This story is over 5 years old.

This Horse Drinks a Beer a Day to Keep the Vet Away

Beer is the best medicine (at least for treating this horse's disease)
Photo via Flickr user Amy the Nurse

According to a Gallup poll conducted last July, 26 percent of adults think that having a drink every day is bad for your health, while an additional 51 percent believe that one drink doesn't make a difference, good or bad. Here's where the Gallup people—and everyone on the other side of its questions—get to meet Mac.

Mac, a 20-something horse, has Cushing's disease and a number of other health ailments, including anhidrosis, an inability to sweat properly. A forward-thinking veterinarian gave Mac the best possible prescription, advising his owners to give him a beer every day as part of his therapy. And because Mac is a good boy—and because his employer is friends with a craft brewer—he gets one glass of Good People Brewing Company beer a day.


Mac lives and legitimately works at the King's Stables in Chelsea, Alabama, where he is a therapy horse. The Stables are part of King's Home, which operates group homes and independent-living options for women and children who have been (or fear they may be) the victims of domestic abuse. According to, in addition to counseling and other more traditional therapies, its residents may also participate in equine therapy sessions.

When Mac's vet prescribed his 12-ounce medicine, John Tidwell, the development director of King's Home, called his friend Jason Malone, the co-founder of Good People.

"When John first heard back from the vet about the "beer-a-day" approach, he just so happened to have a Good People IPA available. One taste, and Mac seemed to really enjoy it," Lauren McCurdy, a spokesperson for Good People, told MUNCHIES. "After purchasing several six-packs and Mac going through every one, John came to Jason asking for a beer sponsorship. We certainly couldn't say no! Jason and our brewers have really been the ones to keep this going each month."

Good People agreed to become Mac's official pharmacist, and the horse has been drinking its beer for the past 12 months. His health has improved, he has resumed his therapeutic duties, and is working with children again. And, because this is the most adorable story of all time, Mac even got a field trip to the brewery earlier this week. "We usually visit with John or other employees of King's Home on a monthly basis," McCurdy said. "They wanted to bring Mac by to show us how well he's been doing since starting his beer treatment. Our brewers, King's Home staff, and Mac all enjoyed an IPA together to celebrate."

As strange as it sounds, beer is a somewhat regular treatment for horses with anhidrosis. Practical Horseman says that a daily can of beer is reportedly just as effective as acupuncture or nutritional supplements for helping horses cope with the condition, although there has been no real research confirming its benefits. "I generally recommend that people give the beer to me. It will work just as well," Dr. Robert MacKay, a professor at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine told the magazine.

Sorry, doc. Mac—and a whole lot of Good People—would respectfully disagree.