Many in the health conscious crowd take a close look at the food they are putting in their bodies. But when it comes to beer this selectivity somehow gets switched off. We don’t think of alcohol as something healthy and we shouldn’t. Yet, those who are a fan of an occasional heady brew will be shocked to find that many popular brands on the market today contain less than appetizing ingredients. The alcohol industry is not regulated by the FDA. Look closely and you’ll notice that there are not any lists of ingredients on beer. In fact, the alcohol industry has lobbied hard over the years to avoid such labeling. They say it’s to protect their recipes. But some argue it’s because they include unhealthful ingredients that they don’t want consumers to know about. These ingredients include: high fructose corn syrup, insect-based dyes, BPA—recently shown to lower sperm counts, fish bladder, carrageenan, monosodium glutamate (MSG) which has been proven to give people headaches, propylene glycol and more.
Here are some beers known to use unhealthful ingredients. Newcastle Brown Ale which is tasty and very popular also uses caramel coloring #3 and #4, both known carcinogens. Corona is refreshing with lime. But what you can’t see in your bottle is propylene glycol a controversial compound some say is terrible for your health. If you are worried about GMOs stay away from Budweiser, Miller Light, Coors Light and Michelob Ultra. The last also comes with a sweetener that’s also been genetically modified. Pabst Blue Ribbon the hipster go-to brew has corn syrup. Sorry hipsters. Good organic alternatives include: all of the Bison, Dogfish Head, Pinkus, Fish Tale Ales and Wolaver’s varieties, Samuel Smiths Organic Ale, Brooklyn—but only when organic is available, Wychwood Scarecrow Ale and Lakefront Brewery Organic ESB. Other good choices include Sierra Nevada, Ayinger, Steam Whistle, Amstel Light, Heineken, Mill Street Brewery beers, Natureland Organic, Nelson Organic Ale, Fuller’s Organic and Duchy Original Ale Organic.