Matt Heath: Join me in beer and pie July, you sweet thing

Publish Date
Monday, 3 July 2017, 9:38AM
 Photo / 123RF
Photo / 123RF

Like most Kiwis I'm a huge fan of beer, pies and sugar. Three of the best things on God's green Earth. Sadly these precious treats are under attack.

Pies are currently less under attack than beers and sugar. Although I believe meat pies were considered worse than sugar until recently. Pies are carb heavy. Especially the pie sandwich. But sugar is now considered a cold-blooded murderer. It's worse than cigs.

Beer is always under attack. Which is annoying because as I say most New Zealanders love it. The few that hate it, really hate it. They particularly hate that most of us love it so much.

Of course beer and pies are full of sugar. Which makes them doubly evil. The weird thing is, they don't feel evil, they feel good.

But it doesn't matter what we think, beer has been officially deemed evil so the Government taxes the hell out it. Sugar is now evil too so there are calls to treat it the same. Make it officially evil and punish people for consuming. Essentially these people have judged us too dumb to make decisions for ourselves.

Booze wowzers throw up the bad things a few drinkers do to justify punishing everyone. People who never have and never would do horrible things. As I have said before in this column doing dickhead things is a dickhead problem not a beverage problem.

Sugar wowzers cite fat kids walking out of dairies with 2-litre bottles of pineapple fizz as reason to tax everything sugary. Will an extra 50c make kids buy carrots instead? Probably not. Either way, leave the rest of us out of it. We're not that fat kid or that fat kid's parent. We've done nothing wrong. Why should we pay extra for a Joy Bar, Jelly Tip or Rocky Road. As for the fizz, most of us drink responsibly. We have the odd blow-out at our kids' birthday parties but I rarely smash a 1.5er on my own. I believe taxing sugar is mean. Sugar is good. So sweet. So delicious. So happy.

Who slags off icecream, chocolate and jubes? What kind of joyless person spends their time campaigning against Whittaker's Dark Ghana, Almond Gold or Berry and Biscuit bars?

You might as well punch Willy Wonka in the face, hunt and kill the Cookie Bear or break up the Popsicle band.

But back to beer. The judgment over what private citizens put into their mouths really comes to a head around the "dry" month campaigns.

I know the organisers have good intentions. It's for charity. They mean well. But it's also binge sobriety and that can be dangerous.

Any good achieved by not drinking is usually lost on the day you restart. Nothing makes a New Zealander thirstier than not drinking.

If you want to stop or cut back, you should. Don't make it a competition. Don't publicise it. If you are serious about drinking less make a reasoned change in your life. Seek help. Taking booze away for a month is a novelty, not a life change. Mark my words. August 1 will be a blow-out of epic proportions.

That's why I am involved in Radio Hauraki's Beer and Pie July Initiative. It's a pledge to enjoy a beer and a pie every day in July.

Why's it called beer and pie July? Well the pie is only really there to rhyme with July. We would have put sugar in the name too but it wouldn't have been as catchy. Luckily sugar is all through your drinks and pastries.

So how do you take part in Beer and Pie July? How do you do your bit for fairness, reason and freewill? Simply keep drinking beer and eating pies for the month of July as usual.

You can keep it going into August if you want. Keep going the whole year if you so desire. You're a grown up. Make your own decisions.

Binge sobriety, like fad dieting, won't help you and it won't help the hospo industry. There is nothing to gain when you abstain.

So I pledge to have at least one beer and one pie every day in July. Who's with me? It's easy. I've already achieved my first two weeks quota and it's only July 3.

This article was first published on and is republished here with permission.