Point/Counterpoint: Would You Drink Hydrating Beer With Less Alcohol?

“I only invented Science in the hope that someday I could use it to help get people drunk.”

~Isaac Newton

smiley beer

In this 24-hour news cycle world we live in, the announcement of a new cultural phenomenon or technological product causes a flurry of knee-jerk reactions.  Sometimes, these viewpoints look flat out stupid in retrospect, while occasionally the people howling about their hatred of change are spot on with their assessments.  We never know when we’re going to fall on the right side of history, which is why we tend to try to land on the drunk side of things and wait for the dust to settle before giving our two cents.  Every so often, however, our office staff becomes divided on their love or hatred of a new and exciting development in drunk technology.  At that point, we tend to get a representative from each side of the argument, and pit them against each other in an intellectual cock fight.

Don’t  worry, we don’t actually harm any roosters, we’re using the word “intellectual cock fight” metaphorically.  No, once we’ve picked a winner and a loser, we take the loser and set hungry, angry pit bulls on them.  Don’t feel bad, though, our insurance benefits are amazing here.

We bring this up because we’re in the midst of one such intellectual conundrum.  A group of Australian scientists have announced that they discovered a way to make a hydrating beer.  By adding electrolytes, and removing some alcohol, they made a beer that helps lessen that dehydrated hangover feeling the next morning, which could revolutionize the beer drinking experience, except for one nagging issue.

That’s right.  They remove alcohol?  The shit is that?  We’ve been split on it all week, so we’re going to offer this subject to public discussion as we once again bring out our point/counterpoint series.

Point/Counterpoint:  Would You Drink Hydrating Beer With Less Alcohol?

beer drown

Researches from Griffith University’s health institute looked at a problem (beer hangovers) and decided they should try to make beer less hangover-inducing.  This is important work, as no American has ever started day-drinking on a Saturday or Sunday without a healthy hangover, and if it’s done right we can envision a beautiful world where you wake up and get progressively drunker without worrying about headaches.  Essentially, this could be the drunk equivalent of a perpetual motion machine.

In order to do this, they’ve managed to find a way to modify the ingredients of previously brewed beer without changing the taste.  By adding electrolytes, which you know as the most potent ingredient of Brawndo, and lowering the alcohol content of the beer, these hybrid beers taste like a nice, refreshing ale, while also helping ensure you wake up feeling replenished the next day without having to weather a sea of drunk, “You know fish fuck in that?” comments from your friends when you ask the bartender for a glass of water.

Our staff members have some strong points on this development, possibly because we’re pretty sure that when you drink enough alcohol in a lifetime you end up with an aversion to hydration and water that’s roughly on par with the Aliens from Signs.  Here are two conflicting views.

POINT:  The end of the hangover will be the greatest thing to happen to alcohol since the invention of bourbon

beer and wine

In theory, we should drink water.  We’re mostly made out of it, and it does help us feel better after a long day of exercising ha ha no let’s be serious here drinking.  That being said, the only people you ever see drinking water are people who aren’t used to going out to drink and keep insisting, “No, wait, I need to have a glass of water for each beer I have, I read it in science!” or people that just puked up their last attempted whiskey shot.  Do you know how hard it is to push your way to the front and order a drink at a crowded bar?  You have to flash money or boobs half the time, and honestly boobs are the only surefire way to go about it.  So if you’re an average bar goer and you manage, miraculously, to get the bartender’s attention despite your Levi jeans and American flag man tank, to waste that drink order on a glass of water pretty much is asking for a dick punch.  And you can bet your ass when you’re ready for another beer, the bartender will take one look at you and say, “Oh, that’s the fucker who’s wasting my time ordering tap water and not tipping.”

So if you’re saying there’s a way to forgo that process, while still making the morning after a heavy night of typical Tuesday not feel like God decided that drinking was a sin sometime between midnight last night and the moment you woke up, wouldn’t you take advantage of it?

passed out drunk

Unlike bruises or tramp stamps, there’s no real “badge of honor” when your night of drinking ends with a hangover.  It just sucks, your head hurts, and goddamnit, what the hell do they put in these florescent lights, murder rays?  If you could get rid of that sensation, every single organ in your body would shout, “Hooray!”  Which will of course drown out the terror screams from your liver.

For anyone upset that there’s less alcohol in beer treated in this manner, we’d point out that if you’re starting with a normal beer, it’s basically no worse than drinking light beer.  Hell, no matter how much alcohol you take out, it’ll still get you drunker than beers that people buy willingly.  So if you’re saying that drinking magic beer that hydrates you while getting drunk is somehow less American than, oh, Bud Light, I’m sorry, but very politely go fuck yourself.

COUNTERPOINT:  You’ll get full well before you get drunk

 sleeping on pizza

Saying that Bud Light is less American than a beer that has to remove alcohol to make you feel better in the morning isn’t exactly a bold statement, given that Bud Light is a Belgium owned beer that tastes like damp barley fermented under a prison radiator with rice in it.  You could say that murder is more American than Bud Light, because we’re at least doing that ourselves, instead of letting Belgians fuck it up for us.   None of that detracts from the simple fact that, guess what, when you take the alcohol from beer and replace it with, say, electrolytes and water and liquid that will fill you up, then you’re basically making a beer that won’t get any real American drunk.  Forget about a hangover, you’re not going to get hungover if you chug three beers and end up feeling like a completely filled up water cooler.

Let’s take a look at Bud Light.  If you’re a seasoned drinker (read as, American, and/or AFFotD staff writer) you probably don’t have a lot of fuzzy nights that only centered around drinking macrobeer.  Maybe you crushed a bottle of wine, or a six pack of high gravity beer, or, let’s be honest, you ripped off enough shots for the police to stop by to make sure there isn’t a domestic disturbance in progress.  If you’re spending a night where you only drink Bud Light, you’ll probably drink a good ten beers before realizing that you’re only drinking something that’s 4% alcoholic, and you find yourself just feeling groggy and full.  Oh, you’ll still be hungover the next day, but that’s just your body’s way of getting back at you for putting so much fermented rat piss through your system in one sitting.

So yes, a beer treated in this method will help you drink the night away and get up in the morning feeling a little less groggy, but the beer you’re drinking is pretty much the equivalent of a bottle of Gatorade with half a shot of vodka in it.  And when was the last time you drank more than, say, forty ounces of Gatorade in one sitting before feeling like death?  My thoughts exactly.  Just do yourself a favor and don’t buy into these magical “hangover-less beers” and just stick with the real thing.  Or, take a short cut and start chugging from a bottle of Fireball.  Like a goddamn American.

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