A study in which teetotaling Spanish
nuns drank a regular half-litre of
beer showed that beer may help
reduce cholesterol levels.
The "magic" ingredient is hops.
"Hops, one of the basic components
of beer, may provide benefits that
aid in reducing levels of total
cholesterol and triglycerides," the
Centre for Information on Beer and
Health said in a statement.
The experiment selected the
teetotaler Cistercian nuns because
of their steady lifestyle and balanced
diet. Fifty nuns drank half a litre of
beer a day for 45 days, then
stopped for six months. Then they
took 400 milligrams of hops daily for
40 days. The result was a six per
cent reduction in total cholesterol.
Exceed Home Consumption
Belgian brewers sold more beer overseas
than what was consumed in the
country last year, according to the
Belgian Brewers' Federation
It was the first time Belgian beer
exports surpassed home consumption.
In the last 12 months Belgian beer
production rose by six percent while
domestic consumption fell to an all time
low -- under 90 liters per person. As a
result, Belgian beer exports rose by 15
percent, and accounted for 55 percent
of the country's production.
Falling beer consumption at home was
attributed to stricter drinking laws and
the rising popularity of other beverages.
A downside of this according to the
Belgian Brewers' Federation is that
exporting beer would require new
investments -- beers have to be
packaged to travel by sea, and the
taste must remain unchanged whatever
climate in those destination countries.
|Slim Can - Same Beer
Heineken Premium Light is now available in a slim can designed to, according to
Heineken, convey elegance, differentiate it from other beers. Previously Premium Light
was available only in a bottle. A company spokesman said that "beer makers have had
incentive to find more innovative packaging to regain some of the edge they've lost to
spirits. This kind of makes sense, you have a slimmer can for a lighter beer."
Premium Light was introduced in March 2006. Its success has generated interest in the
niche of imported light beers, which historically have occupied a much smaller portion
of the market than domestic lights, which have half the market. Heineken itself had a
very good year, as Premium Light jumped into the top 10 of import brands.