Beer Takes Another Bashing

Posted on April 21, 2010

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According to the Daily Star (I obviously saw it over someone’s shoulder on the tube, it wasn’t my copy) “Binge Drinking Brits like to drink 20 pints of beer a night”. Really?? There must be some phenomenal bladder control out there in that case! Actually no, no cast iron bladders just another tabloid, yet again, making beer a scapegoat in a binge Britain story…….yawn. 

What the story actually says is that 10 – 15% of men and 4% of women admitted to drinking up to 40 units of alcohol on a night out, a bit different to the headline suggesting we’re all feet up in front of Emmerdale with 20 pints of lager. Now I’m not suggesting 40 units on a night out is ok, it’s about 4 bottles of wine which is far from ok but I would like to see an end to the media constantly using beer as root of all evil and call out the low cost, high ABV drinks that are the real problem. 
According to the Daily Star this study is the latest evidence that Britain’s binge drinking problem is getting worse and they seem to be suggesting beer is to blame – well some facts beer is at its lowest level of consumption since the 1930s, the on trade beer category is forecast to be down a further 2.8m barrels by 2012 and over 1 in 5 adults now claim never to drink alcohol at all. 
So the Star is right, a few people are choosing to drink far too much alcohol on a night out, not every day, on a night out. Not good but hardly a nationwide epidemic. But where they are wrong is suggesting those people are drinking beer, far from it, it’s wine, spirits and cider. Beer is lower in alcohol, on average, than wine, spirits and cider and wine and spirits are taking an increasing share of total alcoholic drinks. So if you are looking to depict alcohol misuse it certainly shouldn’t be an image of a pint that’s used to represent it
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