Drinking up to a pint of beer a day is good for the health and can reduce the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, doctors have suggested.
They claimed that moderate consumption could even help people lose weight if combined with a healthy diet.
Doctors Ramon Estruch and Rosa Lamuela tested 1,249 men and women over 57 years old.
Those who accompanied a Mediterranean diet with up to a pint of beer 'not only did not put on weight, but in some cases even lost weight'.
The doctors found beer provides the same health benefits attributed to moderate consumption of wine.
"In this study we banish myths. We know that beer is not to blame for obesity," the Daily Mail quoted Dr Lamuela as saying.
Beer contains folic acid, vitamins, iron and calcium, which the study claims provide a 'protective' effect on the cardiovascular system.
The subjects who regularly drank moderate amounts of beer were less likely to suffer from diabetes and high blood pressure, and had a lower body fat content.
The researchers from Barcelona and Madrid suggested women should drink two small glasses of beer a day while men should drink three, combined with a healthy diet and exercise.