The 2015 World Exposition’s focus on nutrition is helping to get the many benefits of beer well deserved attention. Beer brewed from grains concentrates the very best elements of the base of the “food pyramid.” Hundreds of years of innovation have refined the methodology to conserve the rich nutritional content of beer with extensive varieties of brewing and storage techniques. The ultimate recognition for beer’s place in the world of nutrition was an International Beer Festival on the fair grounds of Expo 2015 which took place on September 19. This followed a successful industry workshop organized by the European Beer Brewers at Expo 2015 on June 19 at the European Union Pavilion.
Many brewmasters work full time at individual pavilions of the 2015 World Exposition in Milan. Belgium, home to the world’s largest beer brewing enterprise, InBev Anheuser Busch, is helping to educate nutrition experts about best practices. Xavier Bellens, Brewmaster at Belgium’s World Expo Pavillion, cites many of the characterisitcs of Belgian beer that are adding to the beverage’s recognition as a natural health food:
Top brewers have learned how to source locally and globally; many Belgian brewers depend on local springs they have used for hundreds of years, close to the world famous town of Spa, a leading source for quality spring water; at the same time, many brewers select the best quality grains and hops from the international market
Cumulative expertise in beer brewing has enabled a high degree of customization to match different tastes and craft beers that individual consumers find most refreshing; Belgium now produces over 3,000 different types of beer. White beers are highly regarded for retaining the original grain nutritional content. Other beers use fermenting processes which help them to age similarly to wine. Syrup additives can be used to customize formulas for premium beers.
The Czech Republic has also made the country’s traditional beers a centerpiece of its Expo 2015 pavilion. The featured brand of Pilsner Urquell has perfected techniques for storing beer to preserve its nutrients. This malt beer is produced from barley grain and hops, brewed in copper kettles, and stored in airtight tanks. This storage approach allows tank beers to be shipped without pasteurization. While pasteurization – heating a beverage to over seventy degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit) – eliminates potential contaminants, the process also degrades some nutritional elements.
Expo 2015 host country Italy also features several Italian brewers. Exhibitor Angelo Poretti features eight different brews of beer and offers a free consumer preference software tool to advise beer drinkers which of their beers is the best match for them. This includes the option of unfiltered beer which reinforces the original taste.
The excellent visibility afforded by Expo 2015 added to the topicality that earned beer a spot on the cover of the September 26 issue of Newsweek. The feature “Beer recipes lead to modern health remedies” put the serious side of beer where it belongs – in the science and technology section. It should be required reading for every sports nutrition expert whose goal is to cover all bases.