John Fergusson was told he must spend at least 16 years in prison before he can ask for parole.
Judge John Morris, QC, said: "A jury unanimously convicted you of what was, on any view, the brutal murder of a defenceless man. You inflicted 15 blows with a deadly weapon."
An earlier trial heard how victim John Wright, 51, was found lying dead on a couch in a flat in Johnstone, Renfewshire, on November 30 last year.
But neither Fergusson, 43, nor another woman, Lynn Pearson, who were in the house had a clear recollection of what happened.
Defence QC Gary Allan told the High Court in Edinburgh: "The trio were in what could be described as an alcohol co-operative, in that whoever had money bought drink. The circumstances are, in many respects, far from clear."
Judge Morris said it was ironic that it was Mr Wright's turn to buy the drink.
He told Fergusson: "It is very sad that alcohol addiction has turned you from a responsible working man into a drunken killer."