What is in your beer?

Food & Hospitality Managers keen to focus on a high standard of food service will often make comment  – The Freshness, The Quality, The Presentation, The taste… of their cuisine. And then comes – Would you like a drink with that?

With wine, it’s a full spectrum of choices from Cheep and Cheerful right through to the vintage and region or even grower. So then why is it with beer what goes in the glass so often gets overlooked?

Sure, with a growing Craft Beer culture there is an evolution taste discovery but the question of what goes into that Pint of Draft remains. And when looking at the World Brands and even a few craft breweries, we have started looking at that glass of beer as another food group… one where the nutrients of the beer, are just as important the plate it is sitting beside.

Next time you call for a draft from any Big Brand or even the little guy from some small town. Ask yourself? What’s in that beer I’m ordering. If you look a little closer you might be surprised at what some Brew-masters are feeding you. And if you care about your health and fitness as much as your good times…then you may just want to change brands. If you are in the trade touting a well made plate. Then the chef’s may want to consider that what the front of house is serving may very well be an insult to all the wholesome goodness that went into the dish?

English: Ball-and-stick model of monosodium gl...

English: Ball-and-stick model of monosodium glutamate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Things to look for that are legal, but probably shouldn’t be in our beer or diets:

  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) – While a natural substance MSG is still a bad Salt.
  • Propylene Glycol (an ingredient found in anti-freeze)
  • Calcium Disodium EDTA (made from formaldehyde, sodium cayanide, and Ethylenediamine)
  • Many different types of sulfites and anti-microbial preservatives (linked to allergies and asthma)
  • Natural Flavors (can come from anything natural including a beavers anal gland)
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • GMO Sugars – Dextrose, Corn Syrup
  • Caramel Coloring (Class III or IV made from ammonia and classified as a carcinogen)
  • FD&C Blue 1 (Made from petroleum, linked to allergies, asthma and hyperactivity)
  • FD&C Red 40 (Made from petroleum, linked to allergies, asthma and hyperactivity)
  • FD&C Yellow 5 (Made from petroleum, linked to allergies, asthma and hyperactivity)
  • Insect-Based Dyes: carmine derived from cochineal insects to color their beer.
  • Animal Based Clarifiers: Findings include isinglass (dried fish bladder), gelatin (from skin, connective tissue, and bones), and casein (found in milk)
  • Foam Control: Used for head retention; (glyceryl monostearate and pepsin are both potentially derived from animals)
  • BPA (Bisphenol A is a component in many can liners and it may leach into the beer. BPA can mimic the female hormone estrogen and may affect sperm count, and other organ functions.)
  • Carrageenan (linked to inflammation in digestive system, IBS and considered a carcinogen in some circumstances)

A list of something to avoid no doubt.

Yea – We think the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516 is a good place to start – another way is to support local craft and get yourself an honest brew, something natural, something fresh.

What got us on this rant?

Well, if you’re gonna serve good food you may as well choose a beer to match the plate…in doing that,it doesn’t hurt to consider what we put in our body’s even if it’s a drink.