Is Beer Food?

by: BeerAdvocate on 06-25-2003
Is Beer Food? We say, Hell yeah, beer is food! In fact, it should be considered one of the major food groups. Here are some reasons why:

Of course beer is a beverage, as the majority of its composition is water; however, given that it's also made with cereal grains, hops and yeast, all of this combined goodness is oftentimes a meal in itself. Ever have a rich, luscious beer that just about fills you up on its own? You know what we're talking about.

Monasteries and beer have a long history, and to this day many orders of monks still brew their own beer in order to have a tasty and nutritious drink to accompany their meals and to sell to the public but most importantly to sustain them during periods of fasting. Fortunately, drinking beer is not considered breaking the fast. Um ... break the fast, breakfast, monks drinking beer, we often drink beer for breakfast ... coincidence?

The definition of food doesn't say anything about "chewing."

Beer is food for the soul and mind. There's a reason why you feel good after you drink a delicious beer. The hops act as a mild sedative (hops can also be found in teas), the carbonation refreshes and livens the palate, the alcohol loosens the brain from the grip of daily life; and you relax. You feel good. And it only takes one beer to achieve this, if you allow it to. Pair beer with life!

Many beers, especially those that are unfiltered and/or conditioned in their vessel, will contain yeast cells, which are living, single-celled organisms that are responsible for creating carbonation and alcohol in beer. And oftentimes they are still alive in your beer, providing rich amounts of Vitamin B. It's like having food within food!

Pairing beer with food is always fun, but you should also consider beer to be the sauce of life, as it both complements and enhances flavors and your overall enjoyment of food.

Not only can you pair beer with food, but you can also cook with beer: Add it to sauces, marinades and dressings; create a hearty stock for soups and stews; give flavorful moisture to grilled and roasted meats; use it to steam seafood and veggies or drizzle over fruits and desserts. The possibilities are literally endless, and the use of beer as an ingredient will without a doubt bring depth to your food and a new outlook on cooking. Checkout our Beer & Food section for some "cuisine a la biere" ideas.

"The Beer Diet" is something you and your friends might have joked about, but there are actual books on the market that focus on cutting carbs to lose weight and then slowly increasing the carb intake. As beer contains carbs (from the grains) - low levels in comparison to other foods and beverages - some suggest that you can enjoy full-flavored and full-bodied beers by making them a part of your diet. So screw lite beers! And for the record, beer is not fattening. We Americans think it's fattening by association with our endless gorging on food and washing it down with beer. "Oh, I just ate a large pizza and some wings by myself and two pints of beer ... that's why I have a beer belly!" No ... it's because of the pizza and wings, you pig.

Respect beer.
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