Behavioral and social consequences related to the consumption of different beverage types

J Stud Alcohol. 1996 Jan;57(1):77-84. doi: 10.15288/jsa.1996.57.77.


Objective: The purpose of this article is to review the literature on the effects of beer, wine and spirits on the behavioral consequences of alcohol consumption.

Method: The methods involve library research and analysis of the various published articles relating to experimental and survey studies of different effects

Results: The major results indicate that (1) after spirits consumption blood alcohol concentrations rise more quickly than after beer; (2) for most behavioral tasks beer creates less impairment than brandy at the same dose levels; (3) brandy also leads to more emotional and aggressive responses; (4) those who drink beer or beer and spirits have more alcohol-related problems than others; and (5) beer drinkers are more likely than others to drink and drive, to be arrested for drinking-driving and to be in alcohol-related accidents.

Conclusions: It appears that beer and spirits lead to greater problems than does wine consumption. However, there is a need for more studies of women and confirmed drinkers of various beverages. There is also a need to study the effects of wine consumption on behavioral impairment. Lastly, there is a need to determine if there is a beer-drinking culture which supports heavy drinking and driving after drinking.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control
  • Accidents, Traffic / psychology
  • Alcohol Drinking / blood
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Alcoholic Beverages*
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / blood
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / etiology
  • Ethanol / pharmacokinetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Behavior*


  • Ethanol