World Traveler With a Knack For Beer Pt. 2
All About Beer: Are you a big beer drinker ordinarily? If so, what are some of your personal favorite beers at home?
Henry Biernacki: I very much enjoy Belgium beer, which makes me think of my travels and my days in Erie, PA. I only have a drink when I am away from home since I consider it a social gathering and brilliant over stimulating conversation. I enjoy Trappist beer for the fact monks have a hand in it as it is being made. Now that is pure class!
AAB: Exploring as you did on the cheap, how did you budget for food and drinks? What drink were you most likely to order if you were buying? If someone else was buying?
Biernacki: Again, Belgium beer is what I enjoy, and Trappist is my beer of choice. I only buy a beer when I am sitting with someone since this is the time to socialize and spend a little money. Buying a beer would be too costly to do everyday on the road so I make it count and savor each sip. If you are a traveler, each penny counts. Although drinking a beer with someone is not a waste, it does cut into your savings especially if you plan to travel for a lengthy period. After someone realizes you are a traveler, they want to hear your stories over several beers. I always buy a traveler a beer or two just as people have bought me beers.
However, if you are a tourist and merely “on vacation” for a week or two, then by all means spend away on the best beer in the world!
AAB: Was it common to have someone buy you beer in a cafe/bar or bring you beer in their home?
Biernacki: Of course, this is why a traveler is a true diplomat. We have the time to sit anywhere and visit. There is no rush to get anywhere except where you are to enjoy the moment. The people where I am are my monuments, and I make sure I share moments with them and more importantly conversations. But this is also one of my bad habits: staying in a place a bit too long because of conversations with strangers and these conversations must then be disrupted by moving on to a new city. I discovered it was not where I went, but who I was meeting along the way.
AAB: Did you develop a new appreciation for it as a social beverage? Any interesting drinking customs?
Biernacki: I found that drinking a beer was more than enjoyment of taste. It was a way to slow down the day and take in the company of other people who were strangers just moments before but who would soon become friends.
This is part 2 of a 3-part series. To be continued…