How to Drink Alone • Hop Culture

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4.4.17

How to Drink Alone

The solo beer has been stigmatized. Here's how to take it back.

Written by Alex Weaver

Image by Kinsley Stocum

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Remember that George Thorogood song from the 80s about drinking alone? The one where he proudly drinks a Budweiser before breakfast and hangs out with his pal Johnny Walker instead of going to a party? Yeah. He definitely had a bit of a drinking problem. But he wasn’t wrong about everything.

I’ve been drinking alone for years. It’s an activity I truly enjoy. In fact, I’m drinking alone right now.

Despite the attached stigma — thanks in large part to cultural forces like George Thorogood — there are many redemptive qualities to cracking your favorite beer and enjoying it alone with your thoughts, even out at a bar, brewery taproom, Little League game… you get the idea. There are also some red flags to avoid. Here are a few pointers on doing it right.

DO hit up a bar alone. Just try it. Stride right in, head held high, and pull up a corner barstool. Ask the bartender how the shift is going, then ask for a recommendation. Check some emails. Try that “journaling” thing you’ve been going on about for months. Or just sit back and enjoy the scenery. Confidence is sexy.

DO get some work done. These days, almost anywhere with a beer list has Wi-Fi and outlets. If you’ve got to spend an hour clearing out the inbox, perhaps you’d enjoy doing so with a cold IPA at your fingertips. Three words: expense that ish.

DON’T make a habit of going to the bar — especially the same bar — and getting hammered by yourself. You’ll end up embarrassing yourself with nobody to call an Uber but the bartender you’ve been addressing by the wrong name all night. Not cute.

DON’T make a big deal out of it. We’re all adults here; this isn’t an episode of “Mad Men.” Maybe you’re waiting for other people to show up and maybe you’re not. Nobody is wondering why you’re sitting alone, sipping a beer with a self-contented grin on your face.

DON’T drink Budweiser alone before breakfast. That’s just a cry for help.