According to The Economist, “the oldest surviving recipe in the world is for beer.” Economist
My first taste of beer was in an old pub in London, by the name of Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese. This pub was rebuilt in 1667 after the Great Fire of London in 1666. There has been a pub in this location since 1538. Inside, the lack of lighting creates a gloomy charm, and an intimate and cozy feeling. The entrance to the pub is located in a narrow alleyway off of Fleet Street. I like this aspect because the pub is unassuming.
Being a bookworm, I enjoyed learning that literary giants like Mark Twain, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and THE Charles Dickens frequented Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese often. (I am biased towards Dickens because: A Tale of Two Cities and Bleak House, need I say more?)
Upon entering the pub, I immediately noticed how authentic the place is. I ordered fish and chips (a popular English dish), and a beer on tap from the bar. I loved the fish and chips, but didn’t love the beer…
I have always struggled with carbonated drinks, and it limits my selection of alcoholic beverages. As a result of my major dislike towards fizzy drinks, I have become a hard alcohol fan. I was disappointed that I couldn’t enjoy famous beer in a famous pub that has been around for centuries. But, I was not disappointed by the history of the pub.
This is why drinking interests me. It is indeed part of history. Pubs are all over London, and each of them has its own character. My close friend living in London, who does not drink, admitted to the allure and mysticism of Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese primarily due to its architectural appeal. He says, “I love seeing ancient buildings so well preserved and still being used, even if they are associated with things I don’t particularly admire.”
I am now a senior here at UNH, and I have experienced the nightlife at the Durham bars. Similar to the bars in London, places like Libby’s, Scorps, and The Knot have their own unique vibe and character.
However, I think the mentality surrounding drinking is very different here. It is not so much about having a pint and remarking on the interior wood paneling in the ancient pub you are sitting in. Instead, drinking tends to have an association with getting drunk. Binge drinking in particular is a popular method to “get drunk fast.” According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, binge drinking is “a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dL. This typically occurs after 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men- in about 2 hours.” Binge Drinking
I think there is an urge and desire to get drunk after a stressful week. I have had those nights where I do not remember a whole lot, and I’ll admit it is not fun. Yet, we still go back to repeat the cycle the following weekend. If you choose to drink, please do so in a safe and smart way.
On a recent night out, I realized that my friends and I say some very entertaining things when we are not in a fully functioning state of mind, such as “Alcohol kills germs” and “We’re drinking OJ for the sinuses” (in reference to a mixed drink). All of us were recovering from the “UNH Plague” that struck, typical in the fall semester on a college campus. Nevertheless, we justified that our night out would contribute to our health. Now, there’s the rub.
Your health is the most important thing here. If one chooses to drink, one must drink responsibly. I know we’ve heard this a lot, but it really is important to drink in a smart way. Your body, mind, and overall wellness will thank you for it.
Health Services provides an extensive page on their website dedicated to answering any questions you may have about alcohol, and what it does to your body. I read through some of these and learned a lot about how the body reacts, and why it is imperative to monitor intake of alcohol. Alcohol Facts
If you or a person you know is struggling with alcohol use and would like to talk about this, Health Services provides confidential education and counseling services. Health Services also provides links to other resources such as NH Alcoholics Anonymous. Health Services- Alcohol
One of the many reasons I love UNH is because I have never met anyone pressuring me to drink, or to engage in activities I do not want to partake in. Peer pressure exists, yes, but I do believe that UNH is not a university where everyone has to do certain things every weekend. If you do not wish to drink, you do not need to. If you wish to drink, please do so in a safe way. Take care of each other, Wildcats!