Benefits of Beer

Did you know that beer actually has bigger benefits than wine? The Medicine Hunter tells us why

If you’re got party plans this weekend, don’t be afraid to knock back a cold one. Beer has several surprising health benefits.

Despite beer’s bad reputation, it actually has a number of natural antioxidants and vitamins that can help prevent heart disease and even rebuild muscle. It also has one of the highest energy contents of any food or drink. Of course, this means you need to set limits – one beer gets you going, four makes you fat.

If you’re worried about dehydration, keep in mind that beer is 93 percent water. Also, according to a Spanish study, beer may actually provide better hydration than H2O alone when you’re sweating it out under the sun.

So with all of this in mind, which kind of beer should you reach for? Calorie-wise, you may be tempted to grab a light lager, but for health benefits, a dark beer is the better choice.

Dark beers tend to have the most antioxidants, which help reverse cellular damage that occurs naturally in the body. A recent study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture has also found that dark beer has higher iron content compared to lighter beers.

Remember, iron is an essential mineral that our bodies need. Iron is a part of all cells and does many jobs including carrying oxygen from our lungs throughout the rest of our bodies.

Another good choice is microbrews, which are healthier than mass-produced cans, because they have more hops. Hops contain polyphenols, which help lower cholesterol, fight cancer and kill viruses.

Just remember the golden rule: Everything in moderation. You don’t want to embarrass yourself in front of your friends by drinking too much, and you certainly don’t want to put yourself at risk for any long-term health effects like liver problems, kidney diseases and heart disease.

Study Finds New Health Benefit to Drinking Dark Beer

Most of us reach for a pale, light beer at happy hour when watching our calories. But new research shows a nutritional benefit to opting for a heavier, darker beer: iron. The study, which was published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, examined 40 types of beer from around the world and found that, on average, dark beers have free iron content of 121 parts per billion (ppb) compared to 92 ppb in pale beers and 63 ppb in non-alcoholic beers.

Iron is an essential mineral that is need to make a part of blood cells. Iron helps carry oxygen from the lungs to the muscles and other organs, so when your iron intake is low, oxygen circulates more slowly, which can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and irritable.

While iron is found in meat, beans, grains and some veggies, it’s estimated that only 65 to 70 percent of all Americans meet their daily recommended intake. Because of menstruation, women are particularly prone to low iron. While getting all of your iron from dark beer isn’t a good idea (drink responsibly!), this new research can definitely make you feel a little healthier about enjoying that darker brew the next time you’re out.

  • By Jennipher Walters

I love beer.

And not in that hipster-i only drink craft beer-fedora wearin-‘brooklyn is so rad’-and i liked everything before it was cool kinda way. A nice tall glass of that delicious malty goodness accompanied by a delicious plate full o’pizza and I’m one happy girl. I swear I’m healthy but in the words of Selena Gomez “the heart wants what it wa-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-ants.”

Beer gets a bad rep: from the freshman 15, to the beer goggles, to the beer belly people get when the beer-to-exercise ratio is a little skewed.

But thanks to my intense research, aka my google search bar, beer enthusiasts can rejoice! Proof that beer is awesome!

1. Anti-Cancer Properties: Just like beer’s sophisticated cousin, il vino rosso, beer has been proven effective in fighting cancer. There is a flavonoid compound called Xanthohumol (don’t worry I can’t pronounce it either) that’s found in the hops commonly used in brewing beer. According to Bio-medicine, it is also a good source of polyphenols, due to the grains used for fermentation. Those also aid in the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular diseases emerging.

2. Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases: Beer contains vitamin B6 (as well as B1, B2, and B12), which prevents the build-up of homocysteine, fighting the development of heart disease. It has a thinning effect on the blood and prevents the formation of clots, which cause blocks in the coronary arteries.

3. Later Dandruff: It’s also one of the best natural ways to fight dandruff! Thanks to it’s high levels of yeast and vitamin B. Pour a little in your hair a couple times a week for some soft and shiny hair and if you have dandruff kiss it goodbye. Shower beers just got way better.

4. Reduces the risk of inflammation: Hops contain these badass chemicals called bitter acids and according to a 2009 laboratory study published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, they’re super duper powerful at fighting inflammation.

5. Increased Bone Density: Silicon, not silicone, is uber important in building and maintaining healthy bones thereby preventing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis. Got Beer?

**If you’re a fan of IPA’s or malted barley deliciousness they’re chock full of silicon. Wheat based not so much.

6. Prevention of Anemia: Beer enhances the body’s absorption of iron and is a good source of vitamin B12 and folic acid, a deficiency of which may lead to anemia.

7. Anti-Aging: Beer increases the impact of vitamin E, which is a major antioxidant in the body. It is a vital part of the maintenance of healthy skin, while also fighting the aging process.

8. Prevents Kidney stones: Beer has a high water content which helps flush toxins from the body and keeps the kidneys working properly. A study done in Finland established that daily consumption of beer can reduce the risk of developing kidney stones by 40%.

All of these fabulous facts are based on moderate consumption of beer, 1-2 bottles a day. Pretty sure that chugging 8 beers a day will produce slightly different results 😉

Cheers,
Ana 🙂

Is Guinness beer a good source of iron?

ON THIS PAGE

  • How much iron is in Guinness beer?
  • Is this a significant amount?

The original myth goes something like this: “Irish women should drink Guinness beer during pregnancy because it is a good source or iron”. Note: there is an increased requirement for iron during pregnancy. (see recommendations for iron..)

In the first place, since even the experts cannot establish a minimum safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy, drinking alcohol should be avoided while you are expecting. (1)

Even if we assume that pregnant women can have one or two alcoholic drinks, how much iron would Guinness beer provide?

How much iron is in Guinness beer?

In the search for answers on the iron contents in Guinness beer, it became clear that another myth was created. Answering the question “Is Guinness beer a good source of iron?” I found many claims stating that a pint of Guinness contains 0.3mg of iron. However, none of the claims has a reference to where this number comes from.

The original myth, that Guinness beer is a good source of iron, is neither claimed by Diageo (the company that produces the Guinness beer) nor shown by any official nutritional information database, such as the USDA. There is also a complete lack of results from independent laboratories.

In fact the contents of iron in Guinness beer are not only low but even lower than the it is claimed (0.3mg per pint) by most of the sites related to this subject.

The only credible information available compares the amount of trace elements in various beers and shows that the iron contents of the Guinness beer is only 0.1mg per liter (2) (which is even below the average of all beers, 0.2mg per liter). (3)

This amount confirmed the information provided to me by the consumer information at Diageo. The email response was: “The iron content of Guinness is just .011mg per 100ml. In the past, iron brewing vessels and pipe-work added quite a bit but these are no longer used.”

Is this a significant amount?

Some calculations to put this matter into perspective:

  • A “standard alcoholic drink” has 10g of alcohol which is equivalent to a 285ml glass of beer. (4)
  • 1 liter of Guinness beer contains 0.1mg of iron.
  • 285ml of Guinness beer therefore contains about 0.03mg of iron. (285ml * 0.1mg of iron/1,000ml)
  • Assuming that one drinks 1 standard alcoholic drink with 285ml of Guinness, the amount of iron ingested from that beer will be 0.03mg.
  • The recommended dietary intake of iron is 8mg/day for men, 18mg/day for women and 27mg/day for pregnant women.
  • 0.03mg of iron represents: 0.38% of RDI of men, 0.17% of RDI for women and 0.11% for RDI for pregnant women.
  • A good source of iron is considered to be between 10% and 20% of RDI. This means that, to be a good source of iron, a man would have to consume at least 27 glasses, a woman 60 and a pregnant woman 90 glasses of Guinness beer. Examples of excellent sources of iron are clams (24mg/3oz), beef liver (5.5mg/3oz), pumpkin seeds (4.2mg/1oz) or cooked lentils (3.3mg/half a cup). For a full list of significant dietary iron sources .

Considering all of the above, Guinness beer is an insignificant source of iron.

NUTRITION FACTS VS NUTRITION MYTHS

You will find a summary of the most common nutrition myths and evidence-based nutrition facts here.

So we know that a glass of red wine a day is healthy for us, but now scientists have found that dark beer is topping the charts in nutritional value over its counterparts.

Research out of the University of Valladolid, Spain, published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture looked at 40 different brands of beer from all five continents to determine which had the highest iron content. It turns out that dark beers like Guinness are much more nutrient-rich than light, paler beers of non-alcoholic beers.

Of the 40 beers studied, dark beers show an average free iron content of 121 ppb (parts per billion) with pale beers coming in second with 92 ppb and non-alcoholic dragging in third place with only 63 ppb.

“Although these quantities are very small, the differences are apparent and could be due to the production processes or raw materials used in manufacturing,” stated Carlos Blanco, professor of Food Technology at UVa and co-author of the study.

Malt and hops are the two main ingredients of any good beer and it is these two mainstays that are responsible for the high iron content. But if most beers contain malt and hops, then why aren’t pale beers rich in iron also? It is due to the difference in the production process. Pale beers are sent through a filtering process where diatomaceous earth is used as a porous material together with micro-algae to lighten the beer and in the process catches the iron in its filter, reducing the level of concentration.

In the case of non-alcoholic beer, the production process uses vacuum evaporation to remove the alcohol and iron ions along with it.

Beers involved in the study include:

  • 17 Spanish beer brands
  • 23 from other countries
  • 28 pale beers
  • 6 dark beers
  • 6 non-alcoholic beers

The beers with the highest iron content were a dark Spanish beer (165 ppb) and a dark Mexican beer (130 ppb). Those that had the lowest levels of iron were from The Netherlands and Ireland (41 ppb and 47 ppb, respectively).

Why would scientists go to all this trouble just to determine the level of iron contained in beer? To determine the safety of commercial beers in relation to their metal content. Metals can affect the brewing process and help to refine the final taste and organoleptic characteristics such as taste, stability and quality.

The method used to determine the concentrations of iron are very complex and involves a differential pulse adsorptive stripping voltammetry technique that is “ultra sensitive, selective, rapid, reliable and cost-effective.”

So the next time you’re out with friends on the patio, consider drinking dark beer over the lighter, pale ales and Pilsners. You’ll feel stronger for it!

Source:

Plataforma SINC. “Dark beer has more iron than pale beer or non-alcoholic beer.” ScienceDaily, 11 Aug. 2011. Web. 12 Aug. 2011.

Iron (chemical symbol Fe) occurs naturally in brewing and cleaning water as salts or ions, including Fe2+ and Fe3+ cations. Iron, however, is usually kept at concentrations of no more than 1 mg/l because at higher concentrations it would have a detrimental effect on the finished beer’s taste and color. To keep the iron content in check, brewers often aerate and filter their water before using it. In addition to brewing water, diatomaceous earth preparations used in beer filtration, as well as hot water from fobber jets between the filler and the capper at the bottling line, are also potential sources of iron in beer.

In most finished beers, iron is no more than just a trace element of perhaps 0.1 mg/l. Otherwise, tannins—derived from grain husks and hops—could form chemical linkages with iron ions, which would add slightly metallic or ink-like off-flavors and a brown tinge to the beer. Even these low levels of iron can be damaging to the stability of beer because they potentiate the production of reactive oxygen species that can cause the staling of beer and the oxidation of polyphenols that leads to haze development.

Iron, however, has one positive effect. It promotes beer foam by enhancing the bridge-building capacity, elasticity, and stability of polypeptide chains on the surface of the carbonation bubbles that form the head. In countries where food safety regulations permit, therefore, ferrous salts are sometimes added to beer as foam stabilizers at a dosage of up to 0.6 g/hl, but always in conjunction with reducing compounds that keep the foam from turning a rather unattractive rust brown.

Excessive amounts of ferrous salts in beer are extremely undesirable because ferrous precipitates may serve as nucleation points for large carbon dioxide bubbles inside the bottle, causing gushing problems. See also gushing.

News & Articles

5 Health Benefits of Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day

March 14, 2017 in News, Article, Seasonal,
Posted by Virginia Spine Institute
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It’s not often {read: never} we talk about alcohol at Virginia Spine Institute, but we had to make an exception for St. Patrick’s Day! Remember the 1920’s Guinness Beer ad that touted “Guinness is Good For You”? It turns out that slogan might have some merit behind it, and as healthcare providers it’s our obligation to provide information that will benefit your body.

5 Health Benefits of Guinness Beer
1. Heart Healthy

Guinness contains “antioxidant compounds” similar to those found in fruits and vegetables that slow down the deposit of cholesterol on artery walls. This can help reduce blood clots and ultimately the risk of heart attacks.

2. High Iron Content

Guinness has 0.3 milligrams of iron per beer, which is about 3% of an adult’s daily recommendation iron intake. That may not seem like a lot but given that most adults fail to reach the recommended 19 mg/day every little bit helps! Iron is an important component of hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to transport it through your body. Guinness was actually once given to post-operative patients and pregnant women for this reason!

3. Better Bones

Guinness may promote bone density given the plant hormone phytoestrogen that is found in the beer. This hormone may be the key to building dense bones! In a study of 1,700 women, those that were considered moderate beer drinkers had the highest bone density.

4. Better Memory

Findings from a new study indicate that mild to moderate alcohol consumption may actually protect against cognitive disorders that come with growing older, like dementia. In a study of 1,200 elderly adults with a variety of age-related mental disorders, those that were mild and moderate drinkers fared the best amongst the group.

Bonus: it was also found that light to moderate consumption lead to less rates of depression and may also help prevent physical disabilities among elderly adults.

5. Weight Management

Research shows that moderate alcohol consumption may have positive results for the waistline. In a study of over 19,000 women over the course of 13 years, the women that drank one or two alcoholic beverages a day were 30% less likely to become obese.

Please note: there’s a common theme among this information – drink MODERATELY. Be responsible and have a great St. Patrick’s Day!

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Debunking the Myths Surrounding Dark Beer

February 2, 2012

I get a kick out of messing with unsuspecting folk at trade shows and beer festivals. When they ask me for a taste of my lightest beer, I always pour them my stout. And when they look at me like I’m crazy, I laugh and explain that, although dark in color, the stout is lowest in alcohol, lowest in calories and lightest in body. Often times, this gets them to at least taste it. And more often than not, I watch people have an epiphany: “I usually don’t like dark beer, but this one is good.”

Oh poor dark beer, always being judged by the color of its malt. Unfortunately, most people have the misconception that the color of beer is directly related to its weight. In the mind of most consumers, dark beers are rich, heavy and full of calories. And conversely, they think that the paler in color a beer is, the lighter it is in body, alcohol and calories. Although both are not entirely wrong assumptions, I have made it my mission to debunk the myths surrounding dark beers.

(READ: These 7 Dark Lagers are Easy on the Palate)

The color of beer is directly related to its malt content. The fermentable sugar in the majority of craft beer comes from malted barley that has been germinated and kilned. Additional color and malt flavor come from the roasting process. Let’s break it down:

The Malt Spectrum of Colors and Flavors

  • Light roasted malts yield straw and golden colors and biscuit flavors.
  • Medium roast yields amber and copper colors and caramel and nut flavors.
  • Darker roast yields brown and light black colors and chocolate and coffee flavors.
  • Heaviest roasts yield black color and burnt flavors.

Beer’s Malt Composition

Most craft beers, with wheat beers being the exception, are made up of 75-100 percent base malts, the palest malts on the spectrum. Speciality malts make up the next largest amount at 5-15 percent and black and dark malts typically only make up 1-5 percent of the overall recipe — which means it only takes a small percentage of dark malt to create a darker colored beer. Think of it in terms of food dye; although food dye does not dilute or make up a noticeable percentage of a cupcake recipe, a few small drops go a long way.

Don’t let color deceive you. There are plenty of full-bodied pale beers with high sugar content, just as there are light-bodied dark beers with lower sugar content. The answer is in the ABV (alcohol by volume).

(VISIT: Find a U.S. Brewery)

Although lab tests could give you more accurate results, all you really need to know is that sugar content and calories in beer directly correlates to its alcohol content. It takes more sugar, in this case maltose, to make more alcohol. Therefore, in the most basic of conclusions possible, the higher the alcohol a beer has, the more maltose used, and the more calories in the end product. (Like I said, this is just basic science).

An Ounces to Ounces Comparison

To drive the point home, let’s look at a few examples. Victory Brewing Co.’s Golden Monkey, although extremely pale in color and highly carbonated, is a Belgian-style tripel with a whopping 9.5 percent ABV. Estimated guess: 12-oz. of this beer = over 300 calories.

On the other hand, take Samuel Adams’ Black Lager, a light-bodied beer with a mere 4.9 percent ABV. Estimated guess: 12-oz. of this beer = under 200 calories. In comparison, a 6-oz. glass of generic red wine contains about 150 calories (ounces to ounces that’s 300 calories).

In addition to knowing alcohol’s relation to calories, understanding styles can be beneficial to those seeking lighter-style dark beers. The “lightest of the darkest” styles are black lagers (or schwarzbiers), porters and dry stouts.

(TRAVEL: Plan Your Next Beercation)

Black Lagers

Black Lagers range from 4.2-6 percent ABV. They are smooth, moderately crisp, light in body, and highly carbonated with little to no malt aroma or roasted flavors. Excellent examples:

  • Schwartzbier | Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery | Farmville, NC
  • Black Bavarian | Sprecher Brewing Co. | Milwaukee, WI
  • Session Black Lager | Full Sail Brewing | Hood River, OR
  • Black Lager | Samuel Adams | Boston
  • Baba Black Lager | Uinta Brewing | Salt Lake City

Porters and Stouts

Primarily differentiated by the use of roasted barley and/or roasted malt, porters and stouts share a lot, from history to flavor. Both range from about 4-5 percent ABV (5.5 percent for porters). Both are moderate in body and carbonation, with mild coffee, chocolate, toffee and roasted malt aromas and flavors. Great examples include:

  • Black Butte Porter | Deschutes Brewery | Bend, OR
  • O.V.L. Stout | Russian River Brewing Co. | Santa Rosa, CA
  • Dragoons Irish Dry Stout | Moylan’s Brewery | Novato, CA
  • Ninja Porter | Asheville Brewing Company | Asheville, NC
  • Koko Buni | Creature Comforts Brewing Co. | Athens, GA

When introducing people to the darker side of light beers, I typically ask them two questions: Do you like chocolate? Do you like coffee? If so, they are a perfect candidate for any of the aforementioned beers.

The next time someone asks you to recommend a decent light beer that won’t sabotage their waistline, try taking them to the dark side of light. You may become their greatest beer hero.

About the Author:

Ashley RoutsonAuthor Website

Ashley Routson, known amongst the craft beer community as The Beer Wench, is a self-proclaimed craft beer evangelist and social media maven on a mission to advance the craft beer industry through education, inspiration and advocacy. She is the author of The Beer Wench’s Guide to Beer: An Unpretentious Guide to Craft Beer.

Read more by this author

CraftBeer.com is fully dedicated to small and independent U.S. breweries. We are published by the Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s small and independent craft brewers. Stories and opinions shared on CraftBeer.com do not imply endorsement by or positions taken by the Brewers Association or its members.

The Sundial

The battle between light and dark beer

James Fike
March 2, 2015

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Beer, a beverage that could be traced as far back as Mesopotamia. It’s an intricate and complex beverage that has many varieties. If I had to break beer into two major groups, it would be dark beer and light beer.

Light beers are classified by many factors, but two of the qualities that are referred to most are the alcohol content and calories. A light beer has less alcohol per volume and calories than a dark beer.

Two other qualities you should look for to distinguish between the two groups of beer are the flavor and color of the beer. With a light beer, the color and flavor is lighter. Also, light beers are usually more refreshing and less filling.

When it comes to dark beer, it has a much fuller flavor. There’s also a higher alcohol content and more calories as well. Dark beers are much more filling than its lighter counterpart. The aroma of the beer will also tell you a lot about it. Light beers have more of a crisp, light smell, while dark beers are more pungent.

Different people like different things. The same applies to beer. Not everyone could enjoy a nice smoked porter, or a double black rye IPA. For people who prefer a strong brew, a light lager would never cut it.

Light beer drinkers are a rather large group while, in my opinion, the community of dark beer drinkers is small in comparison. The reason for this is the drinkability of beers. Light beers are very easy to drink and can be quite thirst-quenching, while dark beers are heavy and leave a strong, lingering aftertaste.

The people who drink dark beer are usually the beer enthusiasts. The reason for this is because dark beers are much more complex and a lot more ingredients go into them. Dark beers are meant to be sipped and savored.

Light beer drinkers usually drink while doing other things, so they don’t want to have to focus on their beer. They just want to drink it. Light beers are there so you can have a good time. They aren’t really meant to be dissected.

Like I said before, light beers pair well with activities. The best time of year for light beers would be in the summer. If you hadn’t noticed, most of the seasonal beers that come out in the summer are very light in flavor and alcohol. Heavy beers and hot weather do not go well together at all. So, the best times to drink light beers would be parties, outdoor events, social gatherings and during warmer weather.

Dark beer fills and warms you up, so they’re best during the colder seasons of the year. After a meal, it is often a good time to drink a dark beer, especially if you’re having dessert.

I’m not telling you what beer to drink. These are simply suggestions. If I’m being completely honest, I would drink dark beer year-round, and at every occasion. It really comes down to a matter of taste.

For people who are interested in trying some great light and dark beers, I have some recommendations. My suggestions for some good light beers are Samuel Adams Light, Heineken, Corona, Sierra Nevada’s Summerfest, and Oskar Blues’ Mama’s Lil Yella Pills.

My suggestions for dark beers are Guinness, Modelo Negra, North Coast’s Old Rasputin, Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, and Stone’s Ruination IPA.

The Top 4 Myths of Dark versus Light Beer

In the beer world, there are a couple of myths that are circulated so frequently that you may have begun believing them. They have become a part of beer marketing even. But they are not founded in fact, just appearances, so it’ll be easy to disprove them here. Once you understand the “beer science” behind them, you will be able to educate others. Then I won’t have to groan when I hear slanderous things about the dark-colored beers I love so dearly. To start from the beginning, don’t forget, beer is made up of 4 components:

What you taste, smell, and see in a beer is created by those four elements (unless of course someone has used adjuncts, fruit, spices, etc. in their recipe). Now, let’s get to the myths:

  1. Light-colored beers are lower in alcohol

Point A: Color is directly related to malt content. Point B: Yeast metabolizes sugars that it extracts from your malt content, which produces alcohol (and Co2). So, whether your beer calls for a dark malt or a very pale one, the yeast will metabolize sugar and produce alcohol. The color has no bearing on that process. Most large commercial “light” or “session” (as in low ABV) beers do tend to be light in color as well, but this is not the rule of all lower ABV beers. Think about it – there are MANY nearly black porters and stouts that are only 4-5% ABV.

  1. Light-colored beers are lower in calories

Point A: The calories in beer come from 1) the alcohol content (the higher the alcohol by volume, the higher the calories) and 2) the residual carbohydrates. Point B: The color of your malt does not affect your alcohol content (as explained with myth 1) and the color alone does not account for residual carbohydrates in the finished beer. Black lagers (schwarzbiers), porters, and drier stouts do not actually have remarkably high calories in comparison to pale beers.

  1. Light-colored beers are lighter in body

Body is a bit more complex. The body of a beer can be attributed to the yeast strain, the use of unfermentable sugars or proteins, adjuncts etc. While some dark and roasted malts can have a high proportion of unfermentable sugars, body and color are not directly related. In fact, this myth shocks me most of all because I personally have had many a paler beer with serious body to it.

  1. Ales are darker than lagers

Point A: The distinctions “ale” and “lager” have to do with one thing alone – the yeast. When the yeast stays at the top and ferments at higher temperatures, it creates an ale. When the yeast doesn’t float at the top and ferments at a lower temperature, it creates a lager. Point B: Yeast is not malt, and therefore has nothing to do with the beer’s color. Once again, commercial examples dominate, and so when folks see the word “lager” they immediately picture that pale, glowing, golden brew in their mind and assume lagers are the fairest of the beers. Think of those amber-colored Oktoberfest lagers we all enjoy in the fall, or dunkels, or schwarzbier, or bocks! Those are all lagers and they aren’t pale at all. On the other side of the spectrum, ales can certainly be dark (stouts & porters) or light (pale ale, anyone?).

Can You Order Beer Online?

Whether it’s turkey or beer, some like it light and some like it dark. The debate over dark beer vs. light beer can get rather intense. Beyond color, few people know what is the difference between light and dark beer and why each have their distinctive aromas and flavors.

Grains Differ Between Light and Dark Beer

The difference between light beer and dark beer boils down to the grain that is used in the brewing process. The majority of beers are made with barley, wheat or oats. These grains can be roasted to varying degrees. The more they are roasted, the darker the grain becomes. The darker the grain, the darker the beer.

The Roasting Process

Naturally, the roasting process has a considerable impact on the flavor of the beer. The more the grain is roasted, the more complex and rich the brew becomes. In particular, roasting tends to bring out stronger flavor notes, including chocolate and toffee. Darker beers also tend to have a higher alcohol content than light beers.

Flavor Profiles and Food Pairings

The rich flavor of dark beers can overpower light foods so it is best to drink them by themselves or with foods such as smoked or grilled meat.

On the other side of the glass are light beers, whose grains are only lightly roasted. This gives the finished brew a smoother, subtle and gentler flavor. Depending on the grain, the flavor of the grain is often overpowered by the flavors emitted by the hops.

In lighter beers, it’s the hops that are used in the best Texas craft beers that determine whether the brew will have floral, fruity or bitter notes. The light flavor of the beer makes it easier to pair light beers with a wide variety of foods, including fish, chicken, pork and beef dishes.

So, which is better? The dark beer or light beer from the breweries in Fort Worth and elsewhere? It really boils down to your individual tastes.

Light beers have less alcohol, fewer calories and fewer carbohydrates. They are great for parties and outdoor events. Dark beers have richer flavors and plenty of body to wrap your tongue around and are perfect for cool evenings and a hearty meal of stew or steak.

Taps & Caps

Taps and Caps has a vast selection of light and dark beers on tap for you to experience. If you love craft beer in Fort Worth, you are going to fall head over heels for the selection of the best Texas craft beers we offer from breweries in Fort Worth and throughout the country.

We invite you to stop by, pull up a seat, pour a pint, and let our bartenders walk you through the many fascinating differences between light and dark beer.

Iron content in beer

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