Drink Barleywine and Buy Nothing Day

Tomorrow is the first annual Drink Barleywine and Buy Nothing Day and I know you all have a lot of questions, so here goes:

What is Drink Barleywine and Buy Nothing Day?

It is a day to drink barleywine and buy nothing.

What is Buy Nothing Day?

Always the Friday after Thanksgiving (in North America at least), it’s a reaction to the crazed consumerism of Black Friday, a day on which people have actually died and been seriously injured while people try to buy things.  It was started by the Canadian culturejamming magazine, Adbusters, in the ’90s and is primarily concerned with the consumption of the earth’s resources and unfair labor practices in developing countries. You can read their FAQs here.

Growing up, my Canadian, anti-consumerist dad celebrated Buy Nothing Day. I didn’t necessarily appreciate this when I was 8 and he refused to buy me Beanie Babies because they were “made by children in China who got paid 10 cents an hour” but it’s a sentiment I can get behind now and try to honor.

What does barleywine have to do with it?

One of the most frustrating parts of the holiday season is the idea that  you need to buy things for your family and friends in order to make them happy and to find happiness. I think a better way to celebrate would be to share a bottle of barleywine with them. Or just treat yourself early this year and pop a bottle for yourself. Also it’s the Friday after Thanksgiving and the middle of a long weekend so there’s no reason not to drink barleywine. Also you probably have a bottle aging somewhere that you haven’t opened yet because you “don’t have a reason”. This is a reason.

Can I buy beer though?

Fine. You can buy beer, but for every bottle of beer you buy, you must also drink one. Or don’t, whatever.

But what if I want to support my local, independent shops?

There are many days on which you can do this. There is only one day to drink barleywine and buy nothing.

Do you have any barleywine recommendations or pairings?

No. Drink whatever barleywine you want and pair it with whatever you want. But I’m guessing those piles of Thanksgiving leftovers will pair nicely.

Is there an Untappd badge?

One of the fun Buy Nothing and Drink Barleywine Day DIY activities is making your own badge. Monopoly money? Barleywine labels? Feel free to get creative! Then safety pin it to your denim vest with pride.

What is the hashtag?


How many barleywines is too many barleywines?

N/A. Or rather, ask me Saturday morning.

Happy Drink Barleywine and Buy Nothing Day y’all! 

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One comment

  1. I loved being introduced to this holiday :) Our dads would have been best buds. Probably are highfiving right now even as I type ;)

    LOVE YA!

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