At the annual meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists, one of my professors from UC Davis, Charles Bamforth — the Anheuser-Busch endowed Professor of Brewing Science — said “Beer, if you looked at it holistically, is healthier than wine. But it is not perceived that way.” Citing soluble fiber, vitamin B12, folic acid, niacin and antioxidants such as polyphenols and ferulic acid — not to mention recent findings about positive aspects of hops — there are many ways in which beer is a very healthy beverage. In addition, the active ingredient in alcohol, regardless of what drink, helps counter blockage of the arteries.
Sadly, very few people either realize this and many simply refuse to believe it, more than likely due more to social politics than reality. Of course the mainstream media’s bias against beer doesn’t help, either. In a recent poll, most people incorrecly identified beer as containing sugar, fat and preservatives. Bamforth further remarked that many in the medical establishment are the ones perpetuating myths and circulating misinformation about beer. He told the audience. “I have a friend who is a doctor who says, ‘don’t drink beer because it has fat’. There’s no fat in it at all.” Bamforth also believes the beer industry has not championed the positive health benefits of beer in order to avoid the perception of encouraging drinking, and especially underage drinking.
Bamforth is also the author of the book Beer: Health and Nutrition
Charles M. Bamforth, Professor of Brewing at the University of California at Davis