Alcoholic vs. Enthusiast

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by TheIPAHunter, Dec 26, 2014.

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  1. Southerndiscomfort

    Southerndiscomfort Initiate (0) Dec 3, 2014 North Carolina

    If you are drunk more than you are not then that's the issue. I'll drink as many high or low gravs in a night as I want.
  2. CraigP83

    CraigP83 Initiate (0) Dec 19, 2014 Minnesota

    Alcoholic and Enthusiast are two different things, and you can be both.
    LuskusDelph, Boca-X and yemenmocha like this.
  3. cavedave

    cavedave Grand Pooh-Bah (4,083) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    I agree few of us qualify as real alcoholics, but how many of us get so carried away that we might go down that road? Higher than 1% I bet, but your point stands.

    I knew a man had to have a gallon of Red Mountain Pink Chablis everyday, started first thing in the morning, useless before that first glass kicked in. On the road I saw a man with DT's in a mission in Oklahoma, scary shit my friends. Was married to a woman who kept a show bottle of Dewars in the kitchen closet, and lord only knows how many others were hidden and consumed, she was drunk all the time at the end.

    I don't know anyone among my beer friends that is even close to any of these behaviors

    We all are smart to self check, because we all do not want to jeopardize our enjoyment of our hobby by needing to stop doing it for health and mental reasons.
  4. Pulltabs_only

    Pulltabs_only Initiate (0) Oct 8, 2014 Indiana

    I took me forever to read all the responses. I think I'm drunk now.
  5. pagriley

    pagriley Initiate (0) Oct 27, 2014 Illinois

    Can't I be both an alcoholic and an enthusiast? An enthusiastic alcoholic?
    BoardwalkBock likes this.
  6. Superflyjsc

    Superflyjsc Initiate (0) Dec 6, 2013 Pennsylvania

    If you can't remember exactly how many beers you had consumed then you just crossed that line
  7. mooseisloose

    mooseisloose Pooh-Bah (1,629) Nov 16, 2005 Florida

    Four beer consumption: the definition of an alcoholic? Surely I jest. That would be calling nearly everyone who is in or descended of the British Empire an alcoholic! If it is then so be it!
  8. mooseisloose

    mooseisloose Pooh-Bah (1,629) Nov 16, 2005 Florida

    That's an easy solution: Get More! But have somebody drive you if you already drank too much!
  9. KevSal

    KevSal Pooh-Bah (2,854) Oct 17, 2010 California
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    i know one thing for sure, if i show anyone who is not a beer guy my beer closet, they immediatly believe im a raging alcoholic. funny if it was a wine cellar instead they would see me as sophisticated :rolling_eyes:
  10. tasterschoice62

    tasterschoice62 Grand Pooh-Bah (3,511) May 14, 2014 Rhode Island
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    I keep hard sourdough pretzels out of the house........
    Because if I eat those I HAVE to have beer. :wink:
  11. JackXCI

    JackXCI Initiate (0) Mar 7, 2013 North Carolina

    I drink therefore I am
  12. charlzm

    charlzm Initiate (0) Sep 3, 2007 California

    I drink two or three times a week and then no more than the equivalent of a six pack of 5% beer, stretched out over several hours. It's usually more like one or two glasses or a single bomber, though.

    I can easily go days without craving a drink.

    I think I'm safely on the "enthusiast" side of the fence.

  13. TappaKeggaBrew

    TappaKeggaBrew Initiate (0) Apr 30, 2009 Virginia

    "...could I drink 4 in one sitting?" Sure. The better question is, "would I?" -- the answer is no.
    Once I move past 2 beers, it becomes more about the buzz than the taste. And if I'm looking for a buzz, liquor is the quickest way to get there. Liquor is also more cost-effective; I don't know how much disposable income you have, but assuming 4 quality DIPA's cost AT LEAST $8 (by the bottle at home -- way more at the bar), your approach would cost a solid $2500+ per year.
  14. CheapHysterics

    CheapHysterics Initiate (0) Apr 1, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Good point! I took it as "have you ever" instead of "do you currently." Your way makes more sense.
  15. BirdsandHops

    BirdsandHops Pooh-Bah (2,763) Apr 14, 2008 Oregon

    I work in the ER, so trust me when I say I've seen my fair share of alcoholics. Old men and women half my size who wouldn't even be buzzed at the point where I'm passed out. People who drink alcohol-containing mouthwash and hairsprays or entire fifths of liquor every day. I've never seen anyone come in with a >0.4 blood alcohol level who got that way drinking barrel-aged stouts and wild ales. That being said, that doesn't mean there aren't beer enthusiasts who have drinking problems. I've known a few of them as well.

    First, I'd throw out the term alcoholic since it's completely subjective and instead break it down into more the more medical terms of psychological and physical dependence.

    For physical dependence, you have to abuse alcohol quite heavily and for quite a length of time. If you've developed a physical dependence, chance are you have a real problem since it's going to take more than a beer or two a day to do that. Full blown delirium tremens has a hefty 10% mortality rate, but you don't see that extremely frequently. Chances are you don't get shaky or start having seizures when you don't drink. However, a lack of a physical dependence doesn't mean that your drinking is physically healthy. Your body and liver don't distinguish between drinking 3 high gravity craft beers in proper glassware while savoring each and drinking a sixer of Bud. You can drink those 3 high gravity beers most days and not be psychologically dependent, but still have negative physical consequences such as obesity, liver damage, etc. If you do it long enough, you could also get withdrawal symptoms suggesting a physical dependence.

    Psychological dependence, on the other hand, is the real danger. While it's pretty rare (I've never seen it, anyway) to have a physical dependence without psychological, the opposite can certainly happen. You might be able to physically go days without drinking with no issue, but if you're constantly thinking about how you need a beer, you might have a problem. If you have a beer or two most days without much thought and skip days here and there without issue, I would think you're okay. Likewise, if you have a strong craving for a beer or two after a stressful day at work, I would say you're fine as well. If going a single night without a beer stresses you out to the point where you're continuously struggling against the urge to crack one, you might have a problem. If you begin craving getting buzzed or drunk more than the beer itself, then that should definitely set off some warning bells.
  16. Jirin

    Jirin Initiate (0) Apr 28, 2013 Massachusetts

    What I observe with myself is that I have certain activities I associate with drinking and certain activities I don't. When I'm doing something that I associate with drinking, such as watching TV, or being at a restaurant, I keep reaching for the beer. When I'm doing something that I don't associate with drinking, such as playing video games or working out, I don't think about it at all.

    Also I find out that if I've gone a few days without alcohol I feel fine but if I've gone a few days without running I feel miserable.

    I would say it's the answer to the question, if you suddenly had more acute health risks from drinking, how difficult would it be to quit?
    rozzom likes this.
  17. ronobvious2

    ronobvious2 Initiate (0) Aug 24, 2010 Tennessee

    I don't know if it's "wrong", but it's certainly not healthy.

    I imagine that because you're posing the question that you have some doubt. I do too, and have participated in this thread wondering the same thing. I'm at the point where I'm getting the hang of homebrewing and when I really nail it on a certain brew, I want it! I even will, at lunch during a work day, get a beer or two with my meal, should I eat out. Now where I work it's really laid back and a small company and I've known the CEO for 25 years. That doesn't mean he knows about it and I don't advertise it when I come back into the office. I'm at my parents house now (from the 24-27) and that means no beer. Will I have one on the 28th when I get back? Probably, but I also see myself not having one. I think about having a beer often, like right now. :grinning: Is that wrong? It could be a danger sign.

    I think this is a sensible approach.

    I guess the frequency of over-indulgence is the question. I don't want to drink that much myself. I don't like dealing with the headaches, the guessing if you're "safe" enough to drive, etc. That is the part that, if you get it wrong, brother, you've really gotten it wrong.
  18. rozzom

    rozzom Pooh-Bah (2,534) Jan 22, 2011 New York
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Yeah run/bikecoholism is much more of an immediate concern for me as well
  19. rjs246

    rjs246 Initiate (0) Oct 1, 2014 Virginia

    Buncha alcoholics on an alcohol enthusiast website laying out arguments for why they aren't alcoholics. Cool.

    If you aren't putting yourself or anyone else in harm's way why put a label on it?
  20. 4ingredients

    4ingredients Initiate (0) May 22, 2009 Massachusetts

    Is consuming 4 DIPA's wrong?

    I've been on a serious IPA/DIPA kick for the better part of 2 years, having a beer (or few) almost daily. Sure, some day's would enjoy my other favorites on occasion...... stout, barleywine, dark ale, and quads. But back to the (4) DIPA - DFH90 has been my daily standby for quite some time and 'enjoy' it very much - sometimes drinking the 4pk in one evening. If not DFH90, then Victory Dirt Wolf. As a night owl, 4 good glasses of beer over a 6 hour period does not bother me and does not seem excessive (for me). Not really trying to justify it, but I'm a big person at 275lbs and I do enjoy a good beer.

    Now I will draw that imaginary line at 2 for the quads - but again - that's me.
    KarmicSkrambl8 likes this.
  21. almostjay

    almostjay Initiate (0) May 24, 2008 Virginia

    My body prevents me from being an alcoholic, and I'm pretty grateful for that to be honest. I didn't start drinking until I discovered Belgian beer when I was 23 years old, and I guess not drinking until then kept my tolerance down. The thought of drinking a 4-pack of 90 minute or any other "big" beer makes me shiver, the same way I shiver when I watch The Wire and see McNulty downing Jameson like it's water.

    I find that my body chemistry takes me from slight-buzz to sick with hardly anything in between, so anything more than 2 beers at a time is extremely rare for me. That said, I still failed that test with a score of 3 because there is a history of alcoholism in my family, and I do find myself "more in a hurry" to get my first drink of the day than I used to. I'm OK writing that off though since that first drink is also my last about 90% of the time.
  22. Tsar_Riga

    Tsar_Riga Pooh-Bah (2,593) Sep 9, 2013 Indiana

    Could? Yes, probably. Would? Unlikely.
  23. SteveB24

    SteveB24 Initiate (0) Aug 29, 2013 New York

    i am absolutely not an alcoholic…alcoholics go to meetings.
    smbslt, rjs246 and mohawk5 like this.
  24. DarkerTheBetter

    DarkerTheBetter Pooh-Bah (2,054) Sep 30, 2005 Minnesota

    I find some of the classist arguments here a bit startling, as if what you drink is any indication of illness. Drinking rot-gut wine or rubbing alcohol just means you're an alcoholic and poor. You could drink just as much 18-year old scotch and nothing would change, save your social perception. Just because you can afford a regular supply of craft beer doesn't absolve you of being an alcoholic. In some senses it's like the case of crack versus cocaine. If you do crack every day, you're a junkie; if you do coke every day, you're a playboy.

    I've been drinking a lot of canned seltzer water lately because I have been cherishing lucidity. Cracking a can satisfies a lot of inculcated cravings through just holding onto a cold, sweaty can, although I do catch myself wondering why I haven't caught a buzz from time to time.
    oudebueuze likes this.
  25. cosmicdebris

    cosmicdebris Initiate (0) Feb 8, 2008 Connecticut

    I do the exact same thing ... I love the taste of beer and have 2 everday. When I find something I like I stock up on it. I probably have enough beer on hand to last me the next 6 months.

    I never drink with the goal of getting drunk. I drink to enjoy the beer.
    DeepBrew, KingCobra686 and OleGee like this.
  26. Blueribbon666

    Blueribbon666 Pooh-Bah (1,583) Jul 4, 2008 Ohio

    Enthusiasts start up or join websites...alcoholics drink.
    utopiajane likes this.
  27. Beer21

    Beer21 Initiate (0) Oct 17, 2010 Florida

    Well if you go see a physician this is what they will ask..
    1. Have you ever felt you needed to Cut down on your drinking?
    2. Have people Annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
    3. Have you ever felt Guilty about drinking?
    4. Have you ever felt you needed a drink first thing in the morning (Eye-opener) to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?
    The CAGE questionnaire, among other methods, has been extensively validated for use in identifying alcoholism. CAGE is considered a validated screening technique, with one study determining that CAGE test scores >=2 had a specificity of 77% and a sensitivity of 91% for the identification of alcoholism.

    Now I am a 2/4 but have never needed an eye opener. That is the most sensitive question of the 4. If you answer YES to #4 then you need help (Well other than New Years Day). Maybe I need help being 2/4... Anyway this is an old questionnaire. There have been some studies stating that 1-2 drinks of wine per day are good for you.

    A newer method defines heavy drinking as 15 or more drinks (at 5%) per 7 days. That is pretty easy to get to for craft drinkers. I am drinking a TWEAK from Avery as I write this at 17.81%. That's pretty much 3 drinks in one. One thing is for sure, if you drink a lot over a long period of time you are at risk for cirrhosis...taking into consideration your genetics and other things.

    Being a craft beer enthusiast and physician with way too many beers in my cellar and way too much knowledge about the downside of cirrhosis, I have recently found that I need my own limit. It is 15 drinks per week at 5%. I feel that it this a pretty reasonable guide .... at least for me.
    DeepBrew likes this.
  28. rgordon

    rgordon Pooh-Bah (2,605) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Anything can be overdone or underdone. Life is what moves along in this construct we have called TIME. The absolute miracle of existence and awareness, and all of these electronic capabilities that now are taken for granted, have allowed us all to communicate and learn exponentially. No one that drinks too much and or wrongly doesn't know the truth. There are many insidious forces all around us, but I think finding some positive strong positions to champion helps keep these negative forces at bay. At the end of the day, one always chooses which route to take through the maze!
    DarkerTheBetter and Beer21 like this.
  29. humuloner22

    humuloner22 Initiate (0) Feb 7, 2013 North Carolina

    Enthusiast is a hobby. Alcoholic drinks whatever the hell they can find to get drunk. Now you can get drunk on your hobby, just know when to stop and know your limits. If you have 400 bottles in the cellar it doesn't mean you are an alcoholic it means you collect and honor well made beer. IF you have 40 cases of a cheapass adjunct lager in your house or more so 40 empty boxes, then you are an alcoholic! Its all about pacing and control! Yes, even the those of us who have lots of beer in the cellar will have a shit show from time to time but you have to know when to stop. Simple as that!
  30. aasher

    aasher Initiate (0) Jan 27, 2010 Indiana

    Now THAT was deep
  31. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Grand High Pooh-Bah (7,000) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Yes, it's inherently wrong to consume a 4-pack of DIPAs in one sitting (most of the time).
    #1 - Diversity is important. Throw in a stout, weizen, or tripel now and then.
    #2 - Moderation is key... don't drink all of your DIPAs at once!
    #3 - Save some for tomorrow afternoon. Or next week. Or share with friends!
  32. RBassSFHOPit2ME

    RBassSFHOPit2ME Initiate (0) Mar 1, 2009 California

    Alcoholic = Some aspect of your life is suffering due to your consumption.

    lillitnn92 likes this.
  33. LordofWord

    LordofWord Initiate (0) Dec 15, 2014 Oregon

    Yeah, but it might be your liver, which you don't realize until it's too late. That's my paranoid fear.
    Not that it stops me from drinking. Ahem.
  34. Buschyfor3

    Buschyfor3 Initiate (0) Jan 4, 2009 Kentucky

    Enthusiast - knows his/her limit and respects it

    Alcoholic - know no limits, nor does he/she show respect for him/herself or the people who may be impacted by the habit
    RBassSFHOPit2ME likes this.
  35. Jirin

    Jirin Initiate (0) Apr 28, 2013 Massachusetts

    The amount of alcohol which causes long term health problems is smaller than the amount that causes short term dependence. I suspect most of us fall in the 'Long term health problems' category.
  36. Boca-X

    Boca-X Initiate (0) Jan 21, 2014 Missouri

    You can look for validation all you like...for what better place to look than on a board where everyone talks about beer, shares pictures/stories of their "hauls" and daily show pictures of WBAYDN...many of us showing several pics a after day.

    You'll read through this topic and find the intellectuals who are offended by buzz words (alcoholic) and their broad definitions. Some will scream from the top of a box (SN IPA Mixed Pack) that moderation is the key and although your body may only process 1 or 2 beers efficiently, "I can drink 8 or 10 with no problem". Some will use simple logic, some will curse and ridicule...some...will just sit back, read and drank another beer.

    Like I said at the beginning of my rant, you can look for validation all you like. BA is like a circus...everyone is not a'll find a lot of clowns pretending to be the Ring Leader.

    It's hard to evaluate everyone else on this site unless you know them personally however if you are honest with yourself concerning your drinking'll know the answer.
  37. Boca-X

    Boca-X Initiate (0) Jan 21, 2014 Missouri

    A sophisticated slush...winos get the same treatment, as does anyone who has a nicely stocked bar.

    Most enthusiasts, regardless of their, fishing, beer, wine, food, music...all have one thing in common...a deep immersion in their passion. Most tend to come off a little nuts regardless of what it is they are enjoying but with alcohol there is some inherent dangers.

    Passion is what drives many of us but some prefer to ride in the back seat...neither seat in necessarily bad.
  38. Reinbeck11

    Reinbeck11 Initiate (0) Aug 15, 2012 Iowa

    So I've been in trouble since the mid 1980's(wish I could remember).
  39. HopSavant

    HopSavant Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2014 Tennessee

    You will not experience a traumatizing circle of teary-eyed family and friends saying that your enthusiasm has affected them negatively in the following ways...
  40. twb0392

    twb0392 Initiate (0) Aug 1, 2014 Wisconsin

    If we work hard enough, we can be both!
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