Wherever you see men gather, one of the things you see is bottles of beer on their table. The opposite sex is not left out too, even though men are known to drink beer more. The culture of drinking beer is common all over the world and Nigerians are not left out in beer drinking. There are many breweries around where beer is produced for the consumption of the people.
In Nigeria today, beer is heavily consumed. Bars, pubs, guest houses, hotels, and homes are stocked with beer these days. Nigerian parties are not left out as crates of beer find their way into the people’s gathering.
Beer, produced from barley, wheat, and other ingredients also has some percentages of alcohol which makes it different from other beverages. People under the age of 18 are restricted from the culture of drinking beer in the country.
There have been many issues, especially health risk associated with the intake of beer but people seem to stick with these bottles/cans of beer. According to Mrs. Blessing, a beer parlor owner, “I have made a lot of money in this business despite not being the only beer parlor owner in this axis. I sell about 20 crates a day especially if it’s the weekend. Nigerian men really love to have fun, we can’t but satisfy them to make more money”.
Many Nigerian men became drunkards because of their ‘love for ale’. Some have had broken homes (marriages) while some developed diseases (heart diseases, liver cirrhosis, etc.) because of their addiction to beer. Some quarters say it is good to take beer occasionally because there are some benefits to it.
Another thing is the case of men who spend their earnings on beer. 7 out of 10 men consume beer, while 2 out of 10 women also drink beer. Since there is more harm than good in the consumption of beer, it is therefore important to know why people really like to drink beer. People were asked why they like beer, this is what they had to say:
I drink beer for cheers and celebration.Ozomena
I drink beer to get a bit tipsy and make me forget my problems for a little while.Demola
There is no reason actually for drinking beer. But given I’d rarely drink beer alone, I guess it’s just a way to bond with friends. Beer is not sweet though, no benefit, it has many downsides including overriding the body system.Gabriel
Three things make me take beer. They are the taste (with its mild tipsiness), the cost as it is one of the cheaper beverages, and the alcohol content per bottle; it is one of the beverages with the lowest alcoholic content compared with others.Badole
Are there benefits?
As water is necessary for healthy living, can the same be said about beer, which is also in liquid form and has several food ingredients? Beer surely has some benefits too. Listed below are some benefits of drinking beer in small proportions:
- Beer helps to lower your bad cholesterol
- Beer can increase your Vitamin B level
- Beer keeps your kidney healthy
- Beer aids better digestion
- Beer reduces your risk of a heart attack
- Beer boosts your memory
- Beer makes your skin beautiful
Looking through the benefits derived from beer, it could be said to be good for the body but too much intake of alcohol from beer has caused several problems much more than the good associated with it.
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According to Mr. Goke, a young businessman, “Considering the effects on internal organs, beer as an alcoholic drink when consumed at a significant amount put you at a risk of developing different kinds of liver diseases including alcoholic hepatitis, as liver damage progresses, liver tissues become inflamed and this can lead to total liver damage”.
“Personally I dislike beer because most of the people I know that drink too much of it are either with swollen cheeks or potbelly or even both, which I believe is abnormal. So why drink something I know will affect my organs and deform my physical appearance”.
As for Nasrademuz, a visual and creative artist, beer is not good according to his religious belief (as a Christian) but if you’re into drinking, it should not be an everyday thing.
Mr. Azeez also described the situation he has found himself as a result of drinking too much beer. He said, “I actually like beer but I’m getting tired of it nowadays because of health issues. Now I take 1 or 2 bottles but I used to take 7-8 bottles at a sitting. I now get very tired easily while I have also developed potbelly, which a lot of my guys have complained about even though my wife hasn’t complained”.
Adedamola, a female youth corper has this to say: “I don’t take beer. I really dislike the smell”.
Another lady, Anita, said she noticed her boyfriend snores the more whenever he goes out to drink beer with his friends. The overnight snoring is getting her tired of the relationship.
Mr. Jimoh, a truck driver, also recalled how he stopped drinking beer. He said “Whenever I make some money, I make sure I drink one or two bottles of beer to appreciate my body which has worked tirelessly, not knowing that I’m actually killing it. I became addicted and one day, I fell into the gutter only to be taken home to meet my hungry family by a good Samaritan”.
“The man gave my wife, who had complained of being hungry along with our kids, N5000. It was until the next day when the man disclosed he had picked N45,000 out of my pocket that I realized I left work with a sum of N75,000. The N5,000 he gave my wife was part of the money as he handed the remaining N40,000 to me. I promised not to ever go back to drinking beer since that day.”
Drinking beer has surely caused havoc in many marriages. There have been many cases of men beating up their spouses when they are intoxicated. Many men have become irresponsible as a result of their love for beer. This has led to a divorce from women who couldn’t stand their drunkard husbands.
The worst scenario of drinking beer is narrated by Uchenna, a university student. He was the only survivor of an auto-crash that claimed the lives of five guys.
They had gone to celebrate with one of them who had just completed his university education. According to him, they had drunk to stupor and were driving at a high speed only to be halted by an incoming trailer. He only cheated death but still remembers the occurrence with the scars on his face and forehead, which were enough to make him stay away from drinking beer for life.
Is it difficult to quit drinking beer?
Quitting beer is easier said than done. Many who drink with their friends will still be influenced and will find it difficult to stop. But with determination, it can be stopped. When you realize the money spent on drinking beer amounts to a fortune and your health status risk, you will see a reason to quit drinking beer.
As much as beer drinking has its positives, its negatives far outweigh the positives, which should make you stop its intake. There is nothing wrong in taking beer occasionally but when it becomes an addiction, it is very wrong. Too much of everything is actually wrong.
Nigerians are fun-loving people, no wonder some bottles of the foreign-brewed Heineken beer has the Nigerian ‘Owambe’ as an imprint on the green bottle. When you take into consideration the number of people drink-driving has killed in the country, (notably Dagrin, a popular indigenous rapper), then the consumption of alcohol has to be reduced. It is good not to drink and drive and vice versa. If you must drink, then you must drink responsibly.
Remember health is wealth. Also, have it in mind that you only live once. Once is enough if you live it well.