By James Madeiros
We know it’s more expensive and almost always tastes better than factory-made swill, but is craft beer actually healthier than the assembly line offerings of the big-box breweries?
It depends on how you define “healthy.”
Beer in any form is a drink made up of little more than calories. There are no vitamins or nutrients to speak of, no electrolytes, no antioxidants and no proteins. To add them would be to compromise the flavor and inflate the price, which is why we haven’t seen the introduction of Vita-Beer – yet.
Even so, it could be argued that craft beer is “better” for you by using better ingredients, although this does not fall within the requirements of the Brewers Association for a craft beer brewery. So, while some craft beers may use more wholesome ingredients, it is not a defining factor of craft beer.
Some may argue that avoiding the use of fillers and maintaining a smaller facility results in a purer product, which is probably true; however, these measures will not necessarily result in a healthier beer because the fillers (usually corn or rice) and the brewing process of macro breweries are not harmful.
If environmental stewardship factors into your estimation of what is healthy, then this is where many craft beers make a difference. Several craft breweries like Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Bell’s Brewery and Great Lakes Brewing Company are doing incredible things to support a healthy environment.
The kind of person who really appreciates craft beer may see some kind of all-is-one, one-is-all healthy connection in this point of view, and some may call it cheating. Either way, there is little evidence craft beer is actually part of a healthy diet, aside from the residual healthy benefits of being happy when you drink it.
Of course, I should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. Because everyone is different, you should work with your medical professional to determine what’s best for you. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).