Sunday, June 8, 2014

Corn does not belong in beer [ETA: This is wrong]

Not long ago I found out read that my go-to all-purpose draft beer, Guinness, contains high-fructose corn syrup. Corn (or maize as we say in the UK) does not belong in beer. High-fructose corn syrup doesn't belong in anything. I no longer drink Guinness. [Important ETA: please see tomorrow's blog post. Guinness does not contain maize/corn in any shape or form. I was wrong. Sorry.]

I've since investigated the ingredients of other beers. By investigate I mean I go to the website of the manufacturer--I use the term advisedly; some of these companies don't deserve the title of brewer--and read the posted ingredients. If the language is weaselly, "We use the best ingredients such as..." or "Our key ingredients are..." rather than "We use only the following ingredients..." I email the company directly and ask. It's not hard. I recommend trying it for your favourite beer/s.

If you drink microbrews/craft beer, you're probably fine--as long as it really is a microbrew you're drinking, not something that used to be a microbrew but is now owned by a mega conglomerate. But I tend to drink beer for gulpability--that wonderful combination of taste and volume that is so satisfying at the end of a hard-working day. I'm not a fan of anything over 6% alcohol by volume and prefer weaker than that--one of the reasons I used to love Guinness so much (it's only about 4%).

I've always found American big-label beverages (yes, I'm being very specific with my word choice today) unpleasant so I didn't even bother checking brands such as Bud Light, Coors, Rolling Rock, or Miller. I dread to think what's in them. But I did check my always-keep-some-in-the-fridge beer, Corona--and found it's stuffed with corn. Tuh. It's now off my party list.

However, I'm pleased to report that the following beers are deliciously pure:

  • Fullers ESB
  • Grolsch
  • Heinken
  • Amstel Light
  • Oranjeboom
Just thought you should know, seeing as summer is here...

ETA: I don't know what's in Timothy Taylor's, exactly, so I might go so far as to say it's "pure" (but so-called purity was never my major concern) but their senior brewer has assured me "the sugars we use are not derived from Corn (Maize)." I'm assuming that means just barley, but I don't know for sure. I've asked for more info.

ETA2: I'll repeat the essence of one of my comments below. I emailed Guinness for confirmation regarding the rumour of corn/maize about three weeks ago and got no response. I emailed them again today and am waiting for a reply.

ETA3: To repeat the in-line ETA above: I was wrong.
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