The Beer Then Liquor Saying Myth or Misunderstood Rule?


A while back we posted a story on The Drunk Pirate about the Beer Then Liquor Rule. You can read, “The Beer Then Liquor Rule Explained,” here. (As of today about 57,000 of you have read it since it was posted.) Now as far as I’m concerned it is a rule that is commonly misunderstood and misinterpreted, thus leaving legions of inexperienced drinkers to deal with monumental hangovers the next day. However, today my friend over at questioned the validity of the post via the comments section.

He said he had debunked this “myth” some time ago on his own site. You can read his post on the beer then liquor “myth” here. Notice I put the words “myth” in quotations. After going back and forth a couple times in the comments section I realized that our fundamental disagreement wasn’t whether the order of drinking beer and liquor mattered. It was whether it was a myth or misunderstood rule.

I think it’s a misunderstood rule and Drink Planner thinks it’s a myth. In his post he says, “So in that sense, drink whatever you want in whatever order you want, the only thing that’s going to affect your level of drunkenness is the total alcohol quantity.” My point is that drinking beer then liquor makes you drink a larger quantity of alcohol in the long run, thus making you sell Buick’s to the toilet the next morning. (If you don’t get that joke then you’ve never really been hungover before)

So rather get into a flame war with a fellow drinking blogger, I’m asking you guys to settle this for us. Is the beer then liquor saying a myth or misunderstood rule? Read my original post from the link above and then the post from Drink Planner and decide. Please post your opinion in the comments section of each site.

And yes. Kari Byron from Mythbusters is hot. That’s why she’s the picture:)


  1. Drinker says

    Sorry, but I gotta go with Drink Planner on this one. Your argument is far too subjective.

    You say “drinking beer then liquor makes you drink a larger quantity of alcohol in the long run”

    …not necessarily. For me, if i drink beer first there’s a chance i won’t even get to the liquor because beer is more filling.

    The rhyme is saying that mixing alcohol in one order is less likely to get you sick than mixing it in another order and that’s simply not true. It doesn’t matter how much of each you’re drinking – that’s not the point of the saying. The assumption should be that the person drinking has no limit at all and could drink forever if they wanted (and who wouldn’t want that?). If the rhyme were true then that person would still get sick by drinking beer before liquor.

    Because that person wouldn’t be sick just because they drank beer before liquor, the statement is false and is ultimately a myth. And, (before) now, a debunked myth.

  2. YigyYo says

    Ok. For starters I prefer to drink beer before liquor. But for this reason only:
    Beer is a good starter if you plan to move on to hard liquor. You see I like to get drunk and beer can prepare you to hit the hard stuff so that it goes down more easily.

    As for the saying. What I think they mean by it is this:
    Beer before liquor-
    In other words your starting with a low alcohol content, moving on to a larger, in some cases much larger alcohol content depending on how its mixed. If some people dont know their limits that could cause disaster because you can get drunk faster than you think once you hit the hard liquor because of the fact that as you are drinking you are increasing the alcohol content as you go.
    Liquor before beer-
    In this case here your body is used to the hard liquor from the beginning. Moving on to beer is something like taking a glass of water after your done drinking. Your body is used to the high alcohol content from the beginning, moving on to a lower percentage as you go on could cause you to maintain your alcohol intake.

  3. SK says

    So here a general fact about the amounts of alcohol in beer, liquor, and wine. One 12 oz beer = one 4 oz. glass of wine = one 1.5 oz shot of liquor, in this case equal meaning that at each of these given volumes for each of these beverages the alcohol content is the same. This is a general guideline as the alcohol to volume ratios may vary a little.

  4. kanga says

    i believe in the layer theory. avoiding making layers in your stomache. (ex…shot,beers, shots, different kind of beer and shot, dark beer , shot light beer shot, ect.


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