In a new article in “Choices,” a peer reviewed publication from the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA), an association for agricultural and applied economists, Michael McCullough and Richard Volpe of California Polytechnic State University explore whether beer, like is often claimed of wine, has healthy characteristics. If you clicked hoping for a different answer than what you assumed, alas, you will be let down. But, I do think there is a very real pro-craft beer story to tell here.
In an exerpt of the article sent our way, McCullough lays it out like this (we bolded portions for emphasis):
“Most research out there on the healthfulness of beer is geared towards those that consume moderate amounts on a regular basis. Consuming large quantities in a single sitting is not healthy and can actually negate some of the healthy attributes of the beverage.”
So while this research may give you pause on the way to the pub, McCullough said pairing beer with a healthy meal is one good way to utilize the healthy qualities found in moderate beer consumption. And does it matter what kind of beer you drink?
“Many different styles of beer have different amounts of ingredients (malted barley, hops, yeast, and water), and the different health aspects of beer come in different forms from these ingredients. Craft beer, for example, probably features more fiber and B-vitamins than does macro beer.”
Does a beer a day keep the doctor away?
“That’s about right,” McCullough says. “However, it has been pointed out there are no real downsides of excessively eating apples and there certainly is with alcoholic beverages.”
So, yes, the secret is: Don’t have more than a beer a day.
Um, how does this help my brewery?
Discouraging multiple beers in a sitting isn’t the way to booming beer profits, but an article like this isn’t discouraging multiple beers in a sitting either (health was obviously never part of the decison-making behind doing so).
How to read this as pint half-full: Craft beer has an opportunity to evolve the culture in a way its macro brothers never could — that “a glass of wine a day is good for you” segment. This evolution has already started thanks to events like Paired, and the subtle movement of premiumization in alcohol buying, but as is often pointed out, despite the eye popping craft brewery numbers, there are still more wineries operating in the United States (8,702!) than craft breweries. The one glass a day category doesn’t seem to be hurting that segment.
What’s more, while nudging its way into that part of the culture wine has always occupied, craft beer will continue to grow its place in ther overall beer market. Pairing? Sipping for health? Chugging for drunkenness? Craft beer has all of the bases covered.