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Beer B4 Liquor…

The Truth Behind Beer Before Liquor…

We’ve all heard the line:

“Beer before Liquor, never been sicker… liquor before beer, you’re in the clear”.

But is it true? The answer is, well, yes, sort of – but for reasons that are down to your drinking preferences…


The saying has probably come about because of the tradition to finish a wild evenings drinking with a few shorts. Of course, if you have imbibed about ten pints of beer before you take on the hard stuff, then it’s likely you were always going to end the evening throwing up anyway. However, the fact that you tossed back the JD last of all means that you are going to blame it for the resultant mess all over your trousers and shoes.


Generally speaking, the quantity of alcohol you imbibe will always trump the mixture. You could, if you felt so inclined, throw back a beer, a shot, a glass of red wine and one of those pink things that comes complete with fruit and an umbrella – and leap out of bed at 6am the next morning feeling like Ironman… it’s a potent mixture after all, but the quantity is, well, not too unreasonable, so, volume wise, your system will, albeit with the odd grumble, pretty much be able to deal with it, as will you.


However… if you follow up the above mixture of alcoholic delightswith a few shots of the harder stuff, bearing in mind that, up to then, you were drunk but reasonably bodily capable – then those shots are going to hurtle you way beyond the vomiting threshold much, much quicker than another pint of beer would have done…

Beer glasses are among
the most common weapons of assault in Britain


Of course, if you had started the evening on the shorts, rather than the beers – then you would have been acutely more aware of just how swiftly drunk you were becoming and have, as a consequence, moderated your input – either staying on the spirits, or, in order to stop the room from revolving, moved onto orange juice. The ‘trick’ is, it seems, to start on the liquors first. By doing that, you get the nice little buzz that you are after a bit more quickly, and then, genius of the taproom that you are, can gently maintain it for the rest of the evening without ever having to get on all fours in the bathroom. It’s always wise therefore,if you’re out on the razz, to start hard and gently ease yourself off, rather than starting with a ‘few’ beers and then going hard. That way you’re more inclined to enjoy your evening, your liver will be mightily appreciative and you might even be able to get up early the next morning.


Here’s an idea. You could forget the silly poems and the beery theory – and just not drink so much. Worth thinking about?

Written by Edward Couzens-Lake