Food Diary: Surviving the Silly Season

Pint of Black Sheep AleI am really not good at the whole late night thing. But as Christmas approaches, more opportunities than ever are cropping up to stay up past my bedtime. Add to that my trip home to Chicago in a little over a week, and my social calendar has been wonderfully full of last chances to get together with friends. As a result, I seem to be spending a lot of time at the pub.

Such was the case last night when I found myself at a really neat old pub in Covent Garden called The Harp. The Harp is the kind of small, cozy, hidden-down-an-alleyway pub that many people think of when they think “London pub”. The walls were covered in old paintings and beer coasters and they had about six different ales on tap.

I knew that this would be the kind of evening that necessitated at least one, if not two pints. Remembering the ill effects of last Monday’s single Hoegaarden, I decided to try something new.

Food Tip #11: Avoid a Hangover with Lower Alcohol Beer

That’s right, not all beers have the same alcohol content. My trusty Hoegaarden is 5% alcohol by volume (abv). At the Harp, I decided to go for a Black Sheep Ale, only 3.8% abv. It may seem like a small difference, but the Black Sheep affects me far less than a Hoegaarden. This is especially good when I’ve parked my bike at the tube station and need to safely ride home at the end of an evening!

Where Pints Are PulledSo how strong are other beers? Well, that depends. It’s a common misnomer that darker beers are more alcoholic than lighter beers, but this isn’t true. For example, Guinness is 4.1% abv while Budweiser is 4.7% abv. In fact, Guinness is generally a good choice if you’re a lightweight like me but still want to drink pints with the big boys. has a list of beers and their alcohol percentage. Check it out to find out how much alcohol is in your favorite beer.

One other thing. I personally wouldn’t opt for a particular beer just because it’s lower alcohol. I firmly believe that beer is good and meant to be enjoyed, and if that can be done with less alcohol, then bonus! It just so happens that Guinness and Black Sheep are excellent beers. Heineken Light, however, at just 3.5% abv, is hardly worth the sacrifice.

More on beer from the blogosphere:

Wednesday Food Diary

  • Morning Tea: Lemon and Honey
  • Breakfast: Bircher Muesli with Rooibos Tea.
  • Cycle. ~3mi to and from physio appointment. The doc gave me a new “butt blaster” workout to do every day. I wonder if I will get a bubble butt.
  • Swim. 30 minutes
  • Lunch: Leftover white bean soup with polenta and salad. Delicious.
  • Snack: Tea and toast. Had a piece of toast with peanut butter and banana, a few nuts and a cup of tea before going out to the pub (just to ensure that I would not become instantly drunk after a few sips of beer).
  • Pint @ The Harp. Meetup with former coworkers. Had two tasty pints of Black Sheep Ale.
  • Dinner at New Fook Lam Moon. After the pub, we went for dinner in Chinatown. The food was splendid. I never cared for chow mein noodles but these rocked my world. I also had some kind of veggie and tofu stir fry, seaweed, and fried rice. All delicious!

Bircher Muesli with Greek Yogurt and Black Tea


White Bean Soup with Polenta and Rocket

Tea and Toast with Banana and Mixed Nuts

Dinner at New Fook Lam Moon

Pint of Black Sheep Ale

6 thoughts on “Food Diary: Surviving the Silly Season

  1. Sagan

    :)That’s good you figured out what works with you for the beer!

    Is that banana melted in to the toast? That gives me an excellent idea… putting a piece of bread with PB and banana slices into a toaster oven before toasting it, I wonder how good it would be?


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