Craft beer healthier than red wine: study

Benjamin Weir
(Australian Associated Press)


Hipsters rejoice – your craft beer may actually be healthier than a glass of red wine, a new study has found.

Work by Associate Professor Mike McCullough, at California’s Polytechnic State University, has found craft beer has health benefits overlooked by drinkers.

“We all know that a glass of red wine is good for you, but it turns outs a pint of craft beer is better, it has got more good things in it,” Professor McCullough told AAP.

Those good things include niacin, know as vitamin B3, and brewers yeast which is fantastic for lowering bad cholesterol.

The basic premise and reason craft beer is healthier than mass produced beer is that it is less pasteurised, Prof McCullough said.

“Your instances of heart disease and your instances of type 2 diabetes decreases on an amount that’s comparable, if not a little bit more, than if you are drinking red wine.”

He said science had long told us a glass of red a day helped reduce the risk of problems including heart disease and dementia.

But he said the health benefits of craft beers were overlooked because it was associated with an unhealthy lifestyle.

“You associate a beer drinker’s diet with nachos and unhealthy eating habits but the trend with more differentiated beer and higher-end beer is that you are eating it with meals,” Prof McCullough said.

There has been an explosion in the production and consumption of craft beers over the past five years, with a recent report estimating the industry is worth $500 million a year in Australia.

Prof McCullough will present his findings at the annual conference of Australasian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society in Adelaide.

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