I sometimes wonder if there will be a point in my life where wine becomes more important to me than beer, but I’m not there yet. And I think there will always be a place for a beer after a long week of work.

Unfortunately for me, most beers are out of my reach due to a gluten allergy. So, gluten-free beers and ciders are my mainstays. However, I can also drink rice beers. And of those, Sapporo is my favorite. I’m just lucky that this Japanese beer with the gold star on the bottle was one of my favorites before I learned of my gluten allergy.

It could be seen as depressing to have such a limited beer palate. And there are certainly times when I wish I could try the latest beer on tap at my local brewery. But I think–and I may just be making the best of a bad situation–it’s not so bad to have one goto brew.

I don’t drink frequently, and when I do drink, it’s rarely more than one or two 12 oz. bottles, so I don’t necessarily need variety. What I need is consistency. I want a beer that’s going to be tasty every time.

Drinking a beer has become, at times, ritualistic for me. I was drinking a big can of Sapporo every Sunday night while watching Parts Unknown up until Bourdain’s untimely death. (I recently gained access to several seasons of No Reservations, so maybe I need to bring this ritual back.)

Drinking the beer and watching that show was the way I prepared for the next week. But sometimes I’ll drink a beer just to relax. I’ll reward myself with one after surmounting some bureaucratic BS at work. Or just because I can.

Beer doesn’t need to be overdone in my book. It can be pursued lightly. That’s probably the best way. Unless, of course, you’re into dark beers.

photo: Christin Hume