Frank And Honest Discussion

Basically, I think many people recognize that alcoholism is more prevalent in the craft beer scene than we'd like to acknowledge. It's just one of the uncomfortable realities of making alcohol a prominent part of your lifestyle – some people are going to get consumed by it. Not most, but certainly a larger number than we might like to admit.

There are absolutely people who use their enthusiasm for craft beer as a way to mask their alcoholism, whether or not they admit it.

My general rule of thumb is, if you're thinking you should cut back, you should probably cut back. The fact that you're asking the question at all is reason enough.

There is no shame in that.

Better to face the issue head on, with honesty, than to brush it aside.

It's probably something a large number of younger craft beer fans will have to think about as they transition from their early/mid 20s to their 30s and 40s.

Craft beer is wonderful, the scene is often (though not always) fun to be a part of, but it would be foolish to ignore the fact that issues like this can be a very real concern.

Most people, I think, do keep it in the back of their mind. You do get people who will react defensively to the topic even being broached – I bet you'll see some of that in this thread – but most adults into the scene try to keep pretty aware that there is a balance between enjoyment and health.

If you think you drink too much, you probably drink too much. Drink less, if that isn't possible then you might have a problem.

Not everyone who needs to scale back suffers from alcohol dependency. Some people are just heavy drinkers that are in control but could benefit from drinking less.

You can keep it to yourself to make it feel better. Just slow it down. No grand announcement. Just figure out how many beers you drink in a night. Get that number. Then stop at one less. And tell nobody. Just stop at three pints. then two weeks later, stop at two. Two is a good number, right. Two beers, then "gotta go, guys, see ya later."

Gradual changes.

Moderation

I gave up 90% of my alcohol consumption for lent last year and it makes a huge difference.

What I have noticed is that I can enjoy a glass of my beer now with a much better appreciation for the flavors and the work that went into it.

Aside from losing 10 pounds without effort, you force yourself to take another look at drinking. I still went out and was social, but I just had iced tea (the sacrifice isn't something you just parade around while you're doing it) and had fun.

The lesson learned, however, was that my need to get a beer wasn't really founded on anything other than this weird obsession with the craving of getting a beer.

"Moderation in all things" is a good point to have.

I homebrew and I love the culture around craft beer, but less is more, and I'm sticking to the cliche. Even now, I don't drink nearly as much, I feel better in general, and when I do drink, I'm paying much more attention to the beer and all the flavors.

If anyone is worried that they are drinking too much, they should stop and think about what context they are drinking in

Are they trying to escape a bad day ("man I need a beer" or using it to cope with some negative event), are they sharing a beer with friends and being genuinely social in their drinking, or maybe you're just a massive geek trying to peg down all the different flavors in a beer. Regardless of whether you have a problem, the kind of reset in your mentality can bring some great changes to your life, and maybe you can stave off man-boobs and beer gut a little longer!