Desperate Calorie Counting

I’m stepping out from under my self-imposed cloak of seasonal niceness to get cranky for a minute, but only a minute.

The source is this story in the Toronto Star, which heralds the alleged benefits of light beer.

Light beer love. Give me a break, and while you’re at it, save one for a man who understands that low alcohol need not mean low flavour, my good friend Mr. Lew “Session Beer Project” Bryson.

I’d get a quote from Lew, but frankly I’m too lazy. And besides, my minute is fast running out. So here are some words from people who should know better.

From Dick Snyder, my editor at City Bites magazine: “(Light beer is) cold, crisp beer without any heavy, overpowering flavours and it’s good for when calorie counting is important.”

Also good for calorie counting, Dick: actual counting! You want fewer calories, drink less good beer!

And from another friend, wine consultant Zoltan Szabo: “There is nothing more desirable than having a nice light beer after a long day of wine tasting. I always look for local craft beers when I can. Light beer is totally neutral compared to wine and it gives your palate a break.”

Also “totally neutral,” Zoltan: water!

And from a leading Toronto chef, Jason Bangerter: “I’m getting older and my metabolism is harder to control as work becomes more demanding and the days seem to get shorter with less time to spend in the gym. I go with a light beer because it’s not heavy and it’s easy to drink.”

Ya, like he’d go with Splenda in a cake at Auberge de Pommier because it would lighten the calorie load! Hmmm, “not heavy and easy to drink”? That would also be…oh yes, water!

All the more galling is the fact that in my home market – where this story also appears – there exist numerous lower alcohol/lower calorie alternatives with taste, as I emailed the author of the story when she first contacted me about it. But I guess the fact that the eminently sessionable Wellington Arkell Best Bitter, brewed locally and 4% alcohol, and Harviestoun’s Bitter & Twisted, imported from Scotland in bottle and keg and 4.2%, don’t actually say “light beer” on the label disqualifies them.

Okay, that’s it. My minute is up. Time to crank up the James Brown on the stereo and go back to being nice again.

3 Replies to “Desperate Calorie Counting”

  1. Steve – should I be offended that you completely missed the sidebar which included my suggestions for some decent low alcohol alternatives?

    (Not sure why Ivy only included mine and not yours – perhaps cause I played up the locally-brewed angle?)

    Anyway – as much as I don’t want to throw any fuel onto the wine vs. beer fire, the sad fact is that a whole lot of wine geeks that I know have pretty pitiful taste in beer. Even worse, most of them really appreciate a great beer when I share it with them – but for everyday drinking, they still choose crap.

    1. Oh, I saw it, Greg. It’s just that: a) by then I was in full-blown rant mode; and b) I thought it was given awfully short shrift, along the lines of “oh ya, here are a few local things you probably won’t be able to find anyway.”

      And as for the wine-beer thing, I guess I hang out with a better grade of wine guys and gals, because most of the ones I know understand quality. Including, more often than not, Messrs. Snyder and Szabo.

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