Say What?! + What's In Your Beer?


When it comes to alcohol, beer is not my favorite.  Nope, not much of a beer drinker here.  I prefer a Moscow Mule or a yummy mimosa- but occasionally I will go for a good IPA.  One of the reasons I avoid alcohol is because it usually causes a psoriasis flare-up.  I have noticed that organic beer doesn't cause a reaction, and there is plenty of that available up here in the PNW!  My favorite so far is HUB Organic IPA- out of Portland, OR.  We care a lot about what we eat, and not thinking about the drinks we consume, can be a huge mistake!  So this got me thinking- what's actually in our beer?


Alcohol is metabolized differently than any other calories you consume.  It's one of the only substances that permeates the digestive system and goes straight to your bloodstream.  It's not digested as normal and goes straight to the liver.   Obvi- not a health guru's BFF- but there's more to be worried about.  American beer is made with lot's of ingredients, not just basic yeast, hops and malt.  Ingredients in beer are not required to be listed anywhere on the label. 

Let's talk about some of the most harmful ingredients found in beer. 
+ Propylene Glycol
+ Natural Flavors (can come from anything- even a beavers anal gland! Gross!)
+ High Fructose Corn Syrup
+ Caramel Coloring
+ GMO Sugar
+ Food Coloring
+ Carageenan
+ BPA (cans) 


Newcastle, a UK brand uses one of worst ingredients out there- caramel coloring! Instead of creating a nice, golden brown color with toasted barley, they use artificial color.  This caramel coloring is manufactured by heating ammonia and sulfites under high pressure, which creating carcinogenic compounds. Newcastle beer would literally have a cancer warning label under CA law- if they were required to, of course! Caramel coloring has been proven to cause liver tumors, lung tumors, and thyroid tumors in rats and mice.

Guinness has a surprising ingredient- fish bladder!  Yes, a gelatin-like substance produced from the swim bladder of a fish helps remove "haziness," solids or yeast byproducts. Sounds delish! 

Miller Coors is another brand that continues to use GMO corn syrup- but they totally own it!  They stated “Corn syrup gives their beer a milder and lighter-bodied flavor” and “Corn syrups may be derived from a mixture of corn (conventional and biotech.)”, admitting their use of GMOs.

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup (Guinness – unable to provide an affidavit for non-GMO proof)

  • Corn syrup (Miller Light, Coors, Corona, Fosters, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Red Stripe)

  • Dextrose (Budweiser, Bud Light, Busch Light, Michelob Ultra)

  • Corn (Red Stripe, Miller Coors Brand, Anheuser-Busch Brands)

This information was obtained through an investigation, conducted by the Food Babe.


What the heck yo- what beer can I drink?

Sierra Nevada, Heineken, and Amstel Light all say they don't use GMO ingredients, stabilizers or preservatives.  Good news- go ahead and drink up that skunky Heineken!

German Beers are also a good bet. The Germans are very serious about the purity of their beers and enacted a purity law called “Reinheitsgebot” that requires all German beers to be only produced with a core ingredient list of water, hops, yeast, malted barley or wheat. Advocates of German beers insist that they taste cleaner and some even claim they don’t suffer from hangovers as a result.

Certified Organic Beers. They are required by law to not include GMOs and other harmful additives. Organic beers also support environmentally friendly practices and reduce the number of pesticides and toxins in our air, support organic farmers – which is a huge plus. 

Craft & Microbrews Beers – you can ask those companies for a list of ingredients and many of them will be upfront with you. However, companies like Miller Coors are buying up microbrews one by one… like they did with Blue Moon.  So make sure you are truly buying independently owned craft beers. 



After much pressure from consumers, many companies have started posting their ingredients online, including Anheuser-Busch and Miller Coors.  So if you are questioning your favorite beer- check out the ingredients before you take that sip!

I hope you find this info. helpful, and pass it along to your fellow drinkers.  Know better. Do better.  Cheers y'all!

xoxo Christina