Fighting that beer belly with… beer

The discussion surrounding the obesity epidemic has centered on dietary norms, school lunches, processed foods, and agricultural subsidies. Beer drinking hasn’t received a ton of attention in this discussion, but if a student at Denver’s Regis University has his way, the battle against the beer gut may be waged with an intriguing weapon… more beer.

For the final project in the course “Justice and the Common Good: Sustainable Enterprise for a Just World,” student Chris Williams and his classmates each had to create a business plan. Williams, like any good college student, started thinking about beer… and built his plan around the beverage. His idea: CO Brewing, a brewery that would create a “nutrient-rich” beer which incorporates fruits and vegetables.

Professor Randy Lumpp, one of the course’s co-creators, was struck by the novelty of the idea: “Health beer… It’s not something I would have ever thought of.”

While addressing the health effects of alcohol certainly plan into broad notions of sustainability, Williams also included more conventionally green elements into his plan, including solar power for the brewery and electric vehicles for transportation. He and other students also received feedback from a panel of business and non-profit leaders in the community to whom they presented their plans.

The concept of “green beer” (not in the St. Patrick’s Day sense) has received a lot of attention over the past few years… but this is one of the first ideas I’ve come across tying brewing into larger health concerns, particularly obesity. Maybe an endorsement from Michelle Obama next?

“Healthy beer”: a contradiction in terms? Do the nutrients in the feedstocks Williams has planned survive the fermentation process? Show us you knowledge of brewing… let us know what you think.



Image credit: Phil Parker at Flickr under a Creative Commons license