The question of beer and health
By Malin Norman
Last weekend, I went to the beach with my partner. After a couple of hours in the sun, we went for a stroll along the beach, past touristy restaurants and souvenir shops, and finally reached our goal; a nice beer bar. We both ordered a cold, crisp lager to enjoy whilst watching people passing by on the sidewalk. Aaah that first sip, it was so quenching! What is it with beer after a day on the beach? It feels like nothing else will restore your body and senses.
It reminds me of a chat with brewing scientist Charlie Bamforth on the subject of beer and health some years ago. The professor, also known as “The Pope of Foam”, is the author of numerous articles and books, including Beer: Health and Nutrition. According to his research, there is actually more nutritional value in beer than wine. For instance, beer is a source of slow-release carbohydrates, soluble fibre, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, and silicate.
If you’re curious about this topic, check out the BeerSmith podcast (episode 273: Health, Wellness and Beer with Dr Charlie Bamforth), where the professor explains why beer is in fact not empty calories and also emphasises the importance of enjoying beer in moderation, like most things in life.
Regardless of nutritional value and health benefits, for me beer is best enjoyed sensibly in the company of friends, nothing beats chatting about life’s ups and downs over a pint in a pub. Don’t underestimate pubs as social hubs – “where everybody knows your name,” as they sing in the 1980s TV show Cheers – as they can be an important antidote to social isolation.
On that note, I wish you a healthy and happy autumn. This is my last piece for Scan Magazine, after ten years as a contributor, as there are other things to explore and write about. If you want to stay in touch, find me on LinkedIn or Instagram (@malinadventures). Cheers!
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