For a three night trip my wife and I both carry a little under 35lbs. Five pounds of that is water. Last year my pack was closer to 45lbs which included more clothing and some food that was less calorie dense. If you can find lighter stuff that does the same job great but I agree giving stuff up that sacrifices comfort doesn't make for a better trip.
Beer is quite heavy >3/4lbs for a 350ml can so for longer trips if I'm going to carry something, it's usually a flask.
35lbs is ok. 45lbs gets to be a bit much on a longer day and certainly slows me down.
Yeah, I don't bother bringing a flask because I'm not really a liquor drinker. I like whiskey now and then, but it's not a refreshing drink for on the trail. Beer or cider are nice to have after a long day trekking through the sun, so on trips that are only 2-3 days, it's worth the weight. But yeah, I won't be bringing any drinks on the West Coast Trail - it's just unnecessary weight and I can't be bothered with liquor. I will definitely spend the dough and grab a couple cold ones at Chez