New beers resolution: Enjoy a new brew and lose weight, too
Are you counting calories or did you make a New Year's resolution to lose weight?
If you did then you're probably thinking of all the things that you'll need to cut down on, including craft beer. Many of us tend to think that beer packs an excessive amount of calories. To some degree this is absolutely true.
However, knowledge is power. Understanding which of your favorite craft beers you can still sip that won't go to your hips means not having to completely abandon craft beer. As a rule of thumb, remember that more taste equals more calories. That doesn't mean you have to drink tasteless beer. Craft brewers understand better than anyone that not all consumers are looking for beers with big flavor.
Craft beer is the polar opposite of what large commercial breweries have been providing for a century. Because there is such a difference in the two, many consumers equate craft beer with weird and wild flavors, and large commercial beers as the gold standard. Years from now, most everyone will have learned that craft beer simply equates to a variety of tastes and includes healthier ingredients.
Large, commercial beer is often brewed with lesser quality ingredients, which produces less taste. We should all know by now why it's less expensive too. Just like kids laugh at rotary phones, we'll all chuckle one day at our old school idea of what some thought beer should taste like.
When choosing a craft beer with fewer calories consider lagers, saisons and pilsners as your go-to brews. You'll find quality selections and frequently discover varieties of malts and hops that are locally grown. Lagers provide a more crisp, refreshing taste.
Many times these beers provide a finish with notes of lemon, bread or malt. In addition, if you look hard enough you don't always have to forego the rich, chocolate stouts either. Perhaps you simply need to open up your palate to different tastes. Say yes to a new favorite, lower calorie craft beer, and yes to drinking fewer four packs to help increase your six-pack.
Personally speaking, I don't have hips or abs, but I do practice healthy eating and drinking habits. I also relish the thought that imbibing in many of the lighter craft beers means less calories than that vodka cocktail I use to fool myself into drinking.
Again, education is power. Know what you're drinking! Drink what you want, and always consume in moderation. I added the calorie count on the following beers you can find at your local breweries and distributers. Here's to your health and a new year!
Mark Brewer is a Tribune-Review contributing writer and the Author and Illustrator of Brewology, An Illustrated Dictionary for Beer Lovers.
Evil Twin Brewing Co.
IPA (2.7% ABV – 12 oz. = 81 calories). Pours golden yellow. Thick head with short retention. Bouquet of tropical fruit, bread and hops. Flavors of pineapple and citrusy grapefruit with notes of cracker and malt. Good balance of sweetness and bitterness. Light body with medium carbonation. Finishes with a mild bitterness on the back end.
Lambic (2.5% ABV – 6 oz. = 81 calories). Pours a deep red burgundy color. Thin pink head with little retention. Smells of sweet raspberry fruit. Flavor is of strong raspberry fruit. It is both sweet and abundantly tart. Dry, medium body with lots of carbonation. Finishes with a subtle tickle from tartness and effervescence.
Brooklyn Brewing Co.
Saison (3.4% ABV – 12 oz. = 103 calories). Pours a cloudy pale yellow color with a thin head. Subtle aroma of citrus and cereal grains once it reaches room temperature. Flavors of soda cracker, malt and lemongrass. Gentle malt base and soft in the mouth. Light body with moderate carbonation. Finishes with a slight peppery taste.
Sly Fox Brewing Co.
Irish Stout (3.6% ABV – 12 oz. = 108 calories). Pours a deep brown color with a light tan head. Aromas of malt and chocolate. Dry tasting with flavors of unsweetened chocolate and roasted malt. Light body and light carbonation. Finishes creamy with slightly lingering taste of roasted malt.