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10 things you didn't know about alcohol, but really should!


When summer is upon us, and the festive season is in full swing, it’s almost a given that alcohol factors in the mix. In keeping with the silly season, are 10 things you might not know about alcohol:

  1. Believe it or not, Australians come in at number 19 in the world for alcohol consumption, with the average person consuming 12.2 litres of alcohol per year. Belarus leads the world with 17.6 litres consumed per person. Contrary to popular opinion, the Irish come in behind Australia at number 21.
  2. The Australian guidelines to reduce the health risks of drinking alcohol recommend no more than 10 standard drinks per week, and never more than four standard drinks on any one day.
  3. In Australia, research shows that Queenslanders are the biggest drinkers in the country, with beer being the drink of choice. Queenslanders are exceeding the recommended maximum amount of alcohol, drinking an average of 11.14 standard drinks per week. Victorians, on the other hand, are drinking the least.
  4. One of Queensland’s most popular beers – XXXX Gold – is made at both the XXXX Brewery in inner Brisbane and at the Boag’s brewery in Launceston, Tasmania.
  5. Research conducted by the Australian National University discovered that during COVID-19, 1 in 5 men said they were drinking more, and 1 in 4 women said they were drinking significantly more, with panic buying during the height of the pandemic prompting many bottle shops to impose a limit on the amount of alcohol people could buy.
  6. During COVID-19, men and women reported drinking for different reasons. Men said they were drinking more due to job loss or being at home more with reduced working hours. Whereas, women reported drinking more because they were at home looking after children.
  7. Gin and tonic glows under UV light. It’s not the gin that glows, but the tonic. Tonic water contains an anti-malarial substance called quinine, and the unique properties of quinine are what cause it to glow.
  8. Outside of Brisbane, Toowoomba, Rockhampton, and Cairns have the most pubs in Queensland, with the most popular name being the Royal or Commercial. Irish bars are the most common themed pubs in the state.
  9. You might think it’s an urban myth, but it’s true that ‘darker’ drinks like rum and red wine make your hangover feel worse. It’s due to substances called congeners that are produced during the fermentation process.


If you’ve ever had trouble remembering what happened at the office Christmas party the night before, it’s not because alcohol makes you forget. Alcohol actually stops you from making new memories while you’re drinking. The more you drink in a session, the more likely you are to experience a memory blackout.


1 in 5 adult Queenslanders…drink at risky levels every day
1 in 3 adult Queenslanders…drink at risky levels every month
75% of risky drinkers are…adult males
Male alcohol consumption is…decreasing in younger men, but increasing in older men
78% of 16 -17 year olds…
consumed alcohol in the last 12 months
4.3% of Queensland deaths…
are directly attributed to alcohol

Source: The Health of Queenslanders, 2018 (Report of the Chief Health Officer Queensland)



While enjoying an occasional alcoholic beverage is unlikely to harm your health, drinking to excess is harmful to health. Please see the National Standards Drink Guide.

If you feel that alcohol is a problem for you, or someone you know, DrinkWise provides an extensive list of support services that can be found here.

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