We have covered many, many reasons that beer is good for you in moderation. Now Men’s Health has jumped on the bandwagon with 6 more reasons to drink beer and includes beers that illustrate those reasons. They choose a top pick for each category but also give several alternatives as well. So if you can’t get their top pick, check out the article for more choices.
The fragrant flower of the hop vine is what gives beer its characteristic bitterness and fragrance, as well as acting as a natural preservative. Turns out, hops has health benefits, too.
Researchers have shown that [hops] also a significant source of cholesterol-lowering, cancer-fighting, and virus-killing compounds called polyphenols. What’s more, “Just one 12-ounce beer a day decreased fibrinogen, a clotting factor, and increased albumin, which is very important for protein metabolism,” says Shela Gorinstein, Ph.D., a researcher at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University and the author of a 2007 study on the bioactivity of beer.
Best Hops Delivery Vehicle
Avery Maharaja Imperial India Pale Ale
2. Low calorie beers don’t taste like diet drinks
While many think of beer as “fattening,” there are plenty of low-cal brews that taste great. You’ll never see the word “diet” on their labels, though.
Darker beers have a major advantage here: They’re relatively low in alcohol and have thick, creamy, smoky finishes. When the cans were emptied, Beamish stood tall. It contains about 130 calories per 12-ounce can, but with a full flavor and sturdy dark-chocolate notes.
Best Low-Cal Beer
Beamish Irish Stout
3. Organic beer
Most beer is not made with completely organic ingredients. However, more and more brewers are adding organic beers to their offerings.
A 2003 FDA study found that 27 percent of barley and 32 percent of nonorganic wheat products carried pesticide residues. What’s worse, a loophole in the USDA organic-certification standard allows pesticide-grown hops. Our winner, an IPA with a pleasant aftertaste, is made with wheat from organic farms near the brewer’s Vermont facility. “We track every detail of every organic ingredient,” says Max Oswald, a Wolaver’s spokesman.
Best Organic Beer
Wolaver’s India Pale Ale
Beer naturally contains antioxidants, especially darker beers. (See #6 below.) However, fruits and other adjuncts can boost the antioxidant power of beer.
In our taste test, our top pick featured the antioxidant-laden superfruit, pomegranate, shown to combat cancer and lower your risk of Alzheimer’s and heart disease. In a 2006 UCLA study, for example, men who drank a glass of pomegranate juice every day reduced prostate-cancer cell growth by 12 percent. Brewers dump more than 150 gallons of pomegranate juice into every batch (equivalent to 10,000 pomegranates, or half of a fruit per bottle), giving the final product a rasp- berry-like flavor that allows the malt and hops to come through.
He’Brew Origin Pomegranate Ale
Without yeast, there would be no beer. These microscopic critters not only convert sugar to alcohol during fermentation, they are arguably the biggest contributor to the flavor profile of a beer. All beer contains yeast, but bottle-conditioned brews either have additional yeast added during bottling or at least don’t have much of the existing yeast filtered out.
“German doctors used to prescribe bottle-conditioned wheat beer to patients with vitamin deficiencies,” says Oliver. As a probiotic organism, yeast helps your body break down nutrients, regulates your digestive system, maintains your nervous system, and even helps modulate blood-sugar levels. Oliver’s Local 1 won with a balanced blend of spices and subtle malt flavors.
Best Bottle-Conditioned Beer
Brooklyn Brewery Local 1
6. Still more antioxidants
As mentioned, dark beers are king when it comes to antioxidants. Apparently, they are even better than antioxidants taken as pills.
The smooth, deep finish of a dark malt develops during the same high-temperature roasting process that fuels the formation of antioxidants. “Dark beers are loaded with them,” says Joe Vinson, Ph.D., a researcher at the University of Scranton. Vinson showed in a 2003 study that stouts, porters, and browns contain more than twice the antioxidants of lagers, on average. What’s more, “The antioxidants in beer are better at reacting with toxic free radicals than the ones in antioxidant vitamin pills.”
Best Dark Malt
Trappistes Rochefort 8
Prost! Here’s to your health.