, he might have uncorked some kind of clever motivational trick: The Great Riesling Siphon. It’s working. I’m going to do everything it takes to claim his 96 bottles the moment I finish this column.

What a crafty scheme.