Replacing Beer

Written by on September 28, 2011 in Food & Drink - No comments

A reminder of what beer looks like

We like our volume-based drinks here in the UK, regardless of alcohol content. Whilst those in much of mainland Europe are knocking back teeny thimbles of espresso, our cafés have to employ lifeguards in case anyone falls into one of the artificial lakes of cappuccino they sell.

It’s the same when it comes to beer – we like having something long enough that you’re always either letting words fall out our mouths or letting liquid fall in. Simply put, if you don’t have to urinate every seven minutes to prevent your bladder from splitting, you’re simply not putting enough away.

But as we know, there are lots of good reasons not to drink alcohol. So where do you start when you stop drinking beer?

Well let’s be realistic, first up. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it stimulates urine production. So if you drop the alcohol, don’t think you can drink the same volume because you likely won’t be getting rid of it as quickly. But there are still a number of options:

Let’s get the rubbish ones out the way first…. Water. You know what they say about water? It’s the water of life. Or was that something else? Anyway, it’s not exactly got a kick, and it’s a bit perfunctory, so it’s hardly ideal. Lemonade, cola and the whole glut of soft drinks and juices have more of a flavour, which you kind of want on a night out, but they’re just too sweet for most people to drink much of, and your teeth will likely squeal at the mere thought.

Not only are that lot missing something, they’re also a bit too everyday. It’s useful to have something different if you’re going to separate your night out from the rest of the day. Step forward…

Non-alcoholic beer. You probably saw that coming – the clue’s in the name, isn’t it? There’s a whole world of the stuff to explore, although if you’re drinking at a pub or bar you’ll likely get stuck with the one token brand they stock, assuming they stock one at all. Non-alcoholic cider also exists, although you’ll be lucky to see it on sale on a night out.

The other, perhaps unexpected, big winner is ginger beer. One of the things I personally missed when I first stopped drinking alcohol was the kick, perhaps not with beer, but definitely with stronger drinks. Ginger beer has this bite in great throat-grating handfuls – you really know you’re drinking it. It’s even enough to compensate for the undoubted sweetness. Just try not to let them fob you off with its mixer cousin, ginger ale.

Welcome to the land of copious non alcohol-related urination!

About the Author

Neil Bennion stopped drinking alcohol for health reasons back in 2006. He's been ridiculed all over the world for his lifestyle choice, but he must like it because he keeps coming back - or rather, going away - for more. Neil is a freelance travel writer who blogs about productivity on the road at Wandering Desk. Note that Neil is not a health professional (thank goodness) so the traditional disclaimer about everything being your own fault applies.

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