I often will note on Facebook what my dinner and beer choices are when I am out and about. Over time people have commented they would be under the table if they followed my lead and wonder how I do it. It’s actually pretty simple. Most of the higher alcohol beers are served in smaller sizes. When the laws were changed in NC to lift the ABV cap I thought this idea was less than ideal. Over time I have changed that position and believe a smaller portion is always a wise decision. In fact, I wish most places would offer a half-pint for their beers which would allow a patron to try more of what they have to offer or to have a half if they don’t want another full pint instead of leaving it on the table.

Back to my philosophy. It the beer is less than stellar I simply go on to my next selection. The only drawback is you may have paid for a beer you will not be consuming. If there is a problem with a beer there is absolutely no reason not to ask for another to replace it. Last year I ordered a Sierra Nevada Tumbler Brown and it was horrendously bad. Try as I might I could not choke down that mess. Now we all know SN does not make bad beer so it was an issue with the lines or with the kegs. I brought it to the attention of the server and they took it off my check and brought me a replacement. If for some reason the establishment does not take a problematic beer off your bill I suggest you let the management know you will be taking the serving issues to the people if they do not debit the amount from your bill. (In this case Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, etc. will be your friend.) If you just don’t like the beer that is personal preference, but if it has problems you should always let the server and management know.

So with that in mind, how much is too much? Well, it still depends. My general rule is no more than three with a large meal. If you are driving less is better. When I can get smaller sizes I opt for them. Another rule I try to achieve is one glass of water per glass of beer, AKA – The Dilution Solution. Not only will you not feel like having too much, you will thank yourself in the morning. That 12% beer you just consumed will not come back to haunt you with dehydration if you stay properly hydrated.

Now if you have transportation (cab, bus, designated driver, etc) feel free to consume as much as you please provided you don’t mind people taking pictures of the mess you become and posting them online!