Beergate: What’s President Obama Brewing at the White House
President Obama and the White House administration released a video and recipes of the microbrews that they’re brewing at the White House. While the Prez has never been shy about his love of microbrews and the offerings of the major breweries, the White House responded to beer-lovers’ petition to release the official Whilte House beer recipes.
Now we know: The White House is brewing a Honey Porter and Honey Blonde, both of which are made with honey from the White House beehive. President Obama isn’t the first President to distill alcohol as even George Washington distilled whiskey at Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson made wine at Monticello, but the administration thinks this is the first time beer has been brewed at the White House.
I think this is great and we often overlook that beer provides health benefits—just like red wine. Several decades’ worth of research shows that all alcohol—beer, wine and spirits—provide similar heart health benefits, but here are other reasons why a brewski may be just what the President (and doctor) ordered.
1. Beer Can Be a Calorie Bargain: There are several options for extra-light beer that can be as low as 55 calories per bottle (12 ounces). Even regular light beer is around 100 calories per 12-ounces. In a country that likes more for less, beer wins hands down. For comparison: An ounce of any distilled spirit or just four ounces of wine is 100 calories and a mixed drink can easily pack in 250-500 calories.
2. Beer Has Antioxidants: A lesser-known fact about beer is that it does contain antioxidants. In a study at the University of Scranton, researchers quantified the phenolic antioxidants in beer and found ales contained the most, followed by lagers, light beer and non-alcoholic. Based on their findings, the researchers noted that beer actually contributes more antioxidants to the US diet than wine does. The researchers also provide beer to animals fed high-cholesterol diets and found that both dark beer and lagers decreased LDL-oxidation in the rodents, which helps protect the arteries from building up plaque. Beer’s antioxidants are thought to help temper inflammation in the blood vessels that are associated with heart disease.
3. Beer May Be Good for the Brain Too: While it is known that alcohol is good for the heart, newer studies show that moderate alcohol consumption also helps protect the brain as we age. Scientists have already discovered pathways by which alcohol exposure helps protect against rogue proteins that are highly associated with Alzheimer’s and other neurological conditions.
Bottom line: Beer can do the body good, as long as you drink in moderation. That translates to no more than 1 drink a day for women; 2 for men.