survival guide for lightweights

Being a lightweight can be an uphill battle, especially loving craft beer. I adore trying new beers, having a few with friends and being our merry selves, but at the end of the day, I am indeed a lightweight. If you’re like me, and want the best possible opportunity to try more than one or two beers when you’re out, here are some things that have helped me.

[But before you read on, please give the new page “Lightweight Safe Beers” a look – I’ve started a handy running list of beers that are less than 6.0% ABV for quick reference.]

Research and plan ahead
One of the bars in town publishes their menu online so I can take a look at what they have and pick out a few low ABV beers to choose from. If that isn’t available beforehand, or at the bar on a menu, then I either talk to the bartender to see what they know or use my iPhone to look up ABV (the fastest way is to use Beer Advocate or Untappd).

Water water water
I think everyone knows this, and goodness knows I do, but I really have to be diligent about drinking enough water before, during, and after having beer. The best rule of thumb for me is to have one-two glasses of water before each beer…If you’re at home, select the biggest glass you have and use that. I tend to use small glasses, which means I end up consuming far less water than I should.

Know your limits and pace
Hopefully you’re aware of your limits. If not, then it’s something that just takes time, self-awareness, and usually a few mistakes. Also know what pace works better for you. Personally, it works better for me to have two beers in a row and then spend the rest of the evening drinking water. For others, it may be better to have water/beer/water/beer/water. Just be self-aware and stick to your guns.

Have a backup 
Let’s face it. None of us are perfect, and frankly, we love beer, sometimes you don’t feel like gauging alcohol content and glasses of water consumed. And sometimes, you just can’t pass on that Founder’s Double Trouble. It would be silly to ignore the fact that we get tipsy sometimes and have more than maybe we intended – hello, I’m writing about beer. I do my very best to be responsible, but I try to have a backup plan. Thankfully, I have a few friends who live around downtown and if need be, I can crash with them.

Also, program the numbers to one or two taxi services in your phone. If none of these options are available, just hang out at the bar for a while, order some pizza, and of course, have more water.

Build a mental list
Over time I’ve developed go-to beers that I know are low in ABV. This way, I don’t always have to look up information and my night can be so much more laid back. Please see my aforementioned new page with a list of some of my favorite lightweight safe beers!

Embrace it and splurge
Honestly, there are only a select few people who actually respect the fact that I don’t drink a lot and that I take my time with beer. I’ll elaborate that in another post, but try to embrace it and stick to your guns. A bonus to being limited to only a few beers? You’re able to spend more on each of them. Hello world of sours!

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1 comment
  1. G-LO said:

    Gonna file this under the heading “Damn Good Advice”!

    I too am somewhat of a lightweight on some nights (sadly, this only refers to my drinking and not my actual weight since per the current boxing weight classes, I would be a Heavy Weight, i.e. 201lbs and up). And then there are those nights that it takes several beers or whiskies to affect me. Guess it depends upon how quickly I drink, what I ate that day, how tired I am, and of course, the ABV of what I’m drinking. When out for a Sudsy Sunday session, I limit myself to 3 beers since I’m usually driving myself home. When drinking on the patio with the boys, I also try to limit myself because hangovers when you’re a dad are a big no no in my book. Thankfully, I like a mellow buzz, but have learned to hate feeling drunk, so that also helps to keep me in check.

    And as far as Sours go, I never realized that they were relatively low in ABV. All that flavor and an ABV that usually stays below 6%. Ya gotta love em!

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