Alcohol accounts for 4-6% of the average energy intake in most Western countries. Alcohol-induced hypoglycaemia is a well-known and feared complication in insulin-dependent diabetic subjects, but little attention has been paid to the impact of alcohol on carbohydrate metabolism in non-insulin-dependent diabetes. The aim of the present study was to investigate in non-insulin-dependent diabetic subjects the acute metabolic effects of a moderate amount of alcohol taken with a light meal, conditions chosen to mimic an everyday situation. The patients received 500 ml non-alcoholic beer with an alcohol content (ml/l) of 0 (treatment A) and 54 (treatment B) together with a light meal, implying identity of the contents of ingredients except for alcohol. We found similar serum glucose, insulin, free fatty acid and triacylglycerol responses irrespective of addition of a modern amount of alcohol. In conclusion, a moderate amount of alcohol can be taken with a meal without eliciting hypoglycaemia in non-insulin-dependent diabetic subjects.