St. Patrick's Day - Drink This, Not That

Happy St. Patricks Day! Today everybody is Irish, and what better way to celebrate your Irish heritage than going out to your local pub to share a pint with friends and family. But before you toast your glass of green beer today, consider what you are drinking. A common misconception among beer drinkers is dark beer has more calories, and is more filling that lighter beer varieties. However, in most cases, this could not be further from the truth. A beer's color comes from the roasted barley used during brewing. Barley is roasted to varying extents depending on the type of beer desired, much like coffee beans (lighter roasts generally contain more caffeine, versus darker roasts). A darker roast produces a darker, full bodied brew, while a lighter roast produces a lighter beer and body. Interestingly, roasting cooks the desired sugars used to ferment beer and produce alcohol. Generally, the longer you roast a malt, the less sugar is leftover, producing less alcohol during brewing. So despite what you may believe, many darker beers, in fact, contain less alcohol, because the malt used to brew them, contained less sugar. Now, a gram of carbohydrate or protein contain 4 calories. While a gram of fat contains 9 calories. Alcohol falls in between at 7 calories per gram. Do not be fooled by the color or type of beverage, as its the alcohol content that contributes to the calories. So a 1.5oz shot of most pure liquor, 6oz of wine, or 12oz of beer are nearly equivalent due to their alcohol densities, liquor, wine, and beer, roughly 40, 13, and 5% alcohol per volume. So its the alcohol content and not the beverage that matters. A 16oz pint of Guinness, though very dark, contains only 4.2% alcohol and 170 calories, versus a 16oz pint of Budweiser at 5.0% alcohol and 193 calories. Now, you might say, "but I drink Bud Light"(or some other watered-down yellow beverage). A Bud Light is 4.2% alcohol, and like Guinness contains 170 calories per 16oz pint. So before you make a decision today for a food coloring additive, green, soul-less, glass of mass produced, fermented rice, that is Budweiser, consider the caloric equivalent in a smooth, full bodied, pint of Guinness, made with the time honored tradition of Arthur Guinness and Sons original recipe of dark roasted barley, European hops, and sweet Irish morning dew.