A Garden of Ideas

to ponder and share

Secrets of Living the European Lifestyle (Part 3)

Have a beer instead of a soft drink.


It’s more of a social beverage. This is no revelation, but it just proves that overall it’s a better beverage. How many people get together to de-stress after work with a sugary soft drink? Right. But a nice cold beer suggests good conversation and relaxation. Not so with the chemical fizz inside your latest pop can. People meet at cafes all over Europe to chat or listen to the cathedral bells and have a beer. A soft drink just doesn’t set the right tone.

It’s real. Especially the beers that come from the smaller micro-brew companies in the U.S. or your typical European beers. They’re made with fewer and fresher ingredients – ones you can pronounce without having to refer to a periodic chart.

It’s MUCH healthier! According to an article in Men’s Health March 21, 2014, beer drinkers had lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, kidney stones, and hypertension. Additionally, they had increases in antioxidant activity and improvements in their immune system, bone strength and workout recovery, to name a few.

It increases confidence and creativity. That according to a study in the journal Consciousness and Cognition. And some would suggest that it even goes as far as making other people more interesting, and dare I say, attractive?

It’s more refreshing than a soft drink for about the same number of calories. A 12-ounce beer has 150 calories vs. 140 Coke/150 for Pepsi. You feel better after drinking a beer vs. a soft drink, which just tends to leave you thirstier because that’s what sugary drinks do. And no, you don’t have to drink a lot of beer to feel better.  G.K. Chesterton said that we can show our appreciation for things like beer by not having too much of them.

It’s more interesting. Beers come in all types: ales, pilsners, wheat beers, lagers, stout/dark beers, flavored beers, hard ciders, etc. It’s a more complex tasting drink, and it might even come accessorized in its very own special glass or mug. Besides that, lots of European beers were first created by monks. How cool is that? You might learn a little history by learning about your favorite beer or your favorite beer country. Mine is Belgium, which by the way, according to Rick Steves has roughly 580 different brands, which is more than any other European country.

So, there you have it! I’m sure I could find more reasons to drink beer instead of that chemical feast, but seriously, does anyone out there need more?



2 Replies

  1. Joyce Ann

    I concur! In Spain, beer is the go-to lunch beverage, usually served in a 4-6 oz glass.

    1. Karen Hornsby

      And it should be that way everywhere!!