5 Things I Learned From Taking a Break From Beer

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5 Things I Learned From Taking a Break From Beer

The craft beer life is a sweet one for sure. Trying delicious beers with friends, debating the merits of double versus triple IPAS, and sometimes even sneaking out of work to find a hot new rare beer. Yep; A sweet life. And yet, sometimes it can all feel so overwhelming. Here in Dallas Texas, we have over three dozen breweries and brew pubs with many more on the way, all of which have a full roster of beers ready to go. And every single one of those breweries continues to make new beers to stay in the spotlight in the ever-evolving market. It’s hard to keep up.

It can also get a little expensive. Going to a bar or buying bombers can make your wallet skinny quickly and don’t even get me started on the calories. For these and other reasons, I decided to take a solid six month break from drinking all beer. It was my the largest break from beer in several years, and it was scary as hell.

That’s not true. It was actually a great experience and after six months without any beer at all, I felt much better in a lot of different ways. So here are five things I learned during my beer sabbatical.

To start, I definitely felt better and lost weight.


Even if you only drink occasionally and exercise, not downing the nutritional equivalent of bread can help you lose some extra pounds. And even if you’re not nursing a hang over, it’s much easier to get up and get your day started. It’s obvious stuff, but easy to forget when you’re used to drinking beer several times a week.

My drinking habits and my outlook towards beer were changed.


Before my break I was always on the look out for new beers just because they were rare or new. Now, I rely on trusty local staples like Community Brewing’s Mosaic IPA or the Peticolas Velvet Hammers. I no longer suffer from beer FOMO. I love what I can get.

I stopped thinking those rare beers were so precious.


I used to spend a lot of time saving and aging rare beers. But here’s some knowledge: life is short. Open that sweet beer! After my break from beer, I’ve started cracking open the three-year-old Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA, the four-year-old Real Ale Sisyphus, and a first generation Jester King Black Metal Stout from before they fermented the beers with wild yeast.

The palate cleanse from six months without a beer is great.


Honestly, beer tastes so much better after a break. A six-month palate cleanser can go a long way to help you taste the complexity of a barrel-aged stout. I recently opened the aforementioned 120 Minute IPA and I was surprised at the different notes I found that I had never discovered before.

Your friends will not ditch you.


This is maybe the best part of the break. The friendships I’ve made over the years of being part of the craft beer scene stuck during the break. While craft beer might be what brings some people together, the interests beyond beer are what keep you together.

When I came back to drinking, I had a back-to-basic approach that reminded me that it’s not about the bickering on message boards or even beer trading, but rather beer itself and the sense of community that forms around it. Sometimes, breaks are good.