Saturday, 13 August 2011

Heavy fuel

Not sure what to make of this one. Do ten readers of this blog really believe that drinking 15 pints of Stella or Abbot a week makes someone a “heavy drinker”? That’s hardly two pints a day. Or did they interpret it as “what is the official government line?” Even that is 50 units a week, which in the terms of the poll would equate to 20 pints.

If this reflects the genuine opinion of blog readers, it’s hardly surprising that the pub trade is on its knees.


  1. there seems to be an error when leaving comments on your new poll btw

  2. It just worked for me...

    Comments on polls are completely outside my control, btw.

  3. Most people don't drink every day.
    Looking at it one way, two pints a day doesn't seem a lot, but it is equivalent to five pints a night, three times a week. And if five pints of 5% beer gets you pretty pissed, then getting pretty pissed three times a week will seem heavy drinking to a lot of people.

    There are 13% of people in your poll who think that drinking over seven pints of strong beer EVERY night doesn't make you a heavy drinker, which is ludicrous. I would be focusing on these absurd results.

  4. Ah, Mr Nails, sanctimonious and humourless as ever. Your pub must be a real joy to visit.

  5. It's not open yet, but when it is smiling, laughing and having any sign of a good time shall be strictly prohibited. Customers are to look down and scowl into their pints at all times.

  6. I think the fault is in your question Mudgie. You subconsciously steered people to official guidelines in the way you phrased it.

    If you had said "How many pints etc. do you believe, or in your opinion etc." then you'd have got a whole different answer I'd venture.

  7. Yes, I'm sure you're right there. I did add a qualifying statement but it was probably too late then.

  8. I'd agree with Saga of Nail's sentiments - I wouldn't regard 5 pints on three days as a problem drinker but I can see how it would be seen as "heavy" by somebody who considers 3 or 4 pints on a Friday or Saturday "normal".

    Although I don't consider myself a problem drinker, I do class myself as quite a heavy drinker - by end of tonight I'll probably have had those 5 pints on 5 days of the last seven.

  9. I think the other point is that not many people will go to a pub and drink 5% cask beers on the regular, I would imagine.

    So, with that in mind, I think probably anyone who drinks more than about 28 pints a week at that strength (80 units) is a heavy drinker. It's four pints at 5% per day.

  10. And perhaps, also, people are looking at it per pint rahter than as per strength. A 3.8% pint is considerably different than a 5% one, for obvious reasons. Four or five pints of a 3.8% beer is different to four or five pints at 5%.

  11. Yeah, OK, I completely missed the target with this one :-|

    But I do think the model where someone goes out three nights a week and drinks five pints on each occasion, but drinks nothing else at all is rather unrealistic, especially given the amount of off-trade drinking nowadays.

    We had a disussion a while back where I pointed out that it was entirely possible for someone to drink over 100 alcohol units a week, entirely in public, without anyone remotely getting the impression that he was jugging it back a bit.

  12. I don't see heavy drinking and problem drinking being one and the same thing. I've certainly been in the position of drinking over a hundred units a week at times in my life. I wouldn't say it was necessarily a problem for me at the time, although I wouldn't want to do it for prolonged periods.

  13. Agreed - some people can drink throughout their adult lives at a level that would cause some others (whether physically or psychologically) serious problems.

  14. Some people (Saga Of Nails, I'm looking at you) seem to think that arbitrary guidelines are somehow useful.

    People are NOT homogenous, people! Until our dull public shake such a fallacy off we'll get nowhere.

    So depressing!


Comments, especially on older posts, may be subject to prior approval. Bear with me – I may be in the pub.

Please be polite and remember to play the ball, not the man.

Any obvious trolling, offensive or blatantly off-topic comments will be deleted.

See this post for some thoughts on my approach to blog comments. The comment facility is not provided as a platform for personal attacks on the blog author.