I’m not quite sure why people keep trying to “improve” beer by adding vitamins to it, trying to make it akin to the sort of health drinks one might find at a health food store. Beer is plenty healthy already and it certainly feels like brewers have pretty much perfected how to make it by now. If there’s a more perfected beverage, I can’t imagine what it might be.
It’s fairly well settled that when you drink, you lose B vitamins. Alcohol robs your body of those vitamin compounds. My personal regime after a night of drinking is to take a B complex vitamin pill along with two or three Advils before retiring (which has been nearly a perfect preemptive remedy for me).
A Philippine inventor, Virgilio “Billy” L. Malang, has come with yet another beer that adds vitamin B back into the beer. He recently presented his beer at the First International Inventors Day Convention held February 2 in Thailand. Malang’s beer also nabbed a gold medal at the Genius-Europe competition in 2004 out of 1,000 inventions submitted by 540 would-be inventors from forty-six different nations.
Malang apparently began homebrewing while living in the U.S. in the 1980s. He uses organic rice syrup as his wort, using no grains at all, which he believes gives his beer a distinctive taste. There’s also one more secret ingredient, which still has a patent pending, that he uses as a substitute for hops. This substitute he says is “sourced locally” so that suggests a plant that grows in the Philippines. At this point, it’s sounding less and less like an actual beer, since it uses only half the traditional ingredients: yeast and water.
Other related inventions by Malang include “a ‘tagay cup’ good for three drinkers—with three handles and three cup lips assigned to each member of a drinking trio, and an anti-hangover capsule derived from ‘activated’ coco shell charcoal.” For more on Malang and his inventions, there’s a story in the Philippine Inquirer.
I guess what I don’t quite understand is how simply adding vitamins to a beer at some point during the brewing process guarantees that it can be absorbed by the body when you drink the finished product. I mean, it my still be in there, but how do we know that the body can take it from the solution and add it to the body’s total amount, thus replenishing whatever B vitamins have been lost in the same process. Otherwise, it really doesn’t do much good, does it? And it seems like an awful lot of effort when simply keeping a bottle of vitamin pills on the nightstand would do the same job.