Beer intake

May have put this on the wrong forum.

I’d like to ask you chaps a question if I may. Are you concerned about your alcohol intake?

This week Adrian Chiles admitted he was basically alcohol dependent and regularly drinking 100 units per week. I personally have been drinking beer for approx 40 years now and that is at least 5 days a week. I do check how many units I drink on and off and recently in an average week I probably drink 30-40 units. GBBF week was more like 120 units. I’m sure that I have shortened my life as a result of regular drinking.

Alcohol has never affected my work or life in general. I could do with losing a couple of stone for sure. The problem is I adore beer and really struggle to stay off it for more than 2 days a week. I don’t consider myself an alcoholic but I’m certainly alcohol dependent. I’m mid 50’s and wonder what the beer has done to me over the last 40 years.

Basically, do you worry about it? How many units do you drink per week? Do you lay off it for a few weeks?

Worry? More like think about it constantly. Try to keep beer from “causing” me to snack in the evenings. 20 to 33 units/week. Never take a complete break. Trying to not drink several high ABV beers in an evening - this is the current “break”. Weight is what I “worry” about.

Concerned? Kind of, but I certainly wouldn’t self-diagnose as an alcoholic, especially not after reading the thing about Adrian Chiles. I love beer too and really enjoy drinking it, I don’t feel like I crave it though. I currently drink most days but I don’t have a problem taking days off if I need to, through my own choice, illness, or any other reason.

The reason I’m drinking pretty much daily at the moment is getting through my stash at home. There’s so many new releases every month now that I ended up with at one point around 300 beers in my fridges and cupboards. I’ve managed to get this down to about 200 now, and pleased to say more than half of this is now things like imperial stouts, sours and other styles that are fine sitting around for while or being aged, so I feel no rush to get through these. Pretty soon I should be able to cut back substantially while still managing the stash by both drinking and buying less.

Back to the Adrian Chiles thing. I’m not a fan of the guy and can’t really be arsed to watch his documentary, but I did just read an article about it after you mentioned it. He said he regularly drinks 50-100 units a week, and in one example he measured 34 units in a single day. To me that is absolutely insane and I can’t fathom how he saw this as “socially normal”.
I’m a bit of a lightweight so I doubt I could handle 34 units in one day even if I wanted to. I may well be pushing 50 units a week at the moment, but there’s absolutely no way I could do more than this, nor would I want to.

I turn 30 in 2 weeks, a bit too young to be kicking my liver’s ass this much, so I have absolutely no intention of keeping my current rate up, it’s purely because I stupidly bought so many beers and I don’t want to waste them, I’ve got that under control now. My mental health isn’t the best but I’ve enough willpower to not let this turn into a dependency, and as I said at the start, still don’t feel cravings or the need to drink to get through a day.

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In a normal week, two beers Friday night and two beers Saturday night. When on holidays, quite a bit more, of course.

Trying to not let the hobby cause any health issues.

For me it’s not drink to get through the day. But from say 5 PM to 9 or 10 it’s slow drinking xpt during the evening meal.

I’ve been thinking about this more this year than before because in January an alcoholic relative rather insanely tried to go cold turkey and ended up dieing shortly after of multiple organ failure.

More or less the same here. Usually drink around a litre of beer on Friday and a litre on Saturday, When on holiday I usually drink a couple of (local) beers every day.

When I get back from the holiday I’m currently on I’m thinking about giving up drinking for a couple of months. Should be beneficial from a financial point of view as well as a health one. Not really sure how long it will last though.

I counted units a couple of times. IMHO It’s very tough to actively drink a variety of craft and stick within the 14 unit guidelines.

Probably average about 5 units per week. Bit more if I’m on holiday or at a beer fest, but would almost never have more than the 14 units “limit”.

This isn’t through any health worries mind; much as I enjoy beers (and rating), they’re jyst not high on my list of priorities. Spending time with my family comes first; any leisure time away from them (and spare cash!) would be spent hillbagging and long distance walking where possible.

No worries, when I started out back in '06 I would have 2 or 3 beers a night. Now I seldom drink on the weekdays. Have a few on weekends unless fest or beer tasting. Could go the rest of my life without a beer if it wasn’t my favorite hobby.


Yeah, but I’ve had a hell of a year and everybody needs a vice.

I find it surprising that anyone on Ratebeer would be able to only drink 5 units a week. Some of the IPAs in cans are 3 or 4 units in one beer. Personally I’m honest to myself, I have been tracking my units for years, generally weekly I average between 30 to 40 units, unless on holiday, as I am now, then it’s more like 100 plus per week. I try to not drink Monday through to Wednesday and drink Thursday through to Sunday, each day would average 8 to 12 units. I have fallen out of this rule a little lately, but will be stricter in September through to end if November, 3 days off and 4 days on. I’m fit, swim daily and average 5 to 8 gym sessions per week focusing on cardio. I do worry a little, but I enjoy it too much and I don’t feel it’s impacting my life negatively. Could I give up - honestly - no chance.


Sometimes worry. For me hangover symptoms include anxiety, low mood and random sensations in guts or chest - easy for this to lead to worries about heart etc. Alcohol can cause palpitations at night which can be concerning. I try to eat well and exercise to counterbalance. More importantly, I try not to get hung over.

I try to have three days off and only one big day (that could lead to a hangover) a week. Had lots of weddings recently which has derailed this policy. GBBF also definitely increases booze and crap food intake (unlimited crisps did not help!). Had a few big days there. I had alcoholics in my family who died young, so having dry days is important to me to prove to myself I’m not dependent.

I do think that we are generally all more exposed to sensationalist media at the moment and constant exposure to commentary about cancer - cancer this, cancer that. Could make everyone hypocondriacs. I saw some research recently that suggested that the increased risk of lifetime cancer from moderate alcohol consumption is minimal. Of course if it ever happened one would lament lifestyle decisions but the fact of the matter is that genetics, weight, and other factors are far bigger risk factors than alcohol. I’ve stopped viewing news channels - even the BBC is now just clickbait rubbish. Sort of a side issue but do think it’s relevant as it affects perspective.


I havent seen that Adrian Chiles thing, but saw an interview with him. He said he drank every day with no breaks from alcohol at all and now has very slight liver scarring as he’s never given his liver a chance to recover.

Id say thats the key thing. Forget the recommended weekly units, as long as you offset the damage to your liver & body through diet (regularly eating things that cleanse the liver such as green veg, lots of water etc…), regular days off to give your liver time to recover & excercise. I eat overly healthy to compensate for my drinking, have a couple of days off here, limit hangovers to my monthly bottle share and keep active through my job & long dog walks.

A few years ago i went to my doctor worried about health, alcohol intake etc and all my results were fine, liver function absolutely fine. He basically said a couple of beers a day are nothing to worry about.

That said, i do feel there is a lack of support and advice in the craft beer industry for dependent drinkers at the moment. Constant tap takeovers, collab boxsets & a lot of high ABV stouts and IPAs together with an instagram / facebook / untappd ‘boast culture’ is a perfect storm for people more susceptable to alcohol dependency.


When my weight gets up to 100 Kilo (220lb) my body lets me know and I calm down a bit with my drinking and eating. I have found myself binge drinking on occasions (like last night for instance) when at festivals or out with ‘beer geeks’ but that’s fairly rare. My diet food wise is normally good, but I do tend to snack if drinking at home.

I do try to have two days a week without alcohol, this week however it will be four days. 67 days this year without alcohol so far (out of 238) and yes I do worry a little about my weekly intake and what I have done to my 64 year old body.


recommend getting the alcodroid app (free in playstore) and running it along side ratebeer, you enter in the volume of each drink in mls and % alcohol and it tracks your alcohol levels… link is:


Just checked and that programme Drinkers Like Us is being shown on BBC 2 tonight. Out of curiosity i watched an interview with him about the programme & he said one day he drank 4 pints of Guiness around Midday before a football match, then went to a birthday party drank sone beers, a bottle of wine then a few more. And that was a typical day for him. This i think is the level to worry about, not a couple of bottles in the evening

It’s almost reassuring then ! Adrian Chiles only has minor damage with that being an average day. I tend to drink early, finish early, try not to drink over 11 / 12 units and find drinking water and eating enough helps to avoid a hangover, which I rarely have.

That’s why i end up with such a stash of bottles, can’t drink more than one 750ml of 10% in a sitting and even that is 7.5 units (or half of the weekly “allowance” which a load of bollocks anyway).
Yesterday i had about 10 units across 4 beers.
Always try to take a couple of days off a week but as others have said this goes out of the window when on holiday or at a week-long event like GBBF (12 days in a row drinking for me)
I think my intake whilst above average is nothing to worry about, but as others have said the weight that comes with it is an issue - I’m not active enough but at least i eat pretty healthily and don’t eat much processed & salty foods

Whilst it’s scientific fact that hammering the booze can damage your liver, the idea that you’re able to “de-tox” your liver with a change of diet is nonsense. Your liver de-toxes you, not the other way around. This bloke knows his stuff, and puts it down on paper without puff and bluster…


If I have 4 beers at home on a night then I’ll not finish all four bottles/cans. I’ll stick to a third to half of each and rest goes down the drain. It’s arguably a waste of money but ticks over quantity.

I need a tasting group or for the Mrs to decide she’ll actually drink beer.

Although rather than an alcoholic what Ratebeer has made me become is a tick obsessed loner. If I go out to a pub at lunchtime with mates from work we’ll end up in some place for two hours no matter what’s on so I have started going out on my own for a few thirds/halves at a rotating range of pubs.