With Hurricane Sandy set to wreak havoc on the American east coast during the next couple of days, I thought I’d share some beer nerd emergency preparedness tips to help ensure that you always have a frosty beer when you need one, even if the shit hits the fan.
- Stock up on beer, preferably in cans. And buy your beer warm, so you don’t have to put it all in your refrigerator. If the power goes out, it could stay out for a couple of days, which means your local liquor stores will probably remain closed until power is restored. Make sure you have plenty of suds on hand before the storm hits. You can pack more cans into a smaller space than bottles, and tightly packed, chilled cans will stay cool for a longer period of time than bottles. Also, avoid cans of yellow lager made by the likes of Anheuser-Busch or MillerCoors, not because these beers aren’t well suited for emergency situations, but because they taste like shit. Lots of high-quality beer is available in cans today—thanks, Oskar Blues—so you won’t have to comprise.
- After you’ve stocked up on beer, you’ll want to buy some ice packs and/or a bunch of bags of ice. Then empty out your freezer of food and pack it with the ice and ice packs. (Fuck the food, beer nerds need to have their priorities in order; beer first, food second.)
- Buy a couple of coolers, so you can pack them with ice and beer if you lose power. Styrofoam coolers work well, they’re cheaper than plastic coolers and you can find them at many liquor stores. If you have a spare bathroom or don’t care about personal hygiene, you can also pack your bathroom sink or bathtub with ice and beer in an emergency to make sure your brews are cold when you need them.
- Next, you’ll want to pack as many cans into your refrigerator as possible, so they’re already cold when your lose electricity. Pack the cans in as tightly as possible and on top of each other, and they’ll work to cool themselves after they’re initially chilled.
- As soon as you lose power, fill your cooler or coolers (or sink or tub) with beer and ice. You’ll want to limit the number of times you open your fridge or freezer so the beer stays cold for as long as possible. It also makes sense to grab brews from the same cooler until it’s empty so your other coolers stay cold.
- Above all, do not panic. A calm, focused beer nerd who follows the steps listed above is a happy beer nerd.
(Drinker’s note: It should be obvious that this post is a joke. I’m not making light of Hurricane Sandy; I’m trying to add some levity to what will surely be a shitty situation for lots of folks. In reality, it’s a good idea to stay sober and sharp during emergencies, so if you do drink, be responsible and do so in moderation.)