A Good Beer Blog

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Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


Comments

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Alan -

Darnit. I hate when someone else breaks the story I was going to post this evening.<p>I think the comparison is between 500ml of beer and the 100 ml of spirits and 400 ml of mix. In that one, beer is lower cal. Do people drink as many of the spirit/mix as opposed to the beers? Not since a undergrad dance perhaps.<p>But, as you say Michael, six pints on a Friday is not unknown. This is a cry from we three each for excellent lower alcohol session beers like the wonderful 3.3% dark mild I had at C'est What a few weeks ago. Ordinary bitters can be there too but are seldom made at all let alone made well. Those are the ales to have six pints of. Even a ESB or IPA at 4.5% or 5.5% is conceivable, although that would leave me somewhat bagged, but of 8 to 10 % Belgian strong ale or West Coast USA double IPA it would be insane.<p>PS - I thought a cheery seven guinness faces an apt illustration.

blork -

Alan, the illustration is great. Sorry to have scooped you! ;-)

The comparisons are largely bogus, but they are useful for moderate drinkers. If I knock back a couple of bottles of Smithwick's or St. Ambroise PA on a Tuesday night it's in the range of 380 calories, which is far less than I would have thought. It does add up, however!

Alan -

But compare to bread. Would you eat half a loaf a day. I think that is more like a six pack comparator in terms of carb's and cal's.

elaine -

Hi,
I drink wine , This is how I think it is less calories. I think. I fill half a glass with water a few ice cubes then top it of with white wine. What do you think am I wrong
Thank you

elaine -

Correction on e- mail wine with water & ice & wine

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Andrew the Beer Chemist -

Beer is not fattening!!! 2/3 of the calories in beer on average are attributed to the ethanol that is in beer as a result of carbohydrate fermentation. When ethanol is consumed it is processed by the human body to produce an intermediate compound called acetalehyde which is what will eventually make you drunk. Once this compound enters your liver it is further processed into acetic acid which is discharged from the body in your urine. The other 1/3 of calories are a result of proteins and complex carbohydrates that cannot be consumed by brewing yeast. The ethanol does not end up as a precurser chemical of "fattening" the body. The problem with the myth of beer, spirits or wine being fattening lies in the definition of a calorie. A calorie is the amount of energy required to heat one gram of water one celcius degree. Basically, the test is determined by actually burning food to determine how much heat it will generate. That is why fats are high calorie because they burn more easily. I have worked for a major brewing company for the past twenty years as a chemist and a research consultant to indicate my qualifications making the previous statements!! Beer is actually very good for you in moderation!! Drink up!!

Alan -

Glory hallelujah! I am now thin!!!

Robert Geczi -

I think most things in moderation are fine, and yes things in the news at times get blown out of proportion, but at the same time, a calorie is a calorie. So, just keep things in check, i.e. moderation, and you should be fine.

Robert -

Beer is much more fattening than wine and a lot of other drinks because of the sheer quantity of it that you drink. According to the figures given, if you work it out then one pint of beer would contain 410 calories, whereas one medium glass of wine (175ml) would contain only 135 calories approx. One pub measure of spirits (25ml) contain only about 63 calories.
It has all to do with the volume of liquid consumed.

Robert -

Sorry it is half that but still way more than other drinks. 1/2 litre is approx 1 pint so it is still 205 calories.

julia barclay -

I have recently given up drinking wine and have never been happier drinking beer, I have 2 small bottles every evening and now going to the pub with my husband has become fun as I can get good beer rather wine. I no longer have the shocking hangovers I used to get with wine, and for the first time in a long time have never felt so healthy as I feel it doesn't dehydrate me in the same way, and it is not nearly so strong as wine. I can't see how it any more fattening than wine. In order to get girls drinking it though - we NEED nice glasses. Leffe have a good glass on offer in pubs. I hate pint and half pint glasses and if they can't offer a good glass, I have my beer in a wine glass.

Jim -

It's so good to hear, Julia, that you have given up wine for beer. I've been advocating this for years. There is no doubt but good beer - in moderation - is good for you. And bad wine really does mess up your system. We are extra unlucky here in Ireland because good wine is almost impossible to get - at a reasonable price. Unlike the French, where the quality is calibrated almost unerringly by price, here they pass off any auld muck - a pretentious label dictates a rip-off price. Then there are the other problems in Ireland these days, hygiene and carelessness - if it comes out of a tap, water or beer - and especially Guinness! - don't drink it! Thank God for all the 'craft' breweries around today. You can get delicious bottled beers that in most cases live up to the description on the tin - and at democratic prices. BTW, Blork, Irish home-made spirit is poitín or phonetically poteen.

Bill -

Jim; When it comes to hygiene and beer it is usually the craft breweries that have the problem. As a beer geek and microbiologist I have plated many a freshly packaged, unpasteurized craft beer and the extent of the infection would scare you. Not sure what your experience is with Guiness, but this is a pasteurized beer with infection only happening in bars with poorly maintained taps and lines.

Alan -

While you guys debate that, I should link to this 2009 post of mine that follows this question a bit further.