Weekend Beer Parties

Every family has some special systems which come into place with the flow of time. In earlier days, one of the fun moments of our family used to be a late-night outing for ice creams, after a session of scrabble or cards. The short drives, discussion about the selection of the flavour of ice cream and vendor along with sibling fights and their solutions were all enriching experiences and now cherished memories for everyone. These sojourns are mostly taken on weekends to avoid the stress of getting up early the next day.
Late-night outings to ice cream parlours were converted to midnight visits to kulfi joints once we had shifted to Ahmedabad in 2002 all thanks to a friend who introduced us to the taste of Ashrafi Kulfi. An outlet was not far away and we got addicted to the taste and the safety of late-night drives in the city of Ahmedabad. Coming from NCR, going out at late night itself was very exciting and romantic. Anyone from NCR can relate to the feeling of unsafety when one goes out late at the night. But Ahmedabad was very safe in years 2003. It was "living in heaven" after coming from Faridabad, an industrial town of Haryana in the vicinity of New Delhi. 
We came back to Faridabad - NCR again in 2008. As boys flew away and we started taking each other for granted, the fun moments of life were almost reduced to nothing. Looking forward to the children's visit was the only bright spot before we took charge. We travelled a lot to "not so popular tourist places" but the places which were blessed with natural beauty in abundance. 
As boys grew up to be men, they brought beer and wine into our life. Since they have gone out to the other side of the globe, the taboo associated with drinks in India was not in their system. They loved the party feel that beer/ whiskey brings in. I always prefer low alcoholic beverages like beer or wine. There was no taboo associated in my family about drinks and no gender bias ever. I am married into a teetotaler family though. 
We started off with weekend parties and it was fun. Slowly and steadily, they become part of our weekend celebrations. Now as we have returned back to Ahmedabad in Gujarat state of India, we are required by law to take permission from the authorities to drink alcohol. I don't know the parameters on which this permission is granted as I have never applied for it. 😋 

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Moreover, seeking permission from the government about what should I drink was not convincing enough for me to apply? Why should government poke its nose 👃 or guide what should the citizens drink to have fun? If drinking lemonade does not need any permission why should drinking beer be? 

If "intoxication" is such a bad thing, why the elected representatives or bureaucrats are so intoxicated with the "power". It's better to remove that "power" from them and inculcate the feelings (followed by action) of working for the people like people's servants which is the essence of the job of being elected representatives. 

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But what will the people of Gujarat do, if they don't apply or get permission to drink from the government? They have two options. One is to find out the non-governmental system in place in the area (which is a very robust network and everyone knows about it except the authorities 😀 ) or be happy with non-alcoholic drinks.
Being a law-abiding citizen and not keen to travel every weekend I have opted for the second option. The taste of non-alcoholic drinks is almost the same as that of "real" beer. I enjoy the taste rather than the "Nasha". I am hooked on the intoxication of "life", hence alcohol is not so important to me. So, this "non-alcoholic" beer which is available in abundance in the city fills the bill and satisfies my party needs.

Venue: My balcony

I enjoy my weekends on the dimly lit balcony of my seventh-floor apartment surrounded by beautiful pots with green foliage. "A family which drinks together sticks together". 🍻🍻

Like every business these days strives to give more choices to the customers, similarly the beer producers also filled this gap by adding non-alcoholic and low alcoholic beer to their portfolio. The major difference between this new non-alcoholic and normal beer is the amount of alcohol. The non-alcoholic beer has .05 % alcohol by volume (ABV) while the normal beer has more than 1.2 %. Besides non-alcoholic beer, one can have low alcoholic or de-alcoholized beer too. This is to cheer for a less caloric drink which tastes the same and has low alcoholic content. 
The manufacturers have two methods to remove alcohol from the beer to make it "non-alcoholic". First, they may remove the alcohol from the finished product or second they ensure that no alcohol is produced during the brewing process. The most common process is to boil the alcohol away by heating the beer and another is to pass beer through a filter which absorbs all the alcohol.
I find them perfect for my quiet weekend parties in this "dry state" of Gujarat. There are a number of flavours available to choose from. Variants like strawberry, cranberry, ginger, mint peach etc. are available, though my personal choice is the original flavour. 
These new cousins of beer have gained instantaneous popularity in view of the new "health-consciousness" among the masses. Low alcoholic content and low calories are making them very popular among young and old health aware people. The ever increasing popularity of these low alcoholic or non-alcoholic beers is mainly due to almost similar taste and low calories. 
We all know that alcohol and skin are not great bedfellows. Heavy drinking takes its toll on the skin and there is no doubt about it. It can lead to inflammation, redness and the appearance of broken capillaries in the skin. Alcohol dries skin and fastens the ageing process. These drinks sometimes cause a spike in insulin levels and flare up acne and skin inflammation.
I am in love with my non-alcoholic drink and I know it is here to stay!

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