We see numbers as absolutes, entities that exist unto themselves inhabiting the quantitative realm and shunned from the qualitative. But, as is often the case when humans get involved, turns out that numbers are actually quite subjective - or at least their meaning.
The sequence 444 is a perfect example. This is an angel number - a series of repeating digits that, for whatever reason, some people believe hold a divine meaning. In this case, the number 4 pertains to wealth, and when repeated thrice, is a strong signal of an upturn in financial fortunes.
This sort of superstition pops up all over the place; the misfortune associated with 13, lucky number seven and three being the magic number.
But what about this beer - the 444 Imperial Pastry Stout from One Drop, and what about the other big number on the can - the one that says 12% ABV.
Is this a lucky 12… or an unlucky one?
Again this is totally subjective. There are those who will see this figure as the promise of good fortune - a weighty, big, malt-forward brew that is absolutely bursting with flavour.
Then, on the other hand, there are those who might tread cautiously - reading it as a warning of a beer that is potentially too heavy, too big and well, it has to be said, a possible precursor to insobriety.
Objectively speaking, of course 12% is absolutely a warning - but for the modern sophisticate, beer connoisseur (yeah I’m talking about you)... this is easily taken into the stride of responsible drinking.
This is the beauty of beer… as we often see… where people make up their own rules as to what is right, wrong or perhaps just important to try, as they continue their voyage through the world of brewing.
Let the numbers guide you, to a certain extent - but remember, ultimately they are still subjective. Big ABV doesn’t necessarily set the style in stone and, let’s face it, you really should aim to try everything once, otherwise you’ll just never quite know what you’re missing out on.