I try not to be a purist in recovery, but I’m afraid I am for myself when it comes to near-beer. I don’t drink it at all for 2 reasons:
- It does contain alcohol
- There’s no need for me to maintain my taste for beer
1. Non-alcoholic beer contains alcohol
I’m an alcoholic so I don’t drink anything containing alcohol, and that includes near-beer. It’s called non-alcoholic beer, but most brands do contain .5% alcohol. I realize I’d need to drink 60 of them in order get a decent buzz. However, it’s just not worth the risk for me. I simply don’t wish to put alcohol into my body.
Even if there are brands that contain no alcohol, I’d choose not to drink it for reason #2, and that is I don’t wish to maintain a taste for beer. I’m confident in my sobriety, but there’s no need to take any unnecessary risks. People with better sobriety than me have relapsed.
2. I don’t wish to maintain my taste for beer
When I drank, I loved beer. I drank the stuff by the case. I liked it … and I didn’t have a very discerning palette. I’d drink the cheap stuff, expensive stuff … it didn’t matter to me.
Therefore, since I love the taste of beer, venturing into drinking non-alcoholic beer might just push me to the brink of drinking real beer, which would be a disaster.
Am I being too harsh on myself?
I don’t think so. I certainly don’t think true alcoholics should drink near-beer that contains trace amounts of alcoholic. I don’t think truly non-alcoholic beer is all that bad for someone with solid sobriety. My choice is just a personal choice.
Be sure that if you decide to drink non-alcoholic beer that you’re confident it won’t lead to drinking real beer or any booze if you value sobriety.
Does drinking near-beer make you one of the gang who are drinking real beer?
I suppose for some recovering alcoholics that they feel more part of the party if they drink near beer. The trouble with this thinking is it’s alcoholic thinking. Social drinkers and non-problem drinkers don’t care what other people drink. Only alcoholics pay attention to the alcohol situation. Therefore, I never feel that I’m not part of the event just because I’m drinking soda with lime or some other non-alcoholic beverage. I don’t attend events where the end-game is getting hammered. I go to events where alcohol is served if there’s a reason to be there other than getting drunk.