Being a self-professed beer enthusiast, I know, beer gets a bad rap. Believe it or not beer does have a lot of things going on for it, nutritionally. Unlike red wine, beer doesn’t really get a lot of attention for its health benefits. We all know that a 6-pack a day can kill that waistline not to mention how harsh it is on your liver. Beer is one of the very few plant sources of vitamin B12 which is generally only found in vitamins or animal resources. The B12 comes from bacteria growth in the barley grain. Beer is also a source of plant-based phytonutrients (courtesy the barley and hops) but that doesn’t mean you can swoop out your salad for a cold brew. With all this good news to my other beer enthusiast –so the big question is, which varieties pack the biggest nutritional punch?
A Chicago couple combined their love for Belgian Lambics and Kombucha tea to create this tart, funky, lemony brew with a dry finish. It has 3.5 % alcohol by volume Does it have all the wonderful vitamins B and c and helps with digestion and help circulate the blood like traditional kombucha tea offers?
Abita Purple haze-
This beer is a raspberry-infused wheat beer. Purple Haze is brewed with fresh raspberry puree (providing nutrients and vitamins), added after filtration for a distinctive taste and aroma. With only 128 calories and 11 carbs Hendrix might be proud.
Hop beers are usually 50 times stronger than your average beer. While more hops means more alcohol content, calories and carbs, it also means a higher content of polyphenols, an antioxidant that lowers cholesterol and fights cancer. @ 175 calories per serving.
Peak Organic-Winter Session Ale
Many of us are trying to eat organic. Many breweries in America have started using ingredients from certified organic farms. That means the barley, wheat and hops are all fertilizer-, pesticide- and herbicide-free. This Maine-based beer @ 150 calories per serving is most likely found in Whole Food markets or high-end beer distributors.
Japanese Green Tea IPA
This East Asian influenced beer made by the Stone Brewing Co., Ishii Brewing Co. and Baird Brewing Co. It is brewed with fresh green tea, the limited edition beer is rich with the antioxidants found in every health nut’s favorite tea leaf. Although it’s healthy it still has a whopping 276 calories per serving.
Magic Hat #9 Not Quite Pale Ale
This sweet brewed beer is made with real apricots. Apricots are rich in iron that can help regulate cell growth and strengthen your immune system and apricots are also full of potassium which can help lower blood pressure with only 153 calories per serving and a alcohol content of 5.1%.
O’ Fallon Hemp Hop Rye
O’Fallon Hemp Hop Rye is an American amber (red ale) that gets nutty flavor from being brewed with toasted hemp seeds. Wonder where the brewery gets the hemp seeds from? Canada – with quite a bit of supervision from the feds. Hemp seeds are said to be heart-healthy and they can help lower blood pressure. They are also a great source of vitamin E, which can boost immune function. Located just north of St. Louis, the O’Fallon brewery produces small hand-crafted batches of beer and their motto is something we’ve all said before: “We Love Beer.” CALORIES: 165. ALCOHOL CONTENT: 5.5%
Porterhouse Oyster Stout
Oysters and beer? Ireland’s Porterhouse Brewing Co. still brews the classic stout beer with fresh oysters. Clearly not a beer for vegans or vegetarians, this is a beer for folks who want to reap the benefits of oysters without the fishy taste. Oysters are full of vitamin B12, iron and zinc. Try this classic and interesting-tasting beer when you are looking for something new. CALORIES: 156. ALCOHOL CONTENT: 5.2%.
Ever heard of yuzu? It’s a Far East citrus fruit that is known for its lovely fragrance and sweet taste. iKi Yuzu is a spiced beer brewed with green tea leaves, which give it a unique taste and high content of antioxidants. Antioxidants in green tea have been know to help prevent cancer, treat the common cold and even help with weight loss. The folks at iKi Beer describe it as a light beer with a savory flavor that leaves you wanting more. CALORIES: 135. ALCOHOL CONTENT: 4.5%.
New Planet 3R Raspberry Ale
This sweet ale is certified gluten-free and full of antioxidants, because it’s made with real fruit. This well-balanced ale is made from fermented sorghum, fermented corn, natural raspberry puree, orange peel, hops and yeast. When founder of New Planet Pedro Gonzalez discovered he had celiac disease, he made it his mission to find a way to still enjoy craft beer. And New Planet was born. The Colorado-based company also donates a portion of sales to a non-profit that encourages recycling. CALORIES: 160. ALCOHOL CONTENT: 5%.
Left Hand Good Juju-
This beer is actually a “ginger ale” and is made with fresh ginger, which aids in digestion and we know ginger has anti-inflammatory properties. 131 per serving, with 4.5 percent alcohol.