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I was drinking an glass of excellent Sober Carpenter “West Coast IPA” at lunch when I ran across Even moderate drinking is bad for us. Enter nonalcoholic beer in the Washington Post. Drinking less seems to be A Thing just now and I suppose alt-beverages too, so here’s my experience.

Sober Carpenter web site

Right at the beginning of the year I saw this and decided to drink less. I didn’t try anything fancy, just restricted alcohol to two days a week. I’ve never been a heavy drinker but for some decades had had wine or beer with most dinners and a whiskey at bedtime.

“Two days” doesn’t just mean weekends; our kids are at an age where fairly often they’re both away at weeknight dinnertime, so Lauren and I will cook up something nice and split a bottle of wine. This works out well because we fairly regularly video-binge on Saturday nights and drinking plus extended-TV is a sure headache for me.

Three-months-ish in, there’s no stress keeping to that regime and the results are moderately pleasing. Findings:

  1. At some point earlier in my life I had concluded that all mock-alcohol drinks were hideous wastes of time. No longer! I encourage you to try a few alternatives (that WashPost article has lots), and if you’re in Canada I absolutely recommend that Sober Carpenter brand. I’m very fussy about my IPAs and while I wouldn’t put this one in the top-ten I’ve ever tasted, I wouldn’t put it in the bottom half either.

    I’ve also been exploring fancy ginger beers and while I’ve found one or two that are pleasing, I suspect I can do better.

  2. I sleep a little better, albeit with more vigorous, sometimes disturbing, dreams.

  3. If lunch would benefit from (zero-alc) beer on the side, I don’t hesitate.

  4. The monthly credit-card bill is noticeably lower.

  5. When I was getting hyperfocused on code and it got to be past 11PM, that late-night whiskey was a reliable way to get unstuck and off to bed at a sane time. Oh well, there are worse things than a too-much-coding fog.

    When I’m struggling with a blog piece though, a drink seems to boost the writing energy. This can lead into the wee hours and feeling fairly disastrous the next morning.

    Let’s call that one a wash.

  6. Sushi isn’t as good without sake. But it’s still good.

  7. I kind of hoped I’d lose some weight. Nope. Oh well.

I’m really not recommending any particular behavior to any particular person. Several people who are close to me have had life-critical alcohol problems and that situation is no joke; If you think you might have a problem, you should consult an expert not a tech blogger.


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Doug K (Mar 30 2023, at 15:50)

I too have gone to 1-2 drinks on only 2 days a week. This was inspired mostly by a heart fibrillation incident which got my attention quite pointedly.

The nightly whisky started for me in 2016 after that election season and it was a hard habit to break. Every day I knew I'd be happy for 15 minutes after whisky before bedtime, it kept me going. Now a whisky at night absolutely destroys sleep quality. So I do it only on Saturdays when I can nap on the Sunday..

As the old joke goes, after giving up drinking/smoking/chasing women/vice of your choice: maybe you won't live forever, but it will feel like it. Ha.

Every year during Lent I quit drinking and send the booze money to various charities. That's 40 days without a drink. It's never had any measurable effect on any health metric - resting heart rate, running performance, sleep, weight, etc. After the heart thing it was 3 months without drinking, same. The only thing I can notice is now I'm out of practice, sleep is affected when I do drink.

The non-alcoholic beers have become much better. In the early 2000s I did a race in Europe where the sponsor was Erdinger alkoholfrei bier, which was not to my taste.


From: amcooper (Apr 01 2023, at 01:58)

The zero-alc. Guinness is excellent, according to someone (me) who has drunk a lot of standard Guinness.

The Clausthaler dry-hopped is another winner, just remarkable flavor.

I sometimes make a virgin negroni with Dhos Bittersweet, Monday non-alc. gin, and Lyre's Aperitif Rosso.


From: jrhy (Apr 01 2023, at 13:40)

Two I'd like to share, from being on a similar trajectory this year:

* Phillips Iota Non-Alcoholic Pilsner really scratches the Pizza And Beer itch

* Athletic Brewing All Out Stout in the darker months. (Though I'm very interested to try the nonalcoholic Guinness also mentioned.)

Being able to buy "booze" in many more stores, like London Drugs, is an unpredicted benefit.

On the other hand, forgetfulness I used to attribute to alcohol, hasn't gone away. I'm going to call that "unrelated" instead of "permanent"!


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March 28, 2023
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