The Problem with “Drinkability”

You’ve probably heard it from some brewery, be it large or small. “Our beer,” they’ll say, “is very drinkable,” as if that were a unique feature. Like the ability of a liquid to slide across the tongue and down into one’s gullet into the belly is something to crow about.

Well, you know what has the highest degree of “drinkability”? Water! Is that something we want to hold up as the gold standard for beer? Methinks not.

Craft brewers, it’s time to leave “drinkable” to the big boys, the breweries that really do aspire to have water-like qualities in their beer. If your beers are all about flavour and body and character, why compare them to water? Let’s talk enjoyability instead! Or, if you want something that implies the consumption of a significant amount coupled with the enjoyment factor, quaffability. Along those same lines, “sessionability” is another option. Or just get out your thesauruses; I’m sure there are many more terms waiting therein.

But enough about “drinkability,” okay? And the same goes for “easy drinking.”

6 Replies to “The Problem with “Drinkability””

  1. I’m a great believer in the term “drinkability”. Maybe it’s a British thing. I don’t really identify with the water analogy either.

    Easy drinking has more negative connotations to me though.

  2. “Quaffable” seems one of the most ridiculous words I’ve ever heard in connection with beer. If you’ve ever seen the hilarious wine film “Sideways” that sounds like a term that was either used a lot for its comic value or should have been.

    So, what are you quaffing today?

    1. I don’t know, Mike. The definition from seems apt: to drink a beverage, especially an intoxicating one, copiously and with hearty enjoyment.

      And from my Collins English Dictionary: to drink heartily or in one draught.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *