Does All Beer Have Gut-Friendly Probiotics?


We all know someone that has drank too much beer and done something dangerous or embarrassing. If you can't think of anyone, maybe it's you. (only joking...)

The common narrative is that beer is unhealthy and lacking in nutrition. The terms beer belly and beer gut are thrown around so often.

In this guide, I'm going to be checking out the probiotic contents in beer's. By the end of this article you should have a counter argument to the person telling you that beer is bad.

Does All Beer Contain Probiotic Bacteria?

Not all beers contain probiotic bacteria that are beneficial for the gut. To figure out what Beer's contain probiotic bacteria we need to look at the brewing process to see how how the beers were fermented and with what ingredients.

The acidic hops in some weaker beers don't come from yeast and may kill off the beneficial probiotic strains before any liquid even touches your lips. These acidic beers tend to not be very strong.

What Beers Contain Probiotic Bacteria?

Beers fermented twice need to use either Saccharomyces or Kluyveromyces yeast or Lactobacillus bacteria that creates an acid that kills off bad bacteria and lets the probiotic bacteria thrive during the longer fermentation time.

It's similar to how probiotic drinks like kefir and kombucha are made but for the most part the amazing Lactobacillus bacteria isn't mostly used to ferment beer. Instead it is yeast that is used most commonly in Belgian beers. If you are experienced in home brewing beer then you could in theory use any probiotic strain.

So in short, stronger and darker beers that have fermented twice are more likely to contain probiotic strains that are good for the gut. Sour Beers and Belgian lambics have some of the most potent probiotic bacteria that survive the fermentation process.

5 Best Dark Belgian Beers With Probiotic's

  • Hoegarden
  • Echt Kriekenbier
  • Westmalle Tripel
  • Trappistes Rochefort 8
  • Gouden Carolus Cuvée Van De Keizer Imperial Dark

Is Beer Good For Your Microbiome?

There is plenty of evidence to say that alcohol in excess can damage the gut flora and promote the growth of harmful bad bacteria. It's only recently that certain studies and research from Professor Eric Claassen has suggested beer in small quantities may provide probiotic benefits. Some research also hints to cardiovascular benefits from drinking beer but more research is needed.

What Probiotic Strains Does Some Beer Contain?

The probiotic bacteria you are likely to find in dark twice fermented beers depends on the yeast used in fermentation. Saccharomyces or Kluyveromyces fungus are the two most common in belgian beers and these are the strains that may provide some benefits. Saccharomyces Boulardii may provide benefits for IBS and Diarrhea.

In 2017 scientists in Singapore were the first to create a beer with the Lactobacillus paracasei L26 strain. This strain is well documented for it's potential health benefits but most beers do not contain lactobacillus probiotic bacteria unless they are fermented with that strain in the beginning.

Final Thoughts

Beer in moderation has been proven to show some gut health benefits thanks to the work of Eric Claassen. The key here is to stick with darker beers (Belgium has the best options) and absolutely drink in moderation! Too much alcohol can be devastating for the microbiome and that's not evening mentioning the dangers to other vital organs in the body.

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