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You Suck At Drinking: A Guide To Buzz Management

That's right, eaters and drinkers -- you have to drink more to drink better.
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Summertime drinking season is upon us, and here at The Sporkful we want to make sure you not only have the correct drink in your hand, but that you drink it correctly.

I enlisted help in this week's Sporkful podcast from Matthew Latkiewicz, author of You Suck At Drinking, who joined me to talk buzz management, and Caroline Wallace and Sarah Wood, two founders of the beer blog Bitch Beer. They advised me on pairing beer with weather forecasts.

Plus, I went on a rant about light beer -- you'll definitely want to hear that. Pour yourself a cold one and get comfy!

Drinking is a skill that requires practice and strategy. That's right, eaters and drinkers -- you have to drink more to drink better.

"It's not about getting wasted. Drink more so that you know how to do it," Matthew told me. "I want people to be like race car drivers. You speed up, you slow down, you're in tune with your highly honed drinking machine -- which is you and your body."

In his book, Matthew presents inebriation ratings for different social occasions -- from office parties to bachelor parties to children's birthday parties.


The aim, he argued, is to use alcohol to transform you into a better version of yourself. Plus, a little alcohol can take the edge off of bad parties and awkward situations (like being over-dressed or getting ditched by your date).

"Children basically act drunk all the time so I need to have a little bit of alcohol just to get in their rhythm," Matthew said. "It's like a slow drip -- like an I.V. drip of alcohol. You're feeling a little more jovial but you could also still speak in church."

As someone who has long endorsed moderate alcohol consumption as one route to more effective parenting, I couldn't agree more.

So that covers how to drink -- but what about when to drink what? I interviewed Caroline Wallace and Sarah Wood (below left and center-left), two founders of Bitch Beer, live at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas -- to learn how to match beer drinking with the weather.


We debated which beers to drink when it's hot or cold outside, the merits of cans vs. bottles, and whether ridiculous beer vessels are ever a good idea:


Plus Sarah introduced me to a brilliant new beverage innovation: caffeinated beer. That's right, you can mix cold-brewed coffee with beer (she recommends a dark porter).

"It's revolutionized my life," Sarah told me. And now mine, too! (Thank you, Sarah, for introducing me to this breakfast of champions.)

But there are other areas where the three of us disagreed, especially on the topic of light beer.

I like light beer. I believe there's a time and place for every beer on earth, and light beer is no exception. When I'm drinking all afternoon at a barbecue or the beach, I don't want to feel like I have a bowling ball in my stomach. I want a beer that tastes like it's 25% water. Light beer fits the bill.

Recently, however, Bud Light's marketing crossed the line from dumb to offensive. As part of their "Up For Whatever" campaign, they released a bottle that promotes Bud Light as "the perfect beer for removing 'no' from your vocabulary for the night."

Seriously, Bud Light?

Let me know what you think about this issue. And if you can come up with any better slogans for Bud Light, please send them my way!

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Photos: Flickr/CC and Rudy Arocha