Tuesday 10 February 2009

The effects of moderate beer consumption

With this months Brewer and Distiller International came a booklet called 'The effects of moderate beer consumption - a digest of the current scientific literature'. Looking on the back I can see it's produced by The Brewers of Europe, a body I must admit I'd never heard of before. 

Seeing who had produced the booklet I was hoping for some blatant propaganda on how drinking beer will make you live forever but in fact it's all rather restrained. A number of key messages are made but they could have done with livening up a bit:

  • Beer is a refreshing enjoyable beverage ... which brings pleasure and social interaction to many people.
    Hurrah! It gets you pissed and gets you laid!
  • It can be part of a health lifestyle
  • Beer contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
  • Beer is the only dietary source of hops
    And Hurrah! Apparently they're good for you
  • Beer reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoperosis, etc.
    Hurrah! I particularly like the vague 'etc.' on the end
  • Moderate beer consumption plays a vital part in most consumers quality of life
    I think they're back to 'it gets you pissed' here
  • The health benefits are the result of moderate consumption and are quite the opposite when consumption levels rise
  • Adverse effects vary with some individuals
    So watch out lightweights
  • More studies are underway
    Good, good
The booklet then goes on to stress that health benefits only apply with moderate drinking, in this case defined as a half to a pint and a half a day for men and a half to a pint a day for women, with  no saving up your allowance for the weekend. Seeing limits like these I can't help but think The Daily Mash had a point with their article Daily Alcohol Limits Not Really Working For Us, Say Drinkers.

Perhaps if you have a glass or two of wine with your evening meal each day these limits might have some relevance but they just don't fit in with pub culture. Like most pub goers I'm more likely to be there at the weekend for a session and I'm not going to nurse three halves over the course of an evening. Perhaps it's time they came up with some sensible advice for pub goers. 

Still there is some interesting stuff in the booklet and it continues with graphs of the 'J' or 'U' shaped curve of alcohol intake and mortality. Teetotalers actually have a higher mortality than people with moderate alcohol intake so the graphs dip at first before continuing a steady rise with increasing alcohol consumption. There are marked differences between men and women here.  European women drinkers mortality becomes equal to non drinkers at the drinking rate of only 3/4 of a pint a day whereas men can glug down 3 1/4 pints daily to get the same death rate as teetotalers. Looks like the lovely Lisa's going to be the designated driver from now on!

The full report is here.

Monday 9 February 2009

Beer in beer

The other weekend myself and the lovely Lisa went to Devon to stay with her sister
. She live down in Colyton which is conveniently close to the excellently named village of Beer, a pretty fishing village. According to the village's website there are various theories as to how it got the name beer. Sadly the drink isn't mentioned though the old Anglo-Saxon word for barley Bere is. 

But tenuous link or not I wasn't going to pass up the opportunity to drink beer in Beer. We popped in to the Anchor Inn where despite the fact it's a Greene King pub we managed to have pint of the locally brewed Otter Ale. Perhaps it was how the beer was kept, or perhaps it was because I was still recovering from the previous day's drinking but the beer didn't seem up to much. Sitting in a beer garden in Beer (does that make it a Beer beer garden?) having a beer still managed to make me grin inanely though. It's good to be easily amused. 

Sunday 8 February 2009

Brewdog to sue the Portman group

The Brewdog Vs Portman group saga took an entertaining twist today as the Brewdog blog revealed they're suing the Portman group for defamation. More here.