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I feel like the Pub Curmudgeon in having a moan about the nanny state, but I have just returned from a trip to the dentist. A routine six monthly check up, no problems. The usual prodding about, followed by a clean & a suggestion to floss. What made it slightly unusual was a preceding discussion in regard to my personal habits. How much do I drink? Answer Dunno, whats the average? Do I smoke? Do I eat sweets, do I drink sugary drinks?

Now some of these I might expect. You expect a dentist to tell you the usual gubbins about toffees and pop, and even I suspect to want to know whether the patient smoked as that affects oral hygiene, but is it any of my dentists business that I am a piss head? I was tempted to tell her Im an internationally renowned beer writer me like Protz, Avery, Brown & Dredge and head of the campaign for the greater appreciation of cooking lager and a right proper piss head. So what? Maybe Im being a little over sensitive here to the personal intrusion, but you know what, I can accept my doctor asking but what has it really got to do with whether I need a filling?

On a more positive note, guess what I got given by the wonderful human being that is Hardnott Dave, brewer and artist formerly known as Woolpack Dave? Only a free gratis bottle of his grog. Nice one Dave. The bottle informs me that it is a rather challenging beverage and Im reminded of a scene in the film Withnail and I where Danny says don't get uptight with me, man. Because if you do, I'll have to give you a dose of medicine. And if I spike you, you'll know you've been spoken to.

Well, I shall enjoy it even if it is an attempt to medicine me with a beer of character and flavour. Im gonna have to take my dentists advice and get necking some of this free grog. I might even tell you all what I think of it. If it touches the sides that is.

Keep the free beer coming, folks. Youll convert me away from cheap lout eventually, its only a matter of time.