According to Joerg Kastner in his book Chinese Nutrition Therapy Beer has a cooling to cold thermal nature, falls into the bitter & sweet flavor categories and has the effect of cooling liver heat. In moderation this might be true, however, in excess alcohol does add heat and dampness to the body. From a purely eastern perspective, beer in moderation, is usually used to foster circulation, add warmth to the body, and relax the mind.
From a western/physiological perspective, alcohol is known to cause poor sleep - so drinking outside of moderation at anytime during the day or drinking in moderation closer than a few hours before going to sleep is likely to cause problems.
With regard to your friend, alcohol is probably not the most beneficial thing he could be doing. From an eastern nutrition perspective, he would most likely want to eat foods which benefit the lungs/skin (metal element) and cool heat, especially in the liver (wood element).
As an acupuncturist, however, I would recommend your friend visit a local practitioner to obtain a precise diagnosis to allow him, in conjuction with his practitioner, to make appropriate lifestyle and dietary changes.
For self-help, the text The Wellness Book by Herbert Benson has an entire chapter on improving your sleep which is one of the more useful presentations that I have seen.
Yin Yang House Acupuncture & Energy Healing Clinic