Ah, it feels like winter may have finally left New England for its annual trek to the southern hemisphere. Warm sunny days, grilled food and an occasional adult beverage are high on my list of favorite things as we move into summer.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m a pretty conscientious eater (though my family might have a different term for it!), so shopping for healthy items to grill is second nature to me now. I know what is important to me and how to read labels to avoid what I don’t want in my food. And, I do make use of my handy dandy app from the Environmental Working Group that helps me stay in budget with the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen lists. Mmmmm, food–but I digress! Alas, the same is not always true for adult beverages, beer in particular. Because beer is not subject to the same labeling requirements as food, there may be all kinds of icky (yes, that IS a technical term) ingredients lurking in beer that you might want to avoid.
Luckily, I recently came across this great list of 8 Beers You Should Stop Drinking Immediately listing each beer and its offense (e.g., high fructose corn syrup). Honestly, I was afraid to open the link because I wasn’t sure I wanted to know. But, I did and was mostly not surprised, though there were a few disappointments (though I don’t drink beer anymore because of my wheat allergy/gluten intolerance, I do buy it for my husband). I was glad to see that the list isn’t a total downer; they do list alternatives that are free of the icky ingredients!
The good news is this: at the Monadnock Food Co-op, we carry several of the “Healthy Beer Alternatives” (is that an oxymoron?). I’m optimistic that the craft brewers seem to pay more attention to quality ingredients. While I am a big proponent of shopping local, it is noteworthy that beers produced in Germany, France, Austria, Hungary, Greece, and Luxembourg will be GMO free since GMO cultivation and sale are banned in those countries. (Do they make beer in Hungary?)
And, just in case the suspense is killing you…my go-to adult beverage of choice on a warm summer afternoon? Samuel Smith’s Organic Cider, hands down.