Beer is a fascinating, diverse and delicious beverage, but it’s important to remember that it does contain alcohol and must be enjoyed responsibly.
Learn more about alcohol’s effects below, followed by the serving practices to keep in mind to help promote responsible consumption.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
“Alcohol affects every organ in the body. It is a central nervous system depressant that is rapidly absorbed from the stomach and small intestine into the bloodstream. Alcohol is metabolized in the liver by enzymes. However, the liver can only metabolize a small amount of alcohol at a time, leaving the excess alcohol to circulate throughout the body. The intensity of the effect of alcohol on the body is directly related to the amount consumed.”
The amount of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream is called blood alcohol concentration, or BAC.
According to the National Institutes of Health, common symptoms, levels of impairment, and risks for various blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels are as follows:
0.0 – 0.05% = Mild Impairment
- Mild speech, memory, attention, coordination, balance impairments
- Perceived beneficial effects, such as relaxation
- Sleepiness can begin
0.06 – 0.15% = Increased Impairment
- Perceived beneficial effects of alcohol, such as relaxation, give way to increasing intoxication
- Increased risk of aggression in some people
- Speech, memory, attention, coordination, balance further impaired
- Significant impairments in all driving skills
- Increased risk of injury to self and others
- Moderate memory impairments
0.16 – 0.30% = Severe Impairment
- Speech, memory, coordination, attention, reaction time, balance significantly impaired
- All driving-related skills dangerously impaired
- Judgment and decision-making dangerously impaired
- Blackouts (gaps in memory)
- Vomiting and other signs of alcohol overdose common
- Loss of consciousness
0.31 – 0.45% = Life Threatening
- Loss of consciousness
- Danger of life-threatening alcohol overdose
- Significant risk of death in most drinkers due to suppression of vital life functions
Responsible serving practices
To help ensure that beer is being served and enjoyed responsibly, keep these guidelines in mind:
- Accurate information on a beer’s strength (also known as ABV or alcohol by volume) should be provided, and
- A beer’s serving size should be adjusted based on its strength, with stronger beers being served in a smaller pour
To learn more about the many sizes (and shapes!) of beer glassware available today, check out this article here.
And remember, beer is brewed with care to be consumed with care. Please drink responsibly.