Sometimes you just want to fit more beer into your life. Like when you’ve only got a couple of weeks left in Auckland and need to finish your stash. At these moments, the traditional after work and dinner time drinking occasions aren’t enough. With this in mind, here’s a list of how to ‘beerify’ other occasions.

No one would look twice at someone having champagne with brunch and yet popping open a beer would almost certainly raise a few eyebrows. Which is a damn shame because I’ve decided Saison is the perfect brunch beer. It’s refreshing, sometimes fruity and the higher carbonation gentle fizzes clean the tongue if you’re indulging in something fried. The traditional Saisons probably would’ve been a bit more ideal, sitting at 3.5% ABV, but hey, even the 5 to 8% of modern Saisons is still weaker than champagne.

High Tea
High tea, normally the domain of another brewed beverage, adapts surprisingly well to beerification. For starters, there’s beer with tea in it: Yeastie Boys delicious Gunnamatta is brewed with Earl Grey and this year’s Her Majesty is even more delectable with strong flavours of tea and manuka honey. If that doesn’t sway the ladies, pull out a Renaissance Chocolate Oatmeal Stout – it has chocolate in it. You can’t go wrong.*

When you’re the PM and you’re opening a brewery

What better reason to have a beer before lunch than to open a brewery? This morning John Key opened the new Tuatara brewery and was asked by the press if he was going to have a beer. He said yes, but he wasn’t going to have a yard glass and be chucking and nicely segued in into a bit of a talk about how we need to change our drinking culture (video here). It was great to see a politician (any politician) showing that we can drink sensibly in this country. You may think that statement contradicts the general theme of this post – to fit beer into every possible moment of the day – but I think we can have beer with brunch and high tea because we’re drinking sensible. We can just have one. And, in the cases above, I’m advocating swapping beer in for champagne or wine, both of which have a higher ABV.

The moral of the story? The same as is usually is. Drink less beer, but better quality. Savour it at special occasions. Think about its favours. And spread this message far and wide.

* I’m waiting to see if I get called on sexism here. But, to be frank, if you’re going to a high tea, you’re probably a little bit girly. Even if normally you’re not a girly girl – there’s something about high teas that brings it out. Maybe it’s the tiny sandwiches.