If you love hoppy beers, crack open your favorite double IPA -- even better if you can find a triple IPA -- kick back, and savor the words you are about to read.
Hoppy beer may very well be the best form of alcohol that you can drink.
We just heard a resounding "duh" from lovers of hoppy brews. But here's the thing: The bitter beer is way less harmful for you than liquor and hop-free beers. Sorry, pilsner lovers. (Do you exist?)
A study published in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism employed what researchers called the "binge-drinking mouse model," in which we can only imagine they threw the mice a wild house party for 12 hours straight. It turns out, the mice who consumed hoppy beer had way less fat on their livers than the ones who drank ethanol and beer without hops.
"Taken together, our data suggest that hops in beer markedly attenuated acute alcohol-induced [fatty liver]," the researchers concluded.
Beer has other nutritional benefits as well, including vitamins B2, B6, biotin, niacin, riboflavin and folate, which could help protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer, according to Dr. Erik Skovenborg of Aim Digest.
Some beers have a decent amount of antioxidants, and the beverage can also stimulate digestion and increase breast milk production.
Hops were originally used in beer to preserve them for longer storage but are now a key ingredient that brings beer all sorts of complex flavors: often citrusy, earthy or floral and nearly always bitter.
"Our data suggest that hops content in beer is at least in part responsible for the less damaging effects of beer on the liver," the researchers wrote.
We're still not sure if your favorite IPA is actually healthy for you, but it's at least a good excuse for us to kick back and enjoy the occasional brew.