Is Real Ale Good for You? The Benefits of Moderate Beer Consumption

Moderate beer consumption has been linked to a variety of health benefits, from protecting against heart disease and diabetes to boosting creativity. Beer is a rich source of vitamins, fiber, minerals, and antioxidants, as well as the only important dietary source of hops. Research has found that moderate beer drinkers have a 42 percent lower risk of heart disease compared to non-drinkers. Dutch researchers also found that when men who were not heavy drinkers started drinking moderately over 4 years, they were significantly less likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Additionally, American hops are usually found in higher concentration in India pale ale (IPA) or American pale ale. The psychotherapeutic benefit brought about by the state of relaxation one feels after a couple of drinks is also a potential health benefit. According to a study published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition, having one or two beers can boost your creativity. Benson conducted market research during the 1920s and found that people felt good when they drank dark beer, leading to the slogan Guinness is Good for You.

It is important to note that researchers suggest maintaining consumption of one pint (about 5 percent alcohol by volume) a day. Increasing alcohol consumption over time did not reduce the risk in men who were already having a couple of drinks a day, so moderation is the key. While beer may be heart-healthy, it is not the elixir of life. Real ale festivals feature some of the best concoctions people have ever made, but ale is not something that is extremely healthy regardless and choosing what is best between lager and ale is like comparing a burger and a cheeseburger.