Got Beer?

The Craft of Avoiding the Winter Blahs: Beering healthy

Photo by Elevate on Unsplash.

Hibernation is metabolic depression. Heart rate, body temp, and metabolism slow down. That doesn’t sound like fun! Humans don’t hibernate in the true sense but winter can definitely feel like it. The sun sets early and rises late. It’s dark and cold. How can we turn the winter blues around? I try to find ways to brighten up the chilly months. Reaching out to some of my friends in the beer community has been helpful. Sharing beers remotely or getting out even for a pint or two has been my salvation. Beers to the rescue! I know it’s cold out, but bundle up and socialize. You will feel better.


Is it just me or does this time of year have you wanting to set the resolution to get in the best shape of your life? Yes, the best. I’m an overachiever. Being a registered dietitian provides me with knowledge of where to begin. Being a craft beer lover provides me with a challenge. Beer curls count as exercise, correct? My gym friends had some answers for me. Keep in mind we talk about craft beer before 6am most days in between sets and reps. “Ooof that’s a tough one,” my friend Beth Reynolds replied, laughing. Yes, it is Beth.

Helen Bingham asked “What if you thought about this differently? We stay in shape so we can drink, not because we drink. Working out is healthy and it personally gives me clarity on life and the beer helps me slightly suppress that clarity on reality.” Well said, Helen! Besides, life is too precious not to enjoy the local craft beer this area has. Moderation in the adoration is my motto.

Did you know that some local breweries have run clubs? What a great way to stay active, make new friends, and share a pint! Narragansett Run Club, Ravenous Runners, and Newport Run and Chug are a few. Justin Parilla, a friend of mine, participates in a run club. “I got started in one by accident. I used to trail run and [would] always stop at a brewery for a post-run beer. One Sunday after a race, I stopped in a brewery and met a whole group of runners who had the same passion for the sport and the love of craft beer. It gave me an instant group of friends who I consider family now. I love the balance of having a strong workout and then enjoying a well-earned beer. As someone smart once said, ‘Sweat out the hops to put more in.’”

Check out the run clubs listed above at, and @gansettrunclub and @npt_runandchug on Instagram.

You are what you eat, or in my case drink. How do you drink healthily? Do you need to have a month of not consuming any alcohol? That sounds like a prison sentence. I have participated in Dry January. It is difficult and winter is a tough time to refrain from a pint of craft beer. There are options of local beers that have a lower ABV. Here are a few of them. Keep in mind these beers still have calories.

🍺 Bristol Light from Six Pack Brewing: Light Lager 3.5%

Mark Papi, owner and brewer described this as a “light beer that has flavor.” Papi added, “Basically it is a pre-Prohibition Style Lager that uses 35% of flaked maize. It has a pretty good dose of Magnum hops for a noticeable bitterness upfront compared to other light beers. Then some noble hops at the end for aroma and flavor. Its cool fermentation and six-week lagering stage at a temperature near freezing give it a super clean lager taste. It comes through a little malty with some corn along with some nice hop notes. After drinking one, you’ll think to yourself, ‘There is no way this is a light beer.’”

🍺 Small Victories from Origin Beer Project: Czech Pale Lager 3.5% ABV

This ale has a clear golden pour with a foamy, dissipating head that maintains rim retention and spotty lacing. The aromas of yeast and malt follow through to the palate. It is bready and floral with a slight hop bitterness. This lager is deceivingly full of flavor that one would not expect from a low ABV beer.

🍺 Atlantic Lager from Narragansett Brewery: Light lager 3.5% 10 IBU

This is a lower calorie version of Gansett Lager. It has slight corn on the nose and palate. It is very light in taste and refreshing.

Bottom line: There is no quick fix, fad diet, or secret to staying fit. You have to put in the work with exercise, be mindful of what you eat and drink, and above all, have a positive mindset. Exercise and healthy eating are like a relationship – you can’t cheat on it and expect it to work. Be around others that make you laugh and feel loved. Consider having a workout buddy to help you stay committed to being fit. Be kind to yourself and pour a pint of local craft beer! Cheers and ‘hoppy’ New Year! •