Alcoholism in Brewing and Beer

The Under Beer Belly of a #BrewersLife (Part 03)

Season 1


Episode 70

It’s no secret that the hospitality and beer industry, in places, has a problematic consumption of alcohol.

Day for some are casually accompanied by beer from dawn till dusk, and excessive consumption of alcohol for those who work in brewing or hospitality is just one Imperial Stout away at the end of a long shift packaging or dispensing beer.

But how does being around and working in beer and hospitality work when it comes to self-discipline and moderating your consumption?

What’s an ‘appropriate’ level of weekly alcohol intake?

Obviously, there are official medical guidelines issued, which you will find on packaged beer and – if you’re in the UK at – but also, without living in a totalitarian state, questions like these are up to each individual to answer for themselves.

This is a subject that many brewers, bar-staff, and those in the business of beer sometimes shrug off. But deep down, we’ve all had darker moments when confronted by the reality that perhaps we are drinking too much.

A Sobering Conversation about Alcoholism

In today’s episode of the Hop Forward Podcast – recorded during Dry January – I sat down with then-brewer for John Harvard’s Brewery & Ale House in Framingham MA, USA, Mike Souza, to have a frank and open conversation about alcoholism in the craft beer sector, and how some of the labels, which evoke powerful if somewhat negative images, are unhelpful when dealing with excessive consumption.

If you are affected by today’s episode and feel you need help, take a moment to visit The Drinks Trust; a charity that provides care and support to the people who form the drinks industry workforce.

In light of our mindful drinking topic, today’s brewery shoutouts go to two breweries who we believe are creating some of the best low-to-no ABV beers around:


Founded In 2016, Big Drop was the world’s first company to focus entirely on brewing Alcohol-Free craft beer. It’s all 0.5% ABV and they are now selling over 1 million bottles annually worldwide.

Big Drop has so far picked up 26 international beer awards, including twice being judged the ‘World’s Best’ at the World Beer Awards, winning Gold at the US Open Beer Championship and, the ‘Holy Grail’ of any non-alcoholic drink, winning medals against full-strength rivals in blind tastings.

The Core Range (Lager, Stout, IPA and Pale Ale) are now available in 330ml cans as well as bottles but they are also about to launch (1st June) two Summer Specials in 440ml cans – Poolside DDH IPA and Kodama IPA.

Check out their website for more or you can go straight to their webstore by visiting where you can enjoy an exclusive 10% discount for our listeners by using the code HopForward10


Nirvana Brewery was launched in 2017 by a family of beer lovers with a simple mission; to dedicate itself entirely to the creation of quality alcohol-free craft beers. Coming from a family of beer lovers, when founder Becky’s dad Jim went teetotal, she wanted ensure that he would carry on feeling included socially and see his face light up again when handed a bottle. Since then Nirvana has opened up a whole new world of great tasting alcohol free beer for a growing movement of folks that like to have a good time but keep their senses intact.

From familiar styles of beer such as stout, IPA and pale ales, to experimental brews including the world’s first kombucha beer, our tried and tested recipes produce quality alcohol-free alternatives, ready to be appreciated by craft beer enthusiasts and casual beer drinkers alike!

Made with 100% natural ingredients, our fantastic full-flavoured beers come with their own distinctive personalities and benefits. Enjoy them to your heart’s content without compromising your state of mind. Just goes to show that life – and beer – tastes better when you do things your way.

Whether you’re drinking alcohol, staying sober or shooting for somewhere in between, Nirvana is the common ground that unites all. Join the journey with Nirvana.

Use the code HOPFORWARD at for 10% off orders of their award winning lager.

Ready to Hop Forward?

Want to get ahead in the brewing and beer business? Looking for a bespoke brand, marketing solutions and business advice from a craft beer specialist? Then get in touch today!
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Hop Forward Ltd
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Sheffield S6 3RN

Tel: +44(0)7881 995604
Company No: 11600526


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