If you’ve read a few of my previous posts, you may be aware that I decided to ditch the wine in favour of beer as a social experiment last month.
I broke my beer-only stint this weekend when I had some friends over for a wine and cheese evening. While I was initially excited to crack open the bottle of wine, that excitement soon turned into disappointment and later regret as the banging hangover set in.
I’ve realised that sticking to beer has had an incredibly positive impact on my mind, my body and my wallet. In a time when more people are tee-total and alcohol-free charity months take place several times a year, it can be tempting to throw the baby out with the bathwater after a particularly grueling hangover. But maybe sticking to beer – just beer – is a happy medium between the two.
These are the five reasons why I’m officially ditching the wine and sticking to beer instead.
1. Beer has a lower ABV
I realise that everyone is different and some people claim to get more drunk off of beer, but the proof is on the side of the bottle (or can). Beer has a much lower ABV than wine, and when you start pulling out the calculator the difference really adds up.
Not only is beer less boozy than wine, its also easier to monitor how much you’re drinking when its from individually packaged bottles.
Sticking to a lower-ABV drink means avoiding the dreaded next-day hangover. For anyone wanting to cut down on their drinking but not into the fanatical “Go Sober for October” or “Dry January” months, a simple switch to beer only can make a huge difference.
2. It’s easier to drink at your own pace
I found that I was able to control my drinking much better when I stuck to beer only.
There’s something about sharing a bottle of wine and having co-conspirators to share the guilt of over-drinking that wipes away personal responsibility.
While it was initially awkward to opt-out of the bottle of wine on tapas night, being the odd one out with a bottle of beer meant that I was not only able to keep track of how much I was drinking, but also how much I was spending. My head and my wallet thanked me the next day.
3. Beer helps you lose weight
I hear a lot of women in particular claim that they don’t drink beer because it makes them feel bloated and packs on the calories. Drinking beer definitely makes me feel fuller faster, but I actually think this is great.
I tend to drink less beer in one sitting for the simple reason that I start to feel quite full after a few. Having a beer with dinner also means I may not go up for that second portion afterwards.
By comparison, if you put a bottle of wine and a cheese spread in front of me, and I can (and will) gorge all night long. After which, I will continue to eat all of the next day as I suffer from the wine hangover. I think a bottle of beer or two is preferable to that.
4. There are SO many beers to try
Spending a month sticking to beer only meant that I got to try so many different beers! While you can argue there is a lot of variety with wine (and there is), I find the large wine bottle sizes are more of a hindrance than a help.
If I’m buying a bottle of wine for home, I will usually choose one that I know I like as its likely to last a few days. This means that I end up drinking the same brand and style week on week.
If I’m buying a bottle of wine out with friends I usually end up with some crappy Pinot Grigio I don’t even want as its less offensive to the group as a whole.
Beer can be bought by the glass, which means that you can mix and match different brewers and styles much more easily. I felt more emboldened to try new beers knowing that it was just one drink and I could just pour it down the sink if I hated it.
With over 1,700 breweries in the UK alone, and more and more international beers available to sample, why stick to the same drink every night?
5. Beer is actually good for you
You know how they used to prescribe Guinness to pregnant women on the NHS? And how people used to drink beer in lieu of clean water for hundreds of years? Well guess what – beer really is quite good for you.
Yes – sinking six pints in one go is not going to do you any favours. But having one beer a day might just keep the doctor away. Drinking moderately is proven to be healthier than heavy drinking or not drinking at all.
I’ve done a lot of research into this for my day job and have found so many reports about the benefits of moderate drinking in general, as well as the benefits of drinking beer specifically. Did you know that:
- Beer contains 35 antioxidants
- Beer protects against cardiovascular disease, Osteoporosis, Dementia, Diabetes and Stomach Ulcers
- Beer contains 6g of fibre per litre
- Beer contains high levels of silicon, which promotes the healthy growth of skin and nails
Source: British Beer and Pubs Association (BBPA) Report “A Healthy Perspective on Beer“.
While I am sure I will have that glass of champagne to celebrate a special occasion again, or a glass of wine at future dinner party or two, for the most part I’ve really enjoyed my beer-only month.
I don’t know about you, but I’ll be sticking with beer as my preferred tipple.
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