Nice piece in today's WSJ by Ken Wells in the Marketplace section on the latest research regarding the health benefits of beer.
Dr. Norman Kaplan, a professor of internal medicine at the U of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas cited a couple of recent large scale studies on the health benefits of moderate beer consumption. One of them showed that those women, (the study was of 70,000 nurses) who drank said moderate amounts of beer had less hypertension than those who drank wine or other spirits.
He also spoke about a Kaiser Permanente study of some 129,000 adults that showed male beer drinkers were at a statistically significant lower risk for cononary-artery disease than men who drank red wine or spirits.
Lots more facts and figures in the article, but the bottom line is "bottoms up". (Although the article was clear that this health benefit is for "moderate" drinkers, and that binge drinking doesn't help your heart and may do damage)