A hospital-based case-control study of the association between alcohol drinking and lung cancer was carried out in Uruguay between January 1988 and December 1990. The sample included 327 men with lung cancer and 350 male controls. Personal interviews were conducted in the Institute of Oncology by trained personnel using a structured questionnaire. The results showed a significant positive association between beer intake and the risk of lung cancer. The odds ratio for beer drinkers in the highest quartile was 3.4 (95% confidence limits, 1.3-6.6) after adjustment for tobacco. The association between beer and lung cancer was consistent for all the cell types, analyzed separately. A moderate effect for total alcohol consumption was also observed, with a relative risk of 2.2 for those subjects in the highest quartile.