Things haven’t changed over the last five years, just the faces…

The following three reasons to drink beer do not include consuming mass quantities of the suds. (For the record, “moderate drinking” according to the medical industry is basically no more than ten portions of beverage alcohol per week for persons of my gender, height, weight and age. Your mileage may vary.)

The reasons have been chosen with great care. They were chosen to inform and instigate debate. Citations have been included only if they can be confirmed by at least three independent sources. This is important to make note of because of modern myths and legends propagated by well-meaning and just plain mean folks. These myths and legends have been repeated enough that they can often be found wearing a patina of truth that is not deserved.

Research for this piece began in September 1969. And yes, those initial encounters with yellow brew (called “Farmer Beer” in Canada) did involve consuming more than the recommended daily allowance of beverage alcohol for a person of my gender, height, weight and age (just barely legal at that time in New York State).  Since then I can say that I have tasted over 1,000 different beers, ales, stouts, porters, barley wines, bocks, Doubles, Triples sparkling fermented malt beverages in at least an equal number of pubs, bars, taverns, inns, bistros, and bodegas. After all that research I humbly offer the following three reasons to drink beer.

1)      One will relax you. That is the essential reason a person drinks beer. From the micro-maven to the Lite beer lover, all drink beer to get a buzz. Intoxication is what happens when beverage alcohol is consumed. The degree of intoxication depends on the amount of alcohol consumed and the time duration from beginning to last drop consumed.

2)      Two is a Round. Two beers, ordered and then served at the same time is the basic “Round”. This “Round” must have two participants. (In an emergency the bartender can be enlisted. If they will not participate the event can no longer be called a “Round” and becomes drinking-for-effect if the beverages are consumed in quick succession, or drinking-warm-beer if you take the one hour per drink rule seriously.) The object of a “Round” is to be a social person and share a beer with someone who then shares a beer with you. The number of Rounds that can be called for usually depends on the number of folks present. As noted above the basic Round is “gone” with at least two participants. Any more than two and there is a sub, or supra, level to the basic Round.

3)      Three is a Party. Three beers, ordered and then served at the same time can be a “Round” but deserves the title of “Party”. Here is where politics was invented and the “Party” was hatched. (No cite…) The reason for this is the human dynamic to take sides. Should two people decide to take opposing sides to a topic it involves intense concentration in order to have the last word. Should you pause to take a sip of your brew the strain-of-thought might become too much and the refreshment and relaxing effect of the beverage take over rendering your point  undefended and at the mercy of your partner in conversation. Beer, being a social lubricant, (see the above – “Round”) in any situation, becomes essential in a Party situation. As a three sided discussion is awkward, one member of the party can sip their brew at leisure while the other two members of the party go a round. (No, not the “R” word. Rather the “r” word – sparing or dueling.) The duration of that round depends on the thirst worked up by the non-sipping members of the party. This is where the most important rule can be invoked.

This is the moment-of-silence when all members of the party pause to remember what it was they were talking about by raising their glasses in unison and finishing the contents in a synchronized manner. This rule is usually non-verbally invoked when it is time to go another Round.

Why do I stop at three reasons to drink beer?

Because it’s my turn to go a “Round”…


Peter LaFrance