The Quad Cities is home to many craft breweries.
Craft beer is traditionally a local phenomenon although many breweries now distribute their beer to other states.
My husband is a big fan of Uncommon Stout, and he did not mind joining me when I interviewed Patrick Martinez, brewer for Bent River.
Martinez is passionate about brewing beer. He works with three other brewers who all specialize in different kinds of beer, from the blondes to the stouts.
As far as the nutritional value of beer, Martinez refers to the active yeast used during brewing which contributes B vitamins such as folate to beer. USDA analysis of beer has found nutrients such as niacin, folate, potassium, and magnesium.
Bent River includes local ingredients whenever possible. Their Harry’s Honey Porter, for example, is made with local honey from a man named (you guessed it) Harry. Other ingredients include blueberry puree for the Blueberry Uncommon Stout and oatmeal for the Oatmeal Stout.
Martinez points out that the calorie content of craft beers varies. Every glass may be slightly different, but based on ingredients and percentage of alcohol, the calorie content can be estimated.
Paul Krutzfeldt, owner and brewer for Great River Brewery, shared his passion for brewing all varieties of beer. Krutzfeldt explained that the lower alcohol content beers such as Great River’s Vintage Blonde (one of my favorites) is only 166 calories for 16 ounces, while the heavier Farmer Brown is 280 calories for 16 ounces.
Krutzfeldt agrees that calorie counts for craft beers are estimates as they are not identical, like beers manufactured by Coors or Budweiser.
Great River has many seasonal beers which are made with real ingredients as well, such as the strawberry purees used in their Strawberry Blonde, and the real pumpkin used in Punk’N Mator.
As far as the nutritional benefits of beer, alcohol has been shown to have health benefits in moderation. For beer “moderation” is considered two 12 oz. glasses of beer with 5% alcohol per day for men, and one for women. Craft beer comes in pints (16 oz.), and the amount of alcohol varies anywhere from 4%-15%. The more alcohol, the higher the calories.
Beer has been blamed for the “beer belly.” Excess fat stored around the middle can occur with extra calorie consumption whether it’s from food, sugary beverages, or beer!
Consuming beer in moderation and balancing it with physical activity is important to maintain a healthy body weight. To help you balance your calorie intake, here is the approximate nutrition content of brews from Bent River and Great River:
|*Bent River Beer:||% Alcohol by Volume||Calories per 16 oz. beer||Grams Carbohydrate|
|Paddle Wheel Pale Ale||5.0%||240||13|
|Jalapeno Pepper Ale||4.8%||153||7.5|
|Harry’s Honey Porter||5.7%||230||13|
*Estimated Nutrition information provided by Bent River Brewing Company*
|*Great River Beer:||% Alcohol by Volume||Calories per 16 oz. beer||Grams Carbohydrate|
|Roller Dam Red||5.4%||200||12|
|483 Pale Ale||5.3%||180||12|
*Estimated Nutrition information provided by Great River Brewery
So on warm spring and summer nights, sitting out on the patio at Bent River or Great River and enjoying a craft beer is a favorite activity for many and can be part of a healthy lifestyle. Just remember to drink responsibly and in moderation!
|Meet Jeni Tackett, Let’s Move Quad Cities Nutrition Blogger. Jeni is a registered and licensed dietitian for Rock Valley Health. Jeni counsels her clients on weight loss and nutrition. You can read Jeni’s bio and other blog posts by clicking here.|