Ever notice that when people quit drinking, they always replace it with something grandiose; martial arts, crazy adrenaline sports, zealous religion (including zealous AA religion).
People don't do this with other addictions. No one takes up MMA just to keep from getting beaten up by Joe Camel.
Drinking is so great it is nearly impossible to replace it with anything else. Certainly there is no replacement as cheap, convenient, or quick. It is cheap: whether it is Dom Perignon or PBR, you still get a buzz. Even expensive whiskey or wine is still cheaper than therapy (and much more likely to improve your mood). It is convenient: you can buy it almost everywhere. It is quick: only takes a few small sips to feel better about problems at work, your flight being delayed, the person who dumped you. Talk about instant gratification. A counseling sessions lasts 45 minutes. You can down two life affirming Smirnoff sips in 45 seconds.
And booze is the gift that keeps on giving. You can't go skydiving every day. You can drink a glass of wine every night.
I saw Bobby Dall, bass player for Poison and former drunk, talking on Behind the Music about replacing drinking with playing for 10,000 people. That's great when that's your alternative, but for the rest of us, to get a rush the choice is either drinking and feeling invincible or riding an exercise bike for an hour. No surprise that Guinness wins that battle.
This irreplaceability is the greatest possible advertising for alcohol. You don't need all those beer commercials with hot chicks and Jeeps. All you have to say is "Budweiser - You'll miss it so much you'll climb Everest."
They call drinking a disease, but really, the disease is life. Drinking is the cure.