Guest Post: Doug Phillips – Men’s Health and Beer – Enemies or Allies?

So, personally I’ve been one month OFF alcohol now. I’ve booked in to run a half marathon and will get back towards the glory days! However, I’ve still made time to catch up with Doug Phillips of Hallmark Commerical and his Men’s Health group, at some pub venues around Adelaide. For me, there has been no beer. For others, a couple. No one has felt the need for more. It’s been great. Enough about me, let’s hand over to the man, the myth, the legend – Doug Phillips!

Before we start here, it’s probably important to clarify that I’m not a Health Care Professional. Not at all. In fact, I’m a construction industry professional. By now you may be wondering what business I have writing a blog about men’s health for a medical practice, and that makes two of us. But here we are, so let’s just see where this goes.

The closest I come to being qualified to comment on anything health-related is my association with a group that (funnily enough), revolves around two topics that are normally considered ‘unhealthy’. Beer and pub food. I organise a group of blokes who get together once a fortnight at a different pub each week, to have a few beers and enjoy some pub grub. 


Beer and parmys aren’t the focus of the group though. They are the two interests we all have in common, but the group is actually about promoting men’s health. Our fortnightly meetups are designed to be an environment where men can talk openly about anything they want, which promotes discussions about physical and mental health. Two topics that Australian men are notorious for neglecting.

Most of the time we just talk non-health-related stuff though. Sport, women, work, kids, the usual topics. Occasionally something will come up in conversation that leans more towards a mental health discussion, and that’s great, but not imperative. Just having a space where men can feel relaxed and off-guard without fear of being labelled weak or a “pussy”, is often all the respite required to allow men to relax and recharge. 


The group is organised through a Facebook group, which can be a risk sometimes. We aim to be non-judgemental and promote healthy attitudes. But a group consisting solely of blokes can sometimes find itself with memes or other content posted that border on sexist or unhealthy. For example, the relationship between men, their women, and their beer, or jokes about drinking that seem funny at first, until you drill down and realise that they are only funny due to our unhealthy attitudes towards drinking in Australian culture.

So neither the group, its outcomes, its members, or its management are perfect, but that’s part of the point really. In a world where men can often feel like we’re expected to be perfect, while constantly having it pointed out how far from perfect we are, sitting back with a beer and a deep-fried chunk of meat amongst other men who don’t expect perfection is a little vacation in the lives of men who want to do better, and are actively attempting to do so.


There are a plethora of articles out there suggesting that beers with your mates down the pub is actually good for your health (Google Study Suggests Blokes Should Enjoy A Pint At The Pub With Their Mates Twice A Week). So if you’re finding that you often feel frustrated, anxious, depressed, unsatisfied, or any other negative emotions, perhaps what you need is a pint at the pub with your mates, but regularly.


And Ladies, please don’t take this just as an excuse for your man to get on the piss. That’s not what this is about. In fact, men who look after their mental health well are generally better husbands, fathers, and members of society. I might be that all you need to do to help your man be the best man he can be, is to drop him off at the pub and pick him up a few hours later. Pretty easy really. I know less about women’s health than I do men’s health even, but logic would suggest that a regular pub night for you Ladies would be a great idea too.

Pub Night. I’m a fan, most blokes are. And if the path to great men’s health is made easier by having a few pints at the pub with your mates, then it seems like a no-brainer to me.

Thanks Doug, love your work (and if you think his writing is good, wait until you see how good he is at his day job!). Men, if you’re keen to explore this further – in a group, or in a consult, hit the links above or below, for the NOMAD Hotel Social Club, or PartridgeGP!

PartridgeGP works with you to help you make your best health decisions, and we won’t back away from being your companion, guide, advisor, and sounding board through your health journey. We pride ourselves on great communication and we’re ready to share our professional skills and knowledge with you. This is only MORE important now, in the time of a global pandemic with a new vaccine on the horizon. The way forward is clear: make your appointment with us conveniently online right here – or call our friendly reception team on 82953200.

Better, for you.

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For everyone, we believe that having a usual GP or General Practice is central to each person’s care and recommend that people with any health issues that come to the attention of other health professionals should be advised to attend their usual GP or General Practice rather than a specialised service (ie a place not providing the holistic care a specialist GP would).   If  they say that they don’t have a usual GP or general practice, they should be helped to find one and to actually attend it. Call PartridgeGP on 82953200 or make an appointment online here.

(Hat tip: Dr Oliver Frank)

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