Belfast Telegraph

I’ll raise a glass to my life of total abstinence

By Pol o Muiri

I don’t drink — though it is impossible to escape drinking during the festive season.

I do like a nice glass of red wine with my food but a glass of red is hardly drinking; a glass of red wine is more about appreciating the food and the company than drinking. I don’t drink.

Well, I don’t drink Harp, Tennants, Guinness. Never had a drop from a tin can. It’s our thing? It may well be but it’s not my thing. I never suffered a hernia as a student lugging flat packs of tins and drinking industrial amounts of alcohol, like, just for the craic, like and then boking up all over the place, also, for, like, the craic.

I don’t drink — though I do know two places in the Orchard County where you can get the most wonderful German beer, Erdinger, on draft. It is first class and then there’s that place in Belfast that has another great German beer, |Bitburger on draft too.

Yes, I do like to call in there for a bit to eat and a glass of Bittburger but sure that’s not drinking. A glass or two with a meal, just for a change from the red wine.

I don’t drink — though I did pick up a couple of bottles of some nice German wheat beer. Wheat beer?

Well, wheat is good for you. Wheatabix for example, that’s good for you and wheat beer is just the same thing in liquid form. Essentially, it’s all wheat.

Better throw some of that into the trolley to keep me regular. Hopefully, drinking German beer will also |improve my command of the language. I have lost count of the number of |people who tell me they can only speak Irish when they have a few pints in them — pints of the sort of stuff I don’t drink, naturally.

So, here’s hoffenlich that ich kann Deutsch wenn ich ein bisschen |betrunken bin. Prima, it’s working |already.

Of course, I don’t drink — but I did find this lovely lager from Alsace that is brewed with champagne yeast.

Well, laa-dee-da, that sounds as far away from a tin of Harp as you can get and if it is brewed with champagne yeast, then it is really almost like champagne and that’s classy, like. And Alsace? They have had as many border |problems as our good selves. Better buy some of that to underpin the Alsacian peace process. Did I say Alsacian? |Alsacian! Alsacian! Alsacian!

That sounds funny. Well, it did to me or maybe it’s just the lager talking.

I don’t drink — but I did find this lovely Scottish bottled beer which is described as being ‘fruity with hints of vanilla’. Fruity? Well, that sounds even more healthy than wheat beer.

That sounds like a description for a healthy breakfast juice and the drink |itself looks like honey.

Let us not forget either that the Scots are our neighbours — we all have the auld Ulster-Scots gene — and we should help our cousins across the Moyle out because there is a recession on.

See you, my wee bonnie bottle of Caledonian creaminess, you will nae last tae Hogmanay — and I don’t drink.

Belfast Telegraph

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