Saturday 3 November 2007

40 Beers at 40: The Basics

This blog originally started as a way to mark my 40th birthday and make some money for charity. Below is the kick-off posting from November 2007...

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As I turn 40, and thus officially middle-aged, it seems a good time for some determined reflection on what life means and how I should spend my remaining two score years. Instead, I am going to drink beer. But it’s for a good cause...

Indeed, I will mark my 40 years by drinking 40 beers over 40 days. And for charity, no less.

Now, the point is not to get bladdered every night for six weeks straight. No. The goal is to move through 40 select beers, one per day, write some tasting notes and other observations in this daily blog, and raise some money for a good cause.

Beer is the focus because I live in Belgium, home of the world’s best variety of great beers, including some incredibly weird ones. And as this poor country may be about to split, I see this as my vote for keeping it together, in the name of a brilliant brewing tradition if nothing else. In addition, I'd like to think of this as a timely tribute to Michael Jackson, the great beer connoisseur who unfortunately died a couple months ago.

So, I am looking for sponsors for this 40-day charity event. The donations will go to Ovarian Cancer Action, and I’ve even set up an online donation page to make it easy for everyone. Of course, none of the money is going to my malted habit -- I’m buying the beers myself -- but you might want to sponsor me on a symbolic “per beer” basis. Here are some suggested giving levels based on the four general economic categories of people I know:

Occupation: lab animals, NGO interns
Per beer donation (€): 0.10
Total donation (€): 4.00

Occupation: people with crap jobs
Per beer donation (€): 0.50
Total donation (€): 20.00

Occupation: people with good jobs
Per beer donation (€): 1.00
Total donation (€): 40.00

Occupation: people too wealthy to work
Per beer donation (€): 2.00
Total donation (€): 80.00

If you're not sure what category you fall under, just get in touch, and I can advise.

And your support need not be simply financial. I hope to indulge in this charity work with others, drinking many of these fine beers with friends and family, both those living in Belgium and those who will be passing through -- and even in absentia through virtual link ups around the world.

The festivities begin in January, on or near my birthday, the 14th, but you can start donating now...


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