The nutritional value of beer lies chiefly in its caloric contribution to the diet primarily due to the alcohol it contains. The vitamin and mineral content is generally regarded to be too small to be of nutritional importance unless great quantities are consumed. The metabolic fate of alcohol has been given brief consideration and some of the current trends in the research on the physiological effects of alcohol have been highlighted. The rationale for sodium-ion-restricted-diets and the dietary regimes used as therapy for diabetes mellitus have been discussed from the viewpoint of including beer as a part of the diet plan. Contrary to previously published reports, beer cannot be recommended for incorporation on the basis of its therapeutic properties. Thus, rather than attempting to place a doubtful nutritional halo of health benefits over this delightful draught, one might be better directed to consider beer's pleasure-giving properties, taste appeal, and the psychological "lift" that this beverage provides.