What I Learned About Myself After Getting an AlcoMate Breathalyzer

As a beer, spirits, and cocktail writer, people often say to me, “that must be rough” and “sounds like a dream job!” Well, it is fun, but it’s a struggle to tell people the other side that is actually work. Besides editing photos and writing about something I’m proud of at the end of the night, work also includes safety. It takes a crazy amount of will power to carefully manage food intake, time, and alcohol consumption to safely drive home to my family at the end of the night.

When Alcomate asked me to review their AlcoMate Revo (model TS200), I gladly accepted, more of a way to get a (hopefully) good breathalyzer in exchange for writing and sharing this review. After using it for a few weeks, I feel like I’ve learned a lot. I’ve tried other breathalyzers and never really found that sweet spot of trust, where one blow would be well over the limit, the next well under. What a waste of time and money!

When I first found the AlcoMate on my doorstep, I was just coming home from shooting a video on Naughty Sauce with Foodbeast. After a couple pints on an empty stomach at noon, I eagerly cracked open the case, installed the included batteries and gave a long-steady blow.

My first blow on the AlcoMate Revo after two beers on an empty stomach

My first blow on the AlcoMate Revo after two beers on an empty stomach

I blew it again. 0.044. I blew a third time… same. I then ate lunch, drank a bunch of water and blew one more time: 0.032. This thing is crazy accurate! I let my kid use it to make sure it would register a zero, and sure as hell it did.

Me after blowing

Me after blowing .121 at Mission Brewery in San Diego

The design is thin and solid like a cell phone. With its LED screen, blowing in your dark car before leaving an event is nice and discreet. Nothing says “boozehound” quite like blowing a breathalyzer with the car dome light on! With one button, you simply turn it on, blow steadily when it says blow, and wait for the calculation. It takes ten seconds at the most.

Here’re some events I went to over the last few weeks and what I blew before leaving (note that .08 is the legal limit in California):

  • After a fun Halloween Party: Three hours, four beers: .045
  • After recording Four Brewers Podcast: Three shows in five hours with lots of beer and pizza: .024 (was .089 in the middle of recording!)
  • Porktoberfest at Five Crowns: one cocktail, five 4oz beers including a bourbon barrel aged Helldorado: .026
  • Checking out cocktails at Puzzle Bar for a blog post: .078! 
  • Private BBQ event at Windsor Homebrew Supply with a bunch of bottle share stuff: .023
  • Touring San Diego breweries with Travelocity. Alesmith, Ballast Point, Mission and Stone Liberty Station: .121 (I didn’t drive, thankfully)

Firestone vertical at Windsor Homebrew Supply’s private BBQ event (blew a .023)

What did I learn? One of my biggest takeaways being a professional booze writer is to drink in moderation. Having an accurate breathalyzer like the Alcomate Revo is a great tool to not only stay safe, but eliminate the guess work. As I dive deeper into spirits/cocktail writing, I’m finding it harder to guess where I’m at and this is the perfect solution.

AlcoMate Revo TS200 is available for $219 (plus tax and shipping), and makes the perfect gift for the boozehound in your life, not to mention keeping your holiday party guests safe when leaving your house!

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