It’s time to drink organically. Good health doesn’t just include eating organically, but choosing organic or non-GMO drinks too. Here’s a non-GMO beer list to review for a healthier life. I’ll also provide some GMO and non-GMO beer brands too.
What’s In Beer That’s GMO?
I used to think that all beer was brewed with natural ingredients, made with whole grains similar to those used to make bread. As a friend used to tell me, “there’s a sandwich in every beer!” But this was in the past, as additives are used more frequently today, especially given the US palette’s sweet tooth.
Now this is hard to prove, because most companies won’t release their ingredients. They say their beer is made from yeast, hops, etc. but won’t share what else. Here’s what else: high fructose corn syrup. This is the sweetener of choice in the US, because it’s cheap and plentiful, thanks to corn growing subsidies provided by the US government — and it has now made it into our beer.
High fructose corn syrup is more than 90% made from GMO corn. So, the sweetener in your beer is genetically modified. Miller Coors has reportedly stated the following: “Corn syrup gives beer a milder and lighter-bodied flavor.” Other companies adding GMO corn syrup include Red Stripe, Fosters, Corona, and Pabst Blue Ribbon, although this list is incomplete.
It’s not unusual for beer companies to add caramel coloring too. This harmless sounding ingredient is created artificially and can be carcinogenic (cancer causing).
Which Beers are Non-GMO?
Most European beers are non-GMO due to Europe’s strict rules about using genetically modified crops in processed foods. However, as more European beer brands have been purchased by American and British conglomerates, these formulas have been changing. Even the Guinness recipe has changed since its acquisition.
In particular, German beers are a good choice. Germans consider the purity of their beer very seriously, having enacted a law that requires all beers made in Germany to be produced only with a specific list of ingredients, specifically water, yeast, hops, and malted barley or wheat.
Craft beer from so-called microbreweries are good choices too. Make sure that the beer you select, however, is a true microbrew. Large brewers have been releasing microbrew-styled beers for years, but these may include additives that are GMO and other artificial ingredients as is typical in their other beers.
To list non-GMO beers commonly available in the US would include Sierra Nevada, Heineken, and Amstel Light. However, the brewers would not confirm the entire list what goes into these beers. They apparently offered that only non-GMO grains are used, and that no artificial ingredients are included in their beer.
What About Organic Beer?
Organic beer is your best bet, but this isn’t easy to find at your average bar or pub. In the US, organic certification for beer has two levels:
- 100% Organic: Requires that the beer be solely with organic ingredients. Nothing else is allowed. Very few beers fit into this category.
- Organic: An easier certification to qualify for, organic beers must be brewed with 95% organic ingredients.
Regulations continue to change, and as organic becomes more popular, we can expect to see adjustments to US organic certification guidelines.
Organic Beer is Better for Your Health
What makes organic beer better? Well, when made from organic ingredients, drinking beer can contribute to your overall health and well-being. Drinking organically brewed beer also helps create a better environment, one where our dollars are supporting less use of chemicals.
Drinking organic beer also supports the organic farming industry, which supports non-GMO seeds, avoidance of chemicals and pesticides, and use sustainable farming methods. I’ll drink to that!