January 5, 2006

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Beer: Fight your gut with beer
Lite or not, a six pack needds to be earned
By Mike Roy   beergasms@aol.com

Mike,

Here’s the deal, I want to rid some body fat this year, I workout(weights/cardio), but I love beer. I really enjoy bitter, hoppy I.P.A.s but everyone tells me if I want to lose weight I’m going to have drink those low-carb beers. I don’t want to drink these, what can I do?

Jay, of Hooksett

It’s the New Year and the time for resolutions — you know those things we say we’re going to do in the New Year but never do. The most popular ones usually revolve around our health, whether it be losing unwanted body fat, lowering cholesterol or getting more exercise. Any way you look at it, these things are all about self sacrifice. So the question always remains, “Do you have it in you?”

Only future historians will know how this period in our food history went down, whether it was low-carb or no-carb. Debate it all you like, my vote is that it’s “no clue.” When it comes to what people put in their bodies they generally have no clue. We’re being re-educated as we speak, reading labels and trying to make the healthier choices. What does one do when it comes to beer? After all, beer is fattening — it’s what gives men their bellies, right?

Wrong, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Beer has no fat. Although it’s far from being non-caloric, it does have carbohydrates much like bread, pasta or potatoes — which can all be part of a healthy diet in moderation. Furthermore, as a society that’s all about over consumption, we should all know by now that moderation (there’s that word again) is truly the key to good health. Well, that and exercise — because the only way to stay on top of our health is to keep in motion and burn more calories than we input. Simply said, as it has been for years, moderate what you eat and get off your arse!

Now beer can be part of a healthy diet but, to the guy who drinks 12 low-carb beers in one evening — give it up, you’re not doing yourself any good. If you’re at all like me, you enjoy a flavorful craft beer and find that the alternatives (i.e. the so called diet beers) are bland. But there is hope. First off, you need to figure out what is more important to you, drinking a flavorful beer that you enjoy or drinking a dozen beers of any kind. If your answer was the latter then there’s probably an 800 number for you, because you’re beyond my help. I would much rather enjoy one beer a day then to go without for a week and try to consume it all in one sitting. This is where quality of life comes in.

Jay, as far as beer relates to your diet, you need to recognize it as a food source and, as long as you account for its nutritional value, it can be a part of a healthy diet. So don’t be afraid that you need to start drinking “diet beers,” and continue to enjoy what you have. Just remember, moderation is key. Maybe a good system would be to incorporate some additional cardio solely for your beer intake, say 15 minutes a day. This might seem a bit much at first, but just think about that tasty beer and it’ll all be worth it.

.

Beer of the Week

Rogue “Santa’s Private Reserve Ale”

Santa’s Private Reserve Ale is a superb seasonal brew from Rogue Ales in Newport, Ore. I look forward to seeing Santa himself hoisting a tankard from the painted labels on this beer every year.

With a rich copper color and a blond head, Santa’s isn’t for your typical light beer drinker. The hop aroma is clean and fresh, but not overpowering. The nose also gives up hints of the beer’s strength and sweetness.

With a rich malty flavor and well balanced hoppings, this beer will delight, and indeed warm the palate with it’s approximately six percent alcohol by volume. The caramel malts in this brew come through with a slight nutty sweetness that also gives this beer a smooth feel in the mouth — definitely not the kind of beer to be quaffed carelessly!

Rogue is quite open with its ingredients list; each malt, hop and yeast is listed right there on the bottle, so if you’re so inclined you can visit your local home brew shop and pick up the parts and assemble yourself. Or, like me, you can just take it easy and pick it up professionally assembled.

Santa’s comes in a 22 ounce bottle perfect for sharing in front of the fire on a cold winter night, and can be found at Jasper’s Homebrew and Winemaking Supply on Temple St., Nashua.

— Rob Lembree



A passion for Beer
Ask me about beer
From the roots to Bud
Have a holly, jolly beer

How to taste your beer
In the beginning, there is water ...
Lending an ear and a beer
The all-star beer-ball team

The art of the brew (I)
The art of the brew (II)
The history of beer