Drink well, party hard: [beer] for your health
Today’s kickass guest post is from Kristen Bayusik of Now Beer This fame. An at-home brewing extraordinaire and fellow music industry lady, Kristen’s “analog beer blog” is packed with craft beer reviews, drink-and-album pairings and coverage of both brew- and music-related events in her CT neighborhood. With a shared music industry background and love of authentic, non-mass-produced drink and food, we were long overdue for a collaboration.
Below, Kristen shares her insight on the unfriendly ingredients hiding in commercial beers—think Miller Coors, Guinness, Corona, Newcastle, Budweiser, PBR and just about every other beer you’ll find in a convenience store—and proves why craft (or home-brewed!) beers are absolutely the way to go, both for taste and for your health. Take it away, Kristen!
To kick off, I’d like to discuss the importance of craft beer, as I do with every post. But aside from tasting great and being pretty interesting, craft beer is actually fairly healthy for you. Speaking relatively, of course.
If you want to start off really far back, beer was a staple in Egypt going back as far as 2200 BC. It was quite solid, and actually contained a lot of proteins and minerals, so it was often drunk throughout a long work day to replenish the laborers. They were even paid their wages in beer too!
Borrowed from Now Beer This
Fast forward to now: unfiltered is still the way to go. Although alcohol destroys vitamins B and C, unfiltered beer and traditional real ales don’t filter out these vitamins. So while the effects it may take on your liver and other organs are the same as any other fermented beverage, you may find that you have less of a hangover if you drink unfiltered or real ales all night. Great news if you’re working at a show or at an event that goes through the night. Unless you’re in the UK, however, real ales might be more difficult to come by (I personally think all concert venues should be equipped with a beer engine for this specific purpose).
Now let’s talk about three letters that seem to be popping up everywhere in the news lately: GMO—Genetically Modified Organisms. Unfortunately, GMO-based additives like corn syrups, gelatins and other carcinogens are found in plenty of beers.
The good news? MIn keeping their beers pure, most craft beer brewers don’t use these. The Germans really have it down- their purity law, the Reinheitsegebot, has been around since 1516 and mandates beer ingredients be limited to water, hops, yeast, malted barley, and wheat. No GMOs there. The only problem with the Reinheitsegebot is that it doesn’t leave much room for experimental brewing companies like Dogfish Head or Rogue, whose tasty beverages include things such as grape must, peanut butter, or even beards.
A fellow blogger, Vani Hari of Food Babe, researched the hidden, harmful ingredients in some beer; check out her very unpleasant findings here. Basically, as with food, consumers should know what they are putting in their bodies, and even craft beers can fool the unsuspecting beer drinker. I’d like to think that Goose Island’s delicious Matilda ale will remain unadulterated, but now that most of the company has been purchased by Anheuser-Busch, it makes me wonder how their beers will change.
Originally posted on FoodBabe.com
In the end, Hari tells beer drinkers to “quiz the beer companies for the truth. Find a beer that you can trust and stick with it.” As you should anyway. As much as many of us love trying new beers, I’m sure just about all of us have our go-to brew. So why not find out what’s in it?
Want to go a step further? Brew your own, of course! Then you always know exactly what’s in it and can make whatever you want. I am planning on testing out some ancient-style beers from the book Sacred And Herbal Healing Beers. Will post once I try my first recipe!
Thanks, Kristen! It’s incredibly frustrating that alcoholic beverages have no ingredient labeling requirements, so this info is incredibly helpful. Any additional questions for Kristen? Share in the comments!