For Andhra Pradesh Excise Minister K S Jawahar, beer is a health drink and he is ready to prove it, a remark that would please guzzlers no end.
Amid protests by women over the state's new liquor policy, he purportedly told a TV news channel that the government would promote beer as a healthy drink.
"Who said beer is not a health drink? I am ready to prove it's a health drink," he told the channel late Monday night. A video clip of his remarks has gone viral on social media.
The minister was not available for comment or clarifications.
But, he reportedly sent a WhatsApp message to the channel on Tuesday morning listing the "health benefits" of beer.
"The health benefits of beer include anti-cancer properties, a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, increased bone density, prevention of dementia and coronary disease.
"It also aids the digestive system, treats diabetes and has anti-ageing properties," the note, titled '13 amazing benefits of beer', said.
Andhrpradesh excise minster #KSJAWAHAR calls beer a healthy drink ....seems like consumed som healthy drink before attending show 😂😂😂— deepak sharma (@back2wind) July 4, 2017
Is it going to be Beer-bal days in Andhra Pradesh?High on spirits and low on performance? Minister says beer is good for health— M Somasekhar (@Som_mulugu) July 5, 2017
So if red wine good for your heart. What are the health benfits in beer ? 🤔— krit (@DRINKmy_Swizzle) July 4, 2017
I ques integrity of Sh Jawhar Min of Excise, Govt of AP for calling Beer an health drink! Such statements degrade any/all good work of Govt— Vinay Ruttala (@rvvvinay121993) July 3, 2017
They say Beer is good for health. Its cheaper too then why shut Beer Pubs?— Bob (@BobLobo9959) July 2, 2017
Excise department officials, however, pleaded ignorance about the move to promote beer as a health drink.
"If it's a health drink, why do we need special licence for brewing? It could even be sold in any general store," a senior excise official remarked.