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The Shocking Ingredients In Beer

 

I have to confess, I’m not a beer drinker, but there’s someone in my household that loves it, so I had to figure out the truth. Is beer really healthy? Why are the ingredients not listed on the label? Which brands can we trust? Which brands are trying to slowly poison us with cheap and harmful ingredients? All of these questions were going through my head at once at lightning speed. So a year ago, I started to research what was really in beer and after questioning several beer companies, reading books about food science, and talking to experts, the information I discovered was downright shocking.

I see it all the time. Someone who eats organic, makes the right choices at the grocery store, is fit and lives an extraordinarily healthy lifestyle but then drinks beer like it is going out of style.

Caring about what you eat doesn’t necessarily translate into caring about what you drink and this is a HUGE MISTAKE.

Before we get into what exactly is in beer that you should be worried about, let’s talk about how body reacts to alcohol in general.

Alcohol is metabolized by the body differently than all other calories you consume. Alcohol is one of the only substances that you consume that can permeate your digestive system and go straight into your bloodstream. It bypasses normal digestion and is absorbed into the body intact, where it goes straight into the liver.

Your liver is your main fat-burning organ. If you are trying to lose weight or even maintain your ideal weight, drinking alcohol is one of your worst enemies. The liver is going to metabolize alcohol first vs. the fat you want to get rid of – making weight loss even harder. Additionally, one of the primary functions of the liver is to remove environmental toxins from your body – if it is overtaxed with alcohol, the normal removal of these toxins becomes extremely diminished and can result in rapid aging, loss of libido, and other diseases.

The one thing that has gotten me before and I’m sure many of you – is the health marketing claims on alcohol products making drinking them seem like a good idea and an added “benefit” to your health. The low alcohol content of beer makes it appear as an innocuous beverage and something people throw back without even thinking about it. Who hasn’t seen those studies that say a beer a day is great for you (I want to ask who ever stops at just one beer?)?

 

So, inherently, alcohol by itself is not a healthy person’s best friend – but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Beer, especially American beer, is made with all sorts of ingredients beyond the basic hops, malt and yeast. There are numerous other ingredients used to clarify, stabilize, preserve, enhance the color and flavor of beer.

When you drink beer, there is almost a 100% chance that you don’t know what you are drinking (unless you quizzed the beer companies like I did). The ingredients in beer are not required by law to be listed anywhere on the label and manufacturers have no legal obligation to disclose the ingredients. For regular beer, calorie levels and percent alcohol are optional and for light beer calories are mandatory but alcohol levels are optional.

Michele Simon, a public health lawyer, author of Appetite for Profit, and president of Eat Drink Politics told me the reason that beer companies don’t disclose ingredients is simple: they don’t have to.

“Ingredient labeling on food products and non-alcoholic beverages is required by the Food and Drug Administration. But a whole other federal agency regulates beer, and not very well. The Department of Treasury – the same folks who collect your taxes – oversees alcoholic beverages. That probably explains why we know more about what’s in a can of Coke than a can of Bud. You can also thank the alcohol industry, which has lobbied for years against efforts to require ingredient labeling.”

I figured if the beer companies aren’t required to tell us the exact list of ingredients, I needed to investigate this for myself and asked them the pointed questions until I got the truth.

Slide1

image001

First of all, I was able to obtain a baseline list of “legal” additives allowed in beer from the book “Chemicals Additives in Beer” by the Center of Science and Public Interest. This list allowed me to ask specific questions about each beer I investigated. For example – beer sold here in America can contain several of the following ingredients:

  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) –  alcohol is already addictive with some people, but with MSG?! Holy smokes.

  • Propylene Glycol (an ingredient found in anti-freeze)

  • Calcium Disodium EDTA (made from formaldehyde, sodium cayanide, and Ethylenediamine)

  • Many different types of sulfites and anti-microbial preservatives (linked to allergies and asthma)

  • Natural Flavors (can come from anything natural including a beavers anal gland)

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup

  • GMO Sugars – Dextrose, Corn Syrup

  • Caramel Coloring (Class III or IV made from ammonia and classified as a carcinogen)

  • FD&C Blue 1 (Made from petroleum, linked to allergies, asthma and hyperactivity)

  • FD&C Red 40 (Made from petroleum, linked to allergies, asthma and hyperactivity)

  • FD&C Yellow 5 (Made from petroleum, linked to allergies, asthma and hyperactivity)

  • Insect-Based Dyes: carmine derived from cochineal insects to color their beer.

  • Animal Based Clarifiers: Findings include isinglass (dried fish bladder), gelatin (from skin, connective tissue, and bones), and casein (found in milk)

  • Foam Control: Used for head retention; (glyceryl monostearate and pepsin are both potentially derived from animals)

  • BPA (Bisphenol A is a component in many can liners and it may leach into the beer. BPA can mimic the female hormone estrogen and may affect sperm count, and other organ functions.)

  • Carrageenan (linked to inflammation in digestive system, IBS and considered a carcinogen in some circumstances)

During my investigation, I couldn’t get a single mainstream beer company to share the full list of ingredients contained in their beer. But I did get some of them to fess up to the use of these ingredients in writing so I’m going to share this information with you now.

Carcinogenic Caramel Coloring

Newcastle, a UK brand, confessed to using what I would consider one of the most controversial food additives. Toasted barley is usually what gives beer its golden or deep brown color, however in this case, Newcastle beer is also colored artificially with caramel color. This caramel coloring is manufactured by heating ammonia and sulfites under high pressure, which creating carcinogenic compounds. If beer companies were required by law to list the ingredients, Newcastle would likely have to have a cancer warning label under California law because it is a carcinogen proven to cause liver tumors, lung tumors, and thyroid tumors in rats and mice.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

Many of the beers I questioned contained one or more possible GMO ingredients.

  • 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)

Most beers brewed commercially are made with more GMO corn than barley. Many of the companies I contacted dodged the GMO question – however Miller Coors had a very forthcoming and honest response. They stated “Corn syrup gives 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.

Slide2

Pabst Blue Ribbon responded saying their corn syrup was “special” and “made of carbohydrates and some simple sugars like dextrose and maltose.  The sugars are fermented into alcohol and CO2, and the carbohydrates, both from the corn syrup and the malt, remain in the beers as flavor, color and body components.”

Dextrose and maltose can come from a variety of substances that are sweet, but likely are derived from GMO corn because it is super cheap for a company to use corn instead of fruit or other non-GMO sources. With cheap beer – you are not just getting a cheap buzz, you are getting the worst of the worst.  Just like with cheap fast food – if you don’t invest in your beer – you will be drinking a lower quality product like Pabst Blue Ribbon that is made from GMO Corn and Corn Syrup.

In 2007, Greenpeace found unapproved and experimental GMO Rice strain in Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser, Bud Light) beer. Anheuser-Busch responded saying their US-grown long-grained rice “may have micro levels” of a genetically engineered protein called Liberty Link, but added that the protein is “substantially removed or destroyed” during the brewing of beer sold domestically. Don’t you think it’s hard to trust any beer company that gets caught using experimental food made in a laboratory? GMOs have not been tested long term on human beings and one of the main pesticides (Roundup) they spray on GMO crops are linked to inflammation, cancer and other diseases. 

Guinness

High Fructose Corn Syrup & Fish Bladders

Speaking of trusting companies, let’s get one thing straight, Guinness beer is no longer owned by the Irish, they are now owned by a large beer conglomerate called Diageo and manufactured in over 50 different countries. No matter how many St. Patty’s Day celebrations you’ve had with this dark stout, it’s time to stop because they use high fructose corn syrup in their beer (4/2/14 Update: Guinness Beer claims they do not use high fructose corn syrup any longer, but refuses to disclose ingredient affidavits or full of list of ingredients.) But, Guinness beer also contains isinglass, a gelatin-like substance produced from the swim bladder of a fish. This ingredient helps remove any “haziness,” solids, or yeast byproducts from the beer. Mmmmm… fish bladder sounds delicious, doesn’t? The sneaky thing this beer company does like many of the companies mentioned here today is create an illusion of using the best ingredients when in actuality what they tell you publicly on their websites is a complete farce. On Guinness FAQ’s – they have a question that states: “What are the key ingredients in Guinness” and the answer doesn’t reveal the whole picture – it only states “Our key ingredients – other than inspiration – are roasted, malted barley, hops, yeast and water.” What BS, right?  You have to call, email, question and know the right things to ask to even have a chance at getting the truth. This is insanity.

So What Beers Are Additive and GMO Free?

If you enjoy the occasional beer and wish to maintain your healthy lifestyle, choosing one without GMOs and additives is ideal. Unfortunately, most of the mainstream beers available have additives, but luckily, there are a few that don’t. For example, Sierra Nevada, Heineken, and Amstel Light (7/31/13 UPDATE: It has come to my attention that Heinken USA has changed their formula to use GMOs – I called their customer service line 1-914-681-4100 to confirm and asked for the list of ingredients – the man told me “water, yeast, malted barley and hops” – then I asked if their beer contained any genetically engineered material and he confirmed “YES,” but wouldn’t tell me what ingredients are genetically engineered. They recently changed their formula after my initial research that started in late 2012.) (8/1/13 Update: Heineken reached out to me personally to say their customer service department made an error in telling me and others who called their beer has GMOs. I met with a head brew master and have viewed affidavits from the company and confirmed Heinken and Amstel Light do not contain GMOs – they apologize for the confusion.) appear to be pretty clean (but these companies still wouldn’t disclose the full list of ingredients to me. They did say they use non-GMO grains, no artificial ingredients, stabilizers or preservatives).

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.

An obvious choice to consider is also Certified Organic Beers. They are required by law to not include GMOs and other harmful additives. Organic beers also support environmental friendly practices and reduce the amount of pesticides and toxins in our air, support organic farmers – which is a huge plus. (To this day, the beer drinkers in my family haven’t found one they love so if you have suggestions, please let us know in the comments!)

Craft & Microbrews Beers – For certain local craft and micro beers, you can ask those companies for a list of ingredients and many of them will be up front with you. However, companies like Miller Coors are slowly closing in on craft beers and buying them up one by one… like they did when they created the unique popular variety called Blue Moon (the beer you drink with an orange) and Anhesuer-Busch did this with Rolling Rock and Goose Island Brewery. Make sure your favorite craft and microbrew is still independently owned and controlled before taking a sip.

In the end – if you decide to drink beer, you are definitely drinking at your own risk for more reasons than just the crazy ingredients that could be in them. The key point to remember is – if you like to drink beer and want to be healthy, drink it infrequently and quiz the beer companies for the truth. Find a beer that you can trust and stick with it.

For your reference, here are some important questions to ask your favorite beer company:

  1. What are the ingredients in your beer – all of them from start to finish?

  2. Are any of your ingredients GMO?

  3. Do you use any soy, corn, or rice processing ingredients? (Examples include: dextrose, corn syrup, etc.)

  4. Do you add any natural, artificial flavors or colors to the beer? (Examples include:  yellow #5, caramel coloring, red #40, MSG, natural flavors)

  5. Are there any additional preservatives, stabilizers and/or clarifying agents added to your beer during processing? (Examples include: propylene glycol, Calcium Disodium EDTA, anything ending in “sulfite” like sodium metabisulfite, Heptylparaben, isinglass)

If you know someone who drinks beer – share this post with them.

These ingredients are no joke. We must inform and protect each other from these industrial chemicals, untested and potentially harmful ingredients and it starts by sharing your knowledge with the ones you love.

Bottoms up!

Food Babe

 

Enjoying Dinner copy

UPDATE: In June 2014, I launched a petition to ask the two most popular beer companies in the U.S., Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors, to publish the complete ingredient lists for all of their beers online. Within only 24 hours, the petition received over 40,000 signatures and gained exposure on several mainstream media outlets including ABC News, USA Today and the Chicago Tribune. This same day, Anheuser-Busch announced that they would agree to publish their complete ingredients online, and MillerCoors quickly followed suit. Anheuser-Busch has since published the ingredients for several of their beers online (they have not published all of them), revealing that some contain high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, artificial flavors, preservatives, sweeteners, and other additives. MillerCoors also listed ingredients on their website for many beers which contain corn syrup (GMO), high fructose corn syrup, sucrose (sugar), and natural flavors. 
 
UPDATE: In October 2015 Guinness announced that they are stopping the use of isinglass in their refining process so that their beer will become vegan-friendly.
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1,466 responses to “The Shocking Ingredients In Beer

  1. Propylene glycol is not antifreeze – ethylene glycol is. It’s similar to the differences in ethanol and methanol. Propylene glycol is on the FDA’s GRAS list.

    1. Be careful that you not slander the person who wrote the article and tell others ” not to pay attention tothe beers”. It appears that indeed she did her homework on this and is 100% legit..

      “First of all, I was able to obtain a baseline list of “legal” additives allowed in beer from the book “Chemicals Additives in Beer” by the Center of Science and Public Interest. This list allowed me to ask specific questions about each beer I investigated. For example – beer sold here in America can contain several of the following ingredients:”

    2. Polyethylene Glycol 3350 is in anti-seizure,edema,neuropathy,nerve pain medication and bipolar medication name brand generic Gabapentine non generic Neurontin.

      And they said, Bipolars drinking alcohol even beer drinkers were self medicating themselves”. I bet they don’t know how much they were more accurate in that statment then what they originally intended with that statement.

    3. Propylene glycol IS found in antifreeze, moron, why don’t you do some research before you talk out of your ass. To foodbabe, Pinkus and sam smith both make great organic beers, I rate Pinkus higher though

    4. Sorry James. New antifreeze formulas contain propylene glycol. This was done to reduce the high toxicity of the ethylene glycol antifreeze formulas. Propylene glycol is also used as the carrier solvent in e cigarettes, but that’s another story.

    5. Please, give me a break. Triclosan is on that same FDA list and Minnesota just BANNED it’s usage. It’s linked to hormone/endocrine disruption/cancer. Btw, the FDA IS BEING SUED to remove this from products due to its potential health dangers. Do not believe anything the FDA says/does. It is all bought and paid for, Sir. Please do your research. These glycols are toxic. I consumed polyethylene glycol in a popular vitamin product and had severe nervous system reaction. For an hour I thought that it was my last day on the planet. We are being DUPED by the FDA. We have to do our own research in order to protect ourselves. Thanks to Vani, the word is getting out about the outrageous hidden, toxic ingredients in everyday consumer products.

    1. Mill St Organic is great. So does it get the green light on GMO’s and all the other garbage?

    2. I have contacted Mill Street Brewing Company and hopefully they can use this information to promote their beer, making it very popular and reducing the price.

  2. I saw your story link on social media. I went looking for more and as far as I can find, the ONLY information out there on GMOs in beer is parroted (and linked to) from your original post in August 2013. I want to know more about your sources, since you don’t list them. I understand that you may be protecting some, but without knowing your sources, or at least the process on how you gained the information, your story loses credibility. Please tell us where you got your info, (especially about Guinness and Diageo). Since there is little available about food ingredients required for alcoholic beverages in the USA, we are kept in the dark about what we are actually eating. Some may say booze is not a food, but if we put it in our bodies, shouldn’t we get to know what’s in it? Also, doesn’t food get labeled differently in the EU, don’t they have to disclose? Please update your story to include the sources of your information. Inquiring minds NEED to know!

    1. Most HFCS is GMO. Having said that, I don’t care if it’s GMO or not, that stuff makes things taste worse. I suppose that explains my gravitation away from Guinness in the last 10 years or so. The fish bladder, I really don’t care about as long as it’s not cover in fish poop when it goes in.

      1. Using the term “fish bladder” is misleading. Isinglass is a protein found in the fishes swim bladder (a sac that fills with gas to adjust a fishes buoyancy) and it is a clarifying agent. Brewers add it before bottling to bind with solids in the beer, which then fall to the bottom of the brewing vessel and are not pumped to the bottling line. It’s considered an ingredient, but there is absolutely no Isinglass found in the final product.

  3. Can you do a study on wine? There are a few organic wines out there. I’ve heard grapes have a have one of the highest probabilities of pesticide use.

    1. She alerts us to the use of sulfites in beer, when in reality the only sulfites present in beer are those created by yeast in the process of fermentation (around 3-5 ppm). Sulfites are much more prevalent in wine making, as grapes and wine are commonly treated with sulfites and preservatives to retain freshness through pressing and primary fermentation.

  4. I have a few questions. But first let me begin with a little bit of where I’m coming from.

    I don’t care to have chemicals in my food/drink, and use some simple cleaning solutions in the house, though I did not give up on some of the chemicals.

    If things work out the way we’d like I’ll be growing/raising quite a bit of our food in a more natural manner to avoid pesticides and hormones, and otherwise nasty environments.

    So I do understand a bit of where you are coming from, but I’m not sure, and am looking for clarification to understand, what was meant by:

    “Alcohol is one of the only substances that you consume that can permeate your digestive system and go straight into your bloodstream. It bypasses normal digestion and is absorbed into the body intact, where it goes straight into the liver.”

    I’m also unsure how these things are bad:

    “Animal Based Clarifiers: Findings include isinglass (dried fish bladder), gelatin (from skin, connective tissue, and bones), and casein (found in milk).”

    Some of it may not be appealing, but it isn’t a chemical or synthetic.

    I’ve been brewing my own beer now for almost 3 years, and having opened my eyes to the craft brew scene, and watched some of the reports about what InBev/AB has done has completely turned me off to their brands, and I refuse to buy them.

    Corn sugar is the touted as the best sugar for bottle carbonating. You have found it highly probable that any dextrose (granulated corn sugar) offered at a home brew supply store is likely made from GMO corn?

    I’m mixed on the GMO thing. On one hand the idea of having reorganized it creeps me out a bit in that I have no idea how this reacts with the human body, but I can see how if it means they didn’t spray my food source with poisons it may not be as bad.

    1. Just to clarify: GMO crops do NOT prevent or reduce pesticide/herbicide use. There are round-up ready crops, which can be doused with herbicide to kill weeds and still live. That is the engineered part, the chemicals do not kill the plant, but who knows how much is absorbed into through the soil? Then there are crops that are altered so that the pests that eat them will die (think exploding stomachs) when they eat the plant. Which means there is something in the plant that wasn’t there, put there, to kill something, but not us. People need to know what is in their food. If you are buying dextrose from them, unless it is USDA certified organic, it is likely GMO. I believe the U.S. corn crop is at least 85% GMO, but I am lowballing it b/c I do not remember the exact figure on soy, sugar, corn, etc…the numbers are all floating up there…all three of those crops are over 85% GMO in the States, and can pollinate non-GMO crops. Also, the introductory statement about alcohol absorption is accurate, and just a helpful reminder of how our bodies are compromised when we choose to drink.

      1. Actually the GMOs do kill us, just not instantly, it’s called a soft kill, look it up

  5. Home brew is the way to go. The taste quality is second to none. All ingredients are under your control. I started crafting my own beer and wine last year and haven’t bought either since. Just about any beer on the market can be duplicated. Once you get used to the process any recipe can be tweaked to taste.

  6. Just wondering if you have had an update on this with any more recommendations for organic beers. Saw the one fro TJ’s IPA I will have to try. Would also like to recommend my favorite organic hard cider, it is JK Scrumpies from the Koan Orchards in Michigan.

  7. I agree with everything written in this article EXCEPT the suggestion that the use of isinglass in beer is wrong in any way. It has been used for centuries in the production of beer. There is nothing synthetic, GMO or whatever about it. It is not the bladder as suggested, but the swim bladder (that organ that keeps a fish buoyant as it swims). Similarly, animal rennet is used throughout the world for the production of cheese (derived from ground up frozen stomachs of calves and goats). Now, knowing that, would that really cause us to push away the next slice of cheese…perfect crisp grilled cheese sandwich?

  8. Peak’s Organic “Fresh Cut” or Spring pale ale’s are incredible. I’ve been to the largest microbrew competition in North America x5 (Great American Beer Festival/GABF) in Denver [y’all should go!], and understand beers very well.

    Until now, Peak’s beers were “just OK”. But I would say the Fresh Cut is the best beer I’ve ever had. Period.

  9. I emailed Guinness and, like others, received a statement that they do not use High Fructose Corn Syrup. Please provide proof of your claims, or correct the article.

    1. Of course they are not going to tell you that they add HFCS. I have called numerous vitamin and supplement companies in the past questioning the ingredients in their products only to find out a year later that I was 100% correct about additives and chemicals in their products. They are not going to risk telling you the truth and losing tons of $$$ overnight if it would ever go viral.
      Don’t expect the truth from a phone call or email.

      1. Right. But the article previously said the information was garnered from Guinness; and others have received statements to the contrary. I am proposing we need more proof than that. A documented phone call or email is a good start to further investigation, so if you find that you were lied to, the case is even stronger for shady practices. Unfortunately in this article, it was hasty, and the readers were not provided sufficient reason to believe there is HFCS in Guinness. We can’t just believe a blogger is going to tell us the truth all the time either. Reasonable evidence is what I want to go on. I think the real thrust, is that we should be demanding ingredient label disclosure from all alcohol.

  10. You should delete “(an ingredient found in anti-freeze)” from Propylene Glycol in your list of possible beer ingredients. It is ethylene glycol that is in anti-freeze.

    1. Like ethylene glycol, propylene glycol is able to lower the freezing point of water, and so it is used as aircraft de-icing fluid.[4][8] Water-propylene glycol mixtures dyed pink to indicate the mixture is relatively nontoxic are sold under the name of RV or marine antifreeze. It is also used to winterize a vacant structure.[9] The eutectic composition/temperature is 60:40 propylene glycol:water/-60°C.[10][11] The -50°F/-45°C commercial product is, however, water rich; a typical formulation is 40:60.[12]

      1. Lol. First of all I didn’t say Propylene alcohol. Propylene glycol really is used as marine antifreeze. I was just stating facts. Your comment shows a lack of basic reading comprehension. Sorry dude. Chickety check yo’self befo’ you wreck yo’self. Can I get an amen?

      2. It should be noted that propylene glycol is not the ingredient in anti-freeze that kills you, as it has been approved as a food safe additive by the FDA. If it was poisonous you would already be dead.

  11. Propylene Glycol (an ingredient found in anti-freeze) is kind of a false statement. Ethelene glycol is used in anti-freeze. PG is used in ecigarettes (which helped get me off cigarettes now for over 3 years), in cough medicine, in foods like ice cream and confections, and in medicines for injection that are not water soluable. It is in your toothpaste too.

    When you say ANTIFREEZE people think of the common stuff used in our cars. Yes it can be used in anti-freeze. And it is. PG is a safe alternative that will not kill the dog if he drinks it. The FDA approves food/medical grade PG for use in meds and foods.

    Please get your facts straight.

    1. Like ethylene glycol, propylene glycol is able to lower the freezing point of water, and so it is used as aircraft de-icing fluid.[4][8] Water-propylene glycol mixtures dyed pink to indicate the mixture is relatively nontoxic are sold under the name of RV or marine antifreeze. It is also used to winterize a vacant structure.[9] The eutectic composition/temperature is 60:40 propylene glycol:water/-60°C.[10][11] The -50°F/-45°C commercial product is, however, water rich; a typical formulation is 40:60.[12]

      What’s that you were saying? Lol

    2. JUST because the FDA approves something does not make it right, or acceptable! The FDA approves cigarettes, GMO’s and foods with carcinogenic additives and chemicals in them. The FDA is a cartel that is so outdated in this country that it is allowing people to become sicker and sicker. THE FDA means NOTHING. Its standards are below those of less industrialized nations like Hungary which does not allow GMO’s. The FDA is a joke.

  12. Be careful that you not slander the person who wrote the article and tell others ” not to pay attention tothe beers”. It appears that indeed she did her homework on this and is 100% legit..

    “First of all, I was able to obtain a baseline list of “legal” additives allowed in beer from the book “Chemicals Additives in Beer” by the Center of Science and Public Interest. This list allowed me to ask specific questions about each beer I investigated. For example – beer sold here in America can contain several of the following ingredients:”

  13. Thanks a bunch for such an informed discussion. Does anyone know firsthand, or have a link, to beers that are gmo and wheat free?
    cheers

  14. the best beer you can drink is original bavarian beer like “augustiner, paulaner, spaten, löwenbräu …” – all gmo free, no hidden ingridients!!!
    i’m so glad i live here in bavaria!

    1. You need to be educated on beer. Augustiner and Paulaner are still brewing the same quality beer but Spaten and Lowenbrau now fall under the dark shadow of AB InBev, which means the cheapest ingredients they can find.

  15. I have a question. Do you have any information on Shock Top unfiltered Wheat beer. My hubby drinks it occasionally.

    Thanks

  16. That is clearly not true. I guarantee you sam adams uses adjunct sugars in all of their stronger beers, just like EVERY OTHER brewer on the planet.

  17. Just e-mail your brewmaster and ask. I did that with a few of my favorites and I got a responses within a hours generally. Drink local brews only and support your community. Beer is 95% water. Why burdon the environment by trucking water around the nation.

  18. Food Babe, you should research the history of Hops and why it is an ingredient in most beers? Also, how healthy is hops? Does it contain high amounts of estrogen that can be harmful? What about beers that do not have hops?

  19. Thanks for gathering this info for us to do with what we want. Personally I’m going back to drinking German beers and craft beer. I do believe what you found out and I do appreciate you giving us some alternatives to mainstream poisonous beers.

  20. I thought the article was about beer, but there is none in the pictures posted in the article.

  21. actually, just b/c its organic doesnt mean it HAS TO EXCLUDE Genetically Modified Organisms. i dont recall where i read this but this seems to be the running standard. i am researching foods & toxins & ingredients to avoid for my mother, two-time breast cancer survivor.

  22. i contacted shiner brewery in shiner, tx with the above questions and got no response. That is not a good sign.

    1. Hi Erica I drink Stella also when they don’t have Peroni Nastro Azzurro! I’m Asking the same… 🙂

  23. Ugh – I was hasty and didn’t copy and paste your list of questions. This is what I got back from Shock Top using a much abbreviated line of questioning:

    “Emily here with Shock Top. Thanks for taking the time to stop by our Web site. It’s awesome to hear that you are interested in learning more about our beer, and I would be happy to share some information with you!

    Shock Top Belgian White is brewed with two-row barley and wheat malts and the choicest imported Hallertau hops as well as domestic Cascade and Willamette hops. The beer is also brewed with orange, lemon and lime peels and coriander that gives it its complex aroma and refreshing taste.”

  24. I believe all that Food Babe has said. First off I don’t need test results to believe her 100% because I have lived long enough to see the horrible damage GMO and Prescriptions have done to our society. 50 years ago when food was pure and most of it home grown there were not the illnesses that wrack today’s society like diabetes, cancer, tumors, High blood pressure etc, etc. 50 years ago people didn’t have to have prescriptions to live while in 30’s and 40’s today they do. My parents and grandparents were never on prescriptions and lived to be in their 70’s and 80’s. Its very clear to the older generations just what damage packaged foods, pesticides and GMO’S have done to our society. Its very sad indeed.

  25. I don’t drink beer very often but when I do I drink Sammy Smith organic lager. They make a number of selections and if you have not tried them you should. Highly recommend it!

    Best Jane

  26. I usually drink PERONI Nastro Azzurro! 1 of the most expensive Beers in USA, Schould I call them for Ingredients??? hmm

  27. Canadian micro brewery Mill St. makes a great organic lager called Mill St.
    Organic. There beers have one awards and well worth the try. Also, Granville
    Island Brewery from Vancouver has some fine well made beers.

  28. Chelada contains clamato which contains huge amounts of MSG kills white people. Plan on a stroke with this Budweiser product.

  29. WOW! no wonder I get rashes when i drink that crap. I don’t get rashes when I drink Eel River Brewery’s beer. You guy s should try that, Its an organic brewery located Humbolt county, Californy. bottoms up.

  30. GMOs are banned in Ireland. (http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_19360.cfm)

    Guinness Draught does not contain any GMOs, as they are banned in Ireland and Guinness Draught in still made in St. James Gate, Dublin, Republic of Ireland. Guinness Extra Stout in made in Canada, but I do not believe it has any GMOs.

    I would hope that you would correct this, as many people will be confused with this false, and incorrect information about Guinness.

    Real, Irish Guinness is GMO-free, and proudly so.

    Sincerely,

    An Informed European

    1. actually, Guinness, for the US, is produced in Canada. You Euro’s get a better version. The stuff out of Canada is far more “fake”

      1. Guinness Draught sold in America is made in Ireland. That is the only true Guinness sold in America, the rest of it in America is piss. I have never had the Guinness Extra Stout, but that is made in Canada, and I doubt I would like it very much. Guinness Foreign Extra Stout is made in Jamaica for the US, and Nigeria for the UK and Ireland. I am not sure where Guinness Black Lager, which Guinness has no business selling anyway, as of yet.

      2. Yup. I had Guiness in Ireland and England and it tasted 100% better there than it does in Texas. Also the Guiness in Texas gives me a headache.

    2. Ireland has let herself become a backwater nation in the last century. I’m glad my family moved.

  31. While Guinness produced in Ireland does not contain GMOs, it does contain caramel colouring, and uses isinglass (the gelatinous substance derived from the swim bladders of fish, especially sturgeon) for fining (clarifying) in their kegs, bottles, and cans.

    Bottled Guinness Extra Stout produced in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, however does not use isinglass.

    1. Well, you’d have to drink a lot of it for the caramel colouring to cause cancer, etc. If you drink it in moderation, you should be alright. The isinglass thing, I already knew. It sounds a bit gross, but I eat fish, so it’s not that much of a big deal. They probably only put a minute amount of it in Guinness.

      Well, if that is true about the Extra Stout, the Canadian Extra Stout is probably worse than piss, I’d rather drink piss than that. If you want real Guinness, and you are in America, get Guinness Draught.

      1. The problem with moderation is…it’s not just about consuming caramel color in beer….it’s the over all consumption from ALL foods and beverages in our diet. Why not just get rid of it and be done with it?!?

      2. Yah, Arsenic (at least acording to the FDA and the USDA) is safe to consume too. You just have to know how much is TOO much. Oh, and keep a running total of how much you’ve ever consumed as it’s cumulative never leaves the body.

  32. Food Babe, have your beer-loving relatives try “Samuel Smith’s Organic Pale Ale” brewed in U.K.imported to the U.S. by Merchant Du VIN Corp, Tukvila, OR 98188 merchantduvin.com

  33. Can anyone please let me know if straub beer from st marys pa is gmo free or not they pride them selves in being preservative free suger free and salt free but im still concerned they might be using gmos. Straub is my favorite beer and i will be really let down if it does contain gmos but i need to kno lol

  34. A great organic beer that is also covered with your German Purity Law category is called Pinkus. There’s also some Canadian beers I know if and a brewery called peak organic (make a very drinkable coffee beer). Good beer is out there, people just need to educate themselves and stop reaching for the easy cheap option.

  35. I am in the process of opening a small, all-natural, hard cider company in upstate New York and I was very surprised that we were not required to list the ingredients in our ciders. (Which I gladly would print-because we are trying to keep it as natural as possible!) The beer recipes are required to be approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) if they have more than the five necessary ingredients of beer, barley, hops, water, and yeast. This recipe must be approved before the label is allowed to be printed, placed on the bottle, and sold. BUT! there is no requirement for this approved recipe to be printed on the label. Consumers have no idea what is in their beer. While tour a microbrewery I was told I was drinking an oyster stout…when I asked what that meant they said that there were indeed oysters used to filter the beer and for added flavor. As a vegetarian, I was so offended that they didn’t disclose that information. So start brewing your own beer folks!
    http://yakkafit.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/home-brewing/
    Or at least asking the brewer what he/she is adding!!!

  36. I have held for many years that the predominant commercial beers are addictive! Remember that the cigarette companies used addictive ingredients to hook their customers.
    You can pull this off and you will have made a great contribution to this nation and all others who are sufffering from the effects of horrendous so called foods and drinks.
    Congratulations on your success and I wish you many more!
    Lee

  37. I love my Food Babe ! Thank you for leading the way to a healthier life for so many people!!

  38. Thank you for this article and this petition. I am a seasoned drinker and I drank Miller and Coors. Lately I have had a lot of doubts about the ingredients as well. I have found that the way I feel after drinking big name beers versus small micro/organic beer is very different. I have stopped drinking anything that is not organic. In Texas, there is Shiner, Real Ale, Independent, St. Arnold’s among others that are legit. I will stick with those from now on. I know and understand some people may have some qualms about your sources or about the nuances of specifics regarding certain ingredients and are arguing about it. However, in my opinion, at least we are having a debate about it now even if Foodbabe may not be 100% right about everything. That is what a generalist does, they spark debate and awareness. We would not even be raising these questions if she hadn’t posted this, so haters, go hate somewhere else! Regardless of who is more accurate in the details, I would be more happy to see major beer companies be more transparent.

  39. Thank you so very much for your awakening efforts. I heard you with Alex today, great job. I have wondered if fluoride is used in most beers and I guess it is. The only beer I drink anymore is New Belgium’s ‘Fat Tire’. It is a great beer. But they will not say if they use pure spring water or fluoridated water.

  40. I never thought about the contents ot beer before but it makes sense. It’s not called St. Patty’s Day it’s called St. Patrick’s Day or St. Paddy’s Day. I’m sorry I just had to point that out.

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