Beer 101 – How many beers can I drink before I get drunk?

As I’ve stated on this blog before, it isn’t a sin for a person to drink beer.  But it doesn’t take very much time in the bible to figure out that getting intoxicated is a sin.  The abuse and overuse of alcohol does constitute as a disconnection between us and Jesus.  So this poses the question, “How many beers can I drink before I get drunk?” (the wording my be a little off on this question but the main thought is…how many beers = drunk)

If you didn’t know, I work for UPS doing sales.  I sale the services that UPS provide, mainly shipping.  One of the most common questions I get from customers is, “How much does it cost to ship with UPS?”  Every time I get asked this question, it takes a lot of self-control to not start laughing hysterically in their face.  There are so many variables that go into determining the cost to ship a package (weight, distance, level of service, size of package, additional charges, ect.). The answer isn’t cut and dry.  The same goes for how many beers it takes for a person to get drunk.

I worked my way through college as a waiter at a steak and sea food joint (one of three jobs).  In order to work there, I had to get licensed to serve alcohol in the state of New Mexico.  The majority of the class was spent learning how to tell if someone was intoxicated.  Just like the cost for shipping, the variables that go into telling if someone is drunk are numerous:

  • How many drinks?
  • How much time was between each drink?
  • What is the persons height?
  • How much do they weigh?
  • Did they eat anything?
  • Are they male or female?

We could go into the intricacies of how these variables work together to determine whether or not you are intoxicated.  But here are some simple things to keep in mind.

  1. Your liver can process one drink of alcohol per hour (one single shot, one glass of wine, one glass of beer).  Therefore, the faster you drink the more likely you are to get drunk.  Space out your drinks and you will be less likely to get drunk.
  2. The bigger you are…the more area the alcohol has to cover.  Therefore, the larger you are…the more you can drink before you get drunk.
  3. If you have food in your stomach, it slows down how fast the alcohol gets into your system.  Therefore if you eat before you drink, you can drink more.

Those are some general rules. But the main rule is to just know your own body.  I’ve known 6’5″ guys that get smashed with one drink, and I know 5’7″ women who could drink Ted Kennedy under the table.  Each person needs to know and set their own limit.  For instance I generally don’t drink more than two beers in an hour.  I know that if i get over that amount that I’m starting to push it.  I feel light headed and loose a little bit of physical control.  So I just keep to two drinks an hour.

So how many beers can you drink before you get drunk?  That’s a good question and one that you need to figure out for yourself.

  • Vince

    Don’t forget metabolism. People with a high metabolism will get a buzz quicker…and it will go away quicker. People with slower metabolism will need more drinks to get drunk, but it will also last longer.

    I have a raging metabolism and one beer on an empty stomach gets me a really nice buzz, but it lasts only ten minutes.

    Vinces last blog post..There Will Be Sorrow

  • Jason

    Good article. Interesting to find out you work for UPS. I’m a rural letter carrier for USPS.

    I know my drinking limit. I do check the alcohol percentage of the beers I drink because that can vary greatly. I can drink a six pack of 5%beer over a 5 hour time period with just a feel good feeling. Add a 1/2 percent and that limit drops to 5 beers. Not all beer list the ABV of their beers so I go to beer advocate and many time I can find the AVB of the beer I’m drinking there.

    • Zeke

      Hi Jason,
      This is a great blog. I learned a lot about my own personal limitations. I usually Hybernate during the fall and winter months, NO ALCAHOL it keeps me fit, and I feel that I can manage drinking much better. I only drink ice cold beer no matter what the brand. I also ride my bike regularly. Excersise is key to prevent that awesome, ohh so sexxy pot belly.

      But hey, I am interested in learing about working from home. What type of work do you do. Im a newbee that needs help.

  • Steve Scott

    Since my conversion, I’ve averaged about one beer per night; two if I had a really long day. Now with three kids, I pass out sometimes before I can get to the fridge after they’re all in bed. If I drink three, I don’t like the effect as well, and good feeling turns into a loss of control. I don’t think I’m drunk yet, but I’m just not a fan of going that far. A wedding might be a different story.

    I think God wants us to know our limits, and I don’t think he gets too upset at us while finding out. By the way, my wife bought me a T-shirt for father’s day! I’ll have to wear it to church on Sunday! Well, maybe to the next church picnic.

    Steve Scotts last blog post..Democracy (4) Democracy As God

  • Russ

    Great to have found you. Beer is truly a gift from God. I blog from time to time on the subject of beer and beer drinking as well. Very nice blog – well done.

    Russs last blog post..Westminster Wednesday #86

  • GregQualls

    @vince – I forgot about metabolism…I have a pretty fast one myself…but I’ve noticed it is starting to slow down of late.

    @Jason – I thought about trying to be a carrier for USPS at one point…but it gets so hot here in NM that it wouldn’t be fun. I like working from home much better.

    @Steve AWESOME! I don’t even have a beerean shirt yet. I’ve been working on a stencil so I can make my own. I can’t afford to buy one just yet. You should send me an intro video of you wearing the shirt for Beer Tip of the Week.

    @Russ Welcome! It’s always nice to meet a new reader. Don’t forget to subscribe at the top of the screen. That way you don’t have to check back everyday to see if I’ve been lazy or not. :)

    • Zeke

      Im really interested in learing about jobs I can do from home. What do you do, and how can I get started.

  • Los Griego

    Altitude is something to think of too, you can drink more say in San Francisco or L.A., but less in the Burq, or Denver areas before feeling the affects. Hmm I wonder if that is why they call it Rocky Mountain High, hmmm


    Los Griegos last blog post..No, Not Six Flags or Disneyland…

  • Steve Scott


    I’ve been meaning to do a short video of me wearing my t-shirt for beer tip of the week. My digital camera can take “video clip” files. I’m not sure how that could work the best with the file size. Any ideas on how to get it to you would be great.

    Steve Scotts last blog post..Thy Kingdom Come: Why Jesus Won’t Return To Set Up His Kingdom

  • Shinedown24

    im 5'6″ 120 pounds 18 year old male, i usually drink like 4 beers an hour with shots/drinks mixed in… and im strate man… sometimes ill even down about a fifth of jack daniels and i can still stand… i think youre just a bunch of pussies!

    • Mama23

      small fish in a small pond…You full of shit!

    • boudreaux

      you are just a kid. i used to be your age and you think you can drink alot but ill go beer for beer with you and we'll see how manly you really are.

  • Bigtimerz

    im drinkin a 12 pack everynight and a large pizza..