Beer Is "Everything Healthy" (Says Heineken Exec)

By McCarton Ackerman 11/05/12

The brew's CCO takes a selective approach to what good health entails.

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A healthy choice? Photo via

A top executive for Heineken has been seriously pushing the envelope when it comes to promoting his product. Alexis Nasard, Heineken's chief commercial officer, actually waxed lyrical about the health benefits of beer on CNBC, extolling it as a better choice than wine, spirits—or even milk. "There is everything healthy about beer," says Nasard. “Beer has much less calories than many things you can think about… Beer has fewer calories than a glass of milk. The other thing is beer is one of the few drinks that is purely natural; it is water, hops, barley and yeast, which is quite healthy." According to the UK's Beer Education Trust, he may just have a point about overall calorie intake: a half-pint of 3.8% bitter pale ale for example has 85 calories, compared to 128 in an equivalent amount of orange juice. But before you start dumping Heineken in your morning cereal or your gym bottle, Nasard clarifies that he isn't encouraging binge drinking—naturally. "All the benefits of beer—health, social and psychological—are only enjoyed when beer is drunk in moderation and preferably with a low-alcohol content,” he explains. Heineken has recently embarked on a major popularity drive, shelling out $45 million to get James Bond to down the Dutch drink in Skyfall. So far it seems to be working: with the exception of Western Europe, third-quarter sales shot up.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.