The limited amount of evidence available from mortality statistics, mental hospital in-patient admission rates and community surveys appears to indicate that people of African-Caribbean origin resident in Britain have fewer alcohol-related problems than the white population. However, there are no systematic data on the normal drinking habits of random and representative samples of the black population of Britain, or the true extent of alcohol-related problems in the whole population. A survey of the drinking habits and alcohol-related problems of random samples of 200 black men and 170 white men from the Birmingham and Wolverhampton areas is reported. Black men were much less likely to report regular drinking and to report drinking large amounts of alcohol. They were far less likely to have got drunk in the past year, and scored lower on most items of an Alcohol Problems Scale. Age was the only demographic variable associated with drinking levels in both groups, and the link was more tenuous in the black than the white group. There were no generational differences found. Religious observance and belonging to a Pentecostal Church were found to be major differences between the black and white groups, and strongly associated with moderation in relation to alcohol.