Healthiest and Unhealthiest Beers (Slideshow)

Staff Writer
While beer might not be the best dieting tool, some are better than others

Healthy: Guinness Draught

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A Guinness a day keeps the doctor away? According to researchers, that could be the case. Studies show that one pint of Guinness a day reduced the risk of blood clots. Doctors say that could be due to antioxidant compounds found in the dark stout. 

Unhealthy: Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Ale

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While the hops in their Pale Ale may make a pint or two worth the extra calories, there’s just no way to justify the 330 calories in a Bigfoot Ale if you’re watching your waistline. 

Healthy: Abita Purple Haze

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While drinking your berries may not be as healthy as eating them, Purple Haze is brewed with fresh raspberry puree after filtration, giving the beer its signature purple color and fortifying it with antioxidants.

Unhealthy: Flying Dog Horn Dog

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If you’re looking for more bang for your buck, Horn Dog is it. At 10.2% ABV, Horn Dog has nearly double the alcohol of most beers. Unfortunately, higher alcohol content means more calories, and Horn Dog has 310 calories per serving — as much as a Whopper Jr. 

Healthy: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

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Good news, IPA fans! Turns out, hops contain polyphenols which have been shown to lower cholesterol, kill viruses, and fight cancer. Sierra Nevada’s popular pale ale contains 50 percent more hops than your average brew, which makes it an excellent source of hoppy power.   

Unhealthy: Leinenkugel’s Berry Weiss

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We gave the Abita Purple Haze a gold star for its berry goodness, but at 28 carbs per 12-ounce bottle, Leinenkugel gets the boot with more carbs than a serving of Häagen-Dazs cherry vanilla. 

Healthy: Porterhouse Oyster Stout

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Okay, so this brew isn’t for vegans. But for those who’d like to absorb the immunity-strengthening zinc and energy-boosting B vitamins found in oysters without the slime and brine, Porterhouse Oyster Stout, brewed with fresh oysters, is a tasty alternative. 

Unhealthy: Newcastle

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Caramel coloring (which is commonly derived from ammonia) has caught a lot of heat lately. California has even made it illegal. And while soft drink companies scramble to eliminate the coloring from their products, Newcastle is still using caramel coloring to mimic the natural color of toasted barley (which may say something about the quality of the beer itself). 

Healthy: Peak Organic

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While nearly all certified organic beers are herbicide, pesticide, and fertilizer-free, we like this one because it’s tasty and you can find it at nearly all Whole Foods stores, so you’ll never have to take a chance on a funky flavored unknown.  

Unhealthy: Blue Moon

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At least they’re honest? After calls for more transparency in beer ingredient listings, Miller Coors (Blue Moon’s parent company) admitted that the beer is not made with corn but a “liquid corn brewing adjunct,” but insisted it was not high fructose corn syrup. Adjuncts act as supplements to the standard brewing barley, and they’re usually used to cut cost. These cheap, ultra-processed additives can add more sugar to the brew, making it even less healthy.