It's a great question covered in excellent detail in the post "Coffee vs. beer: which drink makes you more creative?".
Some of the more interesting points summarised in this post are:
* It was concluded that a blood alcohol level of 0.07 (about 2 drinks) made the participants better at creative problem-solving tasks
* By reducing your ability to pay attention to the world around you, alcohol frees up your brain to think more creatively.
* While alcohol may not be the drink of choice when you need to be alert and focused on what’s going on around you, it seems that a couple drinks can be helpful when you need to come up with new ideas.
* Because alcohol helps decrease your working memory (making you feel relaxed and less worried about what’s going on around you), you’ll have more brain power dedicated to making deeper connections.
As a musician with - like many - an office day job, I have a great interest in and enjoyment of both coffee and beer. Stimulant and depressant. I start every day at home with a freshly ground flat white with a half sugar. I'm still working on trying to get a rosetta into the top of my morning brew, but this morning ritual has been in place since I bought a coffee machine years ago. Each lunchtime I follow up with a second cup. I love the warmth, familiarity, timeout, and change of scenery I experience with a cup of coffee - and find it energising. Some call it an addiction. Maybe it is. But I don't feel that I drink coffee as a need, rather as an enjoyable enhancement to my day.
Towards the tail end of the day (not every day mind you!) I also love a beer, or some other variant of the alcoholic variety. While I am of course not condoning drinking to excess nor becoming dependent on alcohol, I concede that as a musician a bottle of beer or glass of red wine (or dram of aquavit, etc) can produce a sense of creativity and mental free-flow which can't be achieved with the same carelessness and "let's just go for it" attitude without such lubricant.
I would never let a drink of any kind compromise my creative output or business judgement. I would however allow a glass of wine or bottle of beer take me to creative places I may not otherwise go.
What is your opinion?
Paul Doolan provides online keyboard recording sessions for bands and solo artists.
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