In Russia drinking non-alcoholic beer is some kind of trade-off. Not seriously, but half-joking. Means giving up under the circumstances. Slippery slope that leads to life without normal drinks and relationships. This proverb can be used not only in talks about drinks, but also as a allegory for any another topics.
- verb "to be". Used in archaic russian contructions, now it's only implied.
- artice "THE" in front of the noun. Russian language doesn't use articles.