Research by World Cancer Research Fund shows that drinking alcohol is linked to an increased risk of several cancers: bowel, breast, mouth and throat, oesophageal, stomach and liver. In the UK, 21,000 cases of cancer could be prevented each year if nobody drank alcohol, but how does alcohol actually interact with us to cause such a drastic effect?
Despite many trips to Amsterdam, and several visits to places including the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, Rembrandt's House and the Anne Frank House, I'd never been to the Heineken Experience. I decided that if I was going to go then I was going to do it properly, and joined a VIP Tour, which needs booking in advance.
If only there was a magical balm to soothe the fractious and febrile atmosphere of the Referendum. There is and it's called beer - Britain's national tipple. How fortuitous then that Beer Day Britain, national beer day, happens on June 15th. This means that the Brexiteers and the Remains can sit down together, in a pub, and have a jolly time united by their love of the world's favourite alcoholic drink - beer.
Munching down fish and chips while enjoying a pint of Broadside is a must-do when visiting Southwold. Even if your face is more battered by the wind than your cod is by the fryer; and even if you're soggier from the rain than your chips are from the vinegar. In fact it all tends to add to the whole experience.
What happens, for example, if home-brewers manage to master the recipes, bottle them, and sell them for a profit? Could BrewDog be opening a floodgate of potential copyright or design infringements? Worse still: if supermarket own brands start tasting like BrewDog's Punk IPA, how could they prove, or stop it?
London has been a great place to drink for many a year. This year, for me, it seemed even better than before. My favourite watering holes continued to please while a handful of bars and pubs new or otherwise previously unknown to me caught my attention with great service, comfy digs and - most importantly - quality quaffs.
Beer has several properties that make it a perfect libation with food - water, carbon dioxide, hops and, quite often, bitterness (although not all beers are bitter), myriad flavours, diversity in body, texture, mouthfeel - all of which are very useful in cutting, contrasting, or complementing what we eat.