The Health Benefits of Drinking Craft Beer

Craft Beer and HealthBelieve it or not, when done in moderation, drinking beer can have similar health benefits as drinking wine. It is also important to note that craft beer can be much more healthier than it’s corporate beer counterpart. Craft beer is done on a much smaller scale and more often than not is brewed using premium ingredients. So, sit back and crack open that which is good for what ales you!

Beer contains vitamin B6 which is considered essential for healthy brain function, increased energy and immune system health. Studies have shown that beer drinkers have more vitamin B6 in their blood than non beer drinkers and double the amount of those who drink wine. You will also find that beer contains a healthy dose of silicon which is great for bone health and leaves the beer drinker with stronger, denser bones.

Craft beer, in general, can be much more healthier for you than it’s corporate beer counterpart. Being done on a much smaller scale craft beer contains ingredients of a much higher quality. Surrounding the craft beer movement is a mindset of using all natural, quality ingredients. Some of the bigger name brands of beer can contain artificial coloring agents, processed sugar, or even GMO grains so it is important to know what you are putting into your body.

So, let us know discuss the health benefits of my favorite ingredient found in beer….. HOPS! Hops (Humulus lupulus) contain xanthohumol which is a flavonoid compound that has anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting properties. Hops are also a cousin of the cannabis plant and share’s some of it’s anti-cancer properties. Feeling anxious and having trouble sleeping? Well, drink a hoppy IPA and put your worries to bed! Hops have a relaxing quality and have been known to ease anxiety.

And so there you have it…. beer is healthy for you. But do not let this information go straight to your head and start pounding beers on a daily. One thing I love about the craft beer movement is that it reinforces appreciation over abuse. Everything in moderation… even moderation. Too much of anything can be a bad thing.




Ales vs. Lagers (And Why I’m an Ale Guy)

Ale vs LagerDespite the very many varieties of beer out there now a days when it comes down to it there are only two types, lagers and ales. The component that divides beer into these two categories is the yeast that is used to make the beer. Lager yeast is top fermenting and ferments at cooler temperature where as ale yeast is bottom fermenting and ferments at warmer temperatures. For the longest time lagers ran supreme is America with the market being controlled by large corporations spitting out copious amounts of yellow, fizzy beers. Then, the craft beer revolution happened.

The dawn of the craft beer movement brought diverse ales to the forefront of the industry. The environment was primed with creative collaboration and sparked a wave of imaginative ales bringing us flavors in beer we did not know was possible. It would seem the old world run by monotonous, corporate lager beers is dead and gone. We have come to the new age of ales… a brew world order.

The lack of diversity in lagers draws me to favor the rich, wide varieties of ales. Now, I have tried some craft lagers that I have enjoyed and sometimes certain situations, like mowing the lawn in 90 degree weather, calls for a nice crisp and refreshing lager. For me personally those occasions are extremely rare and you are more likely to find me with an ale in my hand.

For me, lagers carry with them the stigma of being crappy corporate beer. To me they represent the thought process on wanted to slam as many beers as fast as possible to get hammered drunk. Sure, in my teenage years I once held this mentality but I am older and wiser now, I think. I have come to appreciate beer and I enjoy it’s flavor. That reminds me of the saying, “People who drink light beer don’t like the taste of beer they just like to pee a lot.” When you boil it down I guess for me it comes to appreciation over abuse, leaving the old world behind and growing wiser with the passing years.


Beer & Food Pairings

beer and foodWhen it comes to pairing beer with food it is important to remember that there are no rules to follow and to experiment and have fun. That being said there are some recommendations to help you explore the endless pairings and possibilities to be had. When exploring what beers to pair with different food no one knows what you like better than you so stick with what you enjoy but at the same time don’t be afraid to try something new… you may just stumble upon a new favorite!

It is my personal preference to go with contrasting flavors more often rather than picking out commonalities when pairing. For instance bitter with sweet or sweet with sour. Sometimes it can be fine to pair similar flavors with each other but you have to be careful as too much of something can diminish you flavor pairing experience. For instance, if I was going to eat a spicy dish I may want to stay away from pairing it with a jalapeno beer and instead go with a more crisp, refreshing beer to offset the spiciness. Choosing to go with contrasting flavors when pairing beer with food can bring out different flavors in your beer or food that wouldn’t have tasted otherwise. However, the occasion often arises where I completely ignore this suggestion.

Choosing which beer to enjoy with your food can also be decided by matching similar flavors together. If you go this route you may find yourself having a Framboise Lambic with desert, a pumpkin ale with pumpkin cheesecake, or a smoked amber with some backyard Bar-B-Q. Sometimes going with this method can result in to much of one particular flavor and diminish the range of flavors you can experience with a dish.

Though there are no rules to strictly follow, and I encourage playing around with flavors, there are some constants to keep in mind. Beer pairs very nicely with cheese, contrasting flavors brings out complexity, and only you know what works for you. So, pop open a bottle or can, try something new and have a little fun. CHEERS!


Beer in Review: 5 Refreshing Microbrews For Summer

sea-sunny-beach-holidaySummer time… a time to sit back and unwind… but first you must decide on a beer to drink. Of course we all know of the criteria a summer beer must meet: not too heavy, refreshing and low on the ABV scale. Lagers are typically the go ahead play here but if you are like me and prefer ales that are light, refreshing and yet flavorful here are 5 ales that are the most invigorating on a hot summer day.

Westbrook GoseWestbrook Brewing Gose

Weighing in at 4% abv this German styled sour wheat beer hits every mark of a great summer beer. It is brewed using coriander and salt giving it an interestingly refreshing flavor. Coming out of Mt Pleasant, SC Westbrook Brewing has created the perfect beer to have in hand while your feet are buried in the sand!

FullSizeRenderoff color brewing APEX PREDATOR

This fruity, dry farmhouse ale weighs in at 6.8% abv and 35 IBU. It is light and refreshing with notes of citrus and mild pepper. The complexity of this wild animal of a beer will have your taste buds intrigued and lips questioning “what was that and can I have some more?” This beers ability to be light, refreshing and complex all at once makes it one of the best farmhouse ales in the U.S.

OB PinnerOskar Blues Pinner

Can I be blunt? I absolutely love IPA’s and I am a self proclaimed hophead. IPA’s are my go to style of beer and lucky enough there is one for every occasion. This throwback IPA is well balanced with hops and offers a fruity, citrus taste upfront and a pine and earthy finish on the back end. At 4.9% and 35 IBU this American IPA is perfect for any hophead to slam on a summers’ day.

summer solsticeAnderson Valley Summer Solstice

Things that make you go “hmmm….” This beer will leave you baffled as the taste profile is not what you would expect from the look of this brew. Known as a “cream soda for adults” this summer ale is exactly what the doctor ordered. It has a creamy mouth feel yet is surprisingly light and refreshing. Weighing in at 5% and only 6 IBU this beer offers sweet, caramel notes coupled with a bit of spice while maintaining drink-ability which makes this interesting ale a top choice for refreshment on a summer day.

Jam SessionNoDa Brewing Jam Session

This local summer favorite is well balanced with citrus hops and a strong malt flavor. It offers a hint of grapefruit with a slight bitterness that complements the malt backbone well. It is light and refreshing and mixes strong flavor with drink-ability quite well. Weighing in at 5.1% abv and 31 IBU this American Pale Ale is perfect for a summer lake day in Charlotte, NC.









Why I Had to Stop Drinking Beer For a Time

This was me when I found out I couldn’t drink beer anymore…

If you have never heard of candida it is worth checking out… it has caused me a great deal of issues and it is my belief with our nation’s current diet that most people are struggling with symptoms caused by candida overgrowth.

When I first found out I had candida overgrowth, I became pretty depressed. Not because I couldn’t drink beer anymore (believe me, I had quite a few cheat days), but mostly because I thought I was relatively healthy. I ate a pretty good diet and exercised compared to most people, and I knew what a healthy diet consisted of. It didn’t make much sense to me that I would be one of the many Americans to suffer from this condition.

The most telltale sign for me was the psoriasis that developed on my fingers in the form of weeping scabs. As I mentioned above, I was relatively healthy so I didn’t make sense to me that I would develop an autoimmune condition at the age of 30. I began to wonder about the root cause of the disease, and I searched Google endlessly for “what really causes psoriasis.” That’s when I came across an article discussing the link between psoriasis and candida overgrowth. All of the symptoms listed in that article were ones I had experienced since my teenage years, including chronic fungal infections.

The list of symptoms related to candida overgrowth is a mile long, and I won’t go into it here, but I was pretty sure that’s what I had. A visit to my chiropractor confirmed the self diagnosis, and I began a rigorous lifestyle change to correct the issue. That change included cutting out sugars completely, because candida thrives on sugar.

You’d be surprised how much of what we eat contains sugar. It’s in just about everything, including grains, breads, pastas, rice, and even most fruits, excluding berries.

You may be asking yourself, “what could you eat.” And that’s the million-dollar question…

I had to stop drinking beer and other forms of alcohol for this reason. Though I did have some cheat days, the amount of craft beer I drank over a period of two years became significantly lower. I even cut it out entirely for 3 consecutive months.

Looking back, I now believe this experience was a blessing in disguise. Cutting down on the amount of alcohol I drank forced me to appreciate it even more, which led to a greater appreciation of craft beverages, and an even greater knowledge of the art form that is craft beer brewing.

Many Americans suffer from candida overgrowth and don’t even know it. And the really sad part is that some doctors don’t even believe candida exists. Rather than helping people by coaching them through a lifestyle change that includes a significantly modified diet, they prescribe toxic pills that merely mask symptoms of the condition.

Untreated, candida can cause severe leaky gut syndrome, chronic auto-immune conditions, and even cancer.

But the good news is, you can cure yourself, and you can do it without medication! It has been over two years since I discovered that I had candida, and I’m proud to report that it is now completely gone. I am able to enjoy craft beer and other alcoholic beverages in careful moderation, as well as the occasional sandwich, pasta/rice dish, or piece of toast.

The best part about this journey is that it taught me the true meaning of health and how to eat healthy. I have discovered that you can make a healthy version of just about any recipe out there. I even make my own grain-free hamburger buns out of flax seed meal, and they are much better than the normal store-bought variety!

If you think you might have candida and would like to ask me questions about my experience, I’m happy to answer them. This journey has also given me a newfound passion for educating others and helping them get on the right track to better health overall.

Click here to get in touch!