Well I've not posted on here before but after being married to Rob for four months and with him for nearly 6 years I felt it was high time I gave you an insight into life with a beer-obssessed nutter - who I love wholeheartedly.
You may have read about me on his blog, his lovely wife, dear lady, the lovely Helen etc etc but the amin thing you will read about is - yep you guessed it - BEER!!
Beer is one of the reasons I love Rob so much. He is so passionate about it and I love that.
But it definitley has its downsides.
Rob lives and breathes beer. He works with it all week, he spends extra time at work into the small hours making his own beer, he writes about it, talks about it, fantasises about it and of course drinks it. That leave very little time for much else to happen.
When I first met Rob he wasn't as in to beer as he is now. Sure he used to turn his nose up at the fizzy piss coming out ot taps at the uni bars and clubs we used to go to, but he was never obssessed.
But then I bought him a home brew kit for his 21st birthday. And life went a little downhill.
Not satisfied to brew his own beer from kits he had to go the whole hog and use hops, malts, yeasts etc as fresh ingredients, I'm sure this fuelled his need for proper beer more.
It was just after this that Rob and I were in a pub in Darlington, The Quaker House, with his aunties when he saw a man sat at the bar writing reviews of beers into a little book - a ticker I believe he was called. Little did I know that nearly five years later we would be celebrating the fifth anniversary of Rob's Beer Book.
From then on Rob has written down every new beer he has tried. You can tell when he's been on a session as the writing gets worse (than normal).
It was extrememly embarassing when, in front of a group of new friends on my MA at Lancaster University, Rob brought out the book. In fact I fear the book coming out sometimes - especially when we are in posh restaurants - it is then that I sometimes hide my face so noone can see who I am.
Rob always has beer in the fridge and this does annoy the hell out of me sometimes. He isn't here all week, yet I'm not allowed to take the beer out because he doesn't want to keep changing its temperature.
And when I complain or moan about it he takes very little notice.
I have been to beer festivals with Rob, hell I've even been on brewery tours and taken him to hotels with micro breweries for him to enjoy new beers. I even planned a suprise trip to Dublin to take him to the Guinness Brewhouse and The Porterhouse cos I knew he would like them. I've taken him to Beers of the World and am planning on taking him to the Great American Beer Festival next year too - as long as I get to go somewhere sunny and warm afterwards!
We even had three beers in casks at our wedding.
At these events Rob normally ends up talking to random people about beer - he even did it on our honeymoon. And I sometiems get a little left out.
Rob always offers me a sip of his beer, whether I like it or not and he normally does it when I'm right in the middle of something. Usually it's when I have hot pans in my hand after making dinner, I'll just be putting it out and he'll just have poured the beer to go with the meal and says: "Helen this is gorgeous do you want to try it?" Hmm not really when my hands are full of hot food which I'm trying to serve up for you to eat!
Beer is a common topic of conversation for Rob as well. No matter who he is talking to or where he is you can bet that beer is going to come up. If we are in the car somewhere he'll suddenly come out with something about the next beer he is going to make or what Mark Dredge has been writing about in his beer blog. He talks about beer with our friends and family and even spent 8 hours walking up Ben Nevis talking about it!
Beer was even mentioned in his wedding speech about me!
It does drive me crazy sometimes, but I love him for it.
You see Rob is special. There is noone quite like him. I love the fact that he has so much ambition about what he can do with beer and how much passion he has for it. Rob wouldn't be Rob if he didn't like beer. I love hearing about what his new blog post is going to be, I love trying and smelling the beers he loves - even if some of them are disgusting.
I'm very proud that he managed to get a scholarship to studying an MSc in Brewing and Distilling and I'm proud that he works in a field that he loves like I do.
But most of all I'm proud that he wanted me to be his wife and that I get to keep him and his beer-nutter ways for the rest of my life. Even if it means I'll have to try many more beers, have my fridge clogged up, and go to hundreds of brewpubs, festivals and other places devoted to beer - cos it will be with him.
So that is it from me for now, I may do another post at some other time, I'm off to make Rob's dinner, which he will be matching with an Innis and Gunn beer - it's ok I've tried that one before!
PS Troy - our Westie also think he's a nutter!