Well, I don't think beer will be replacing milk anytime soon for calcium but a new study just released this week says that beer is a rich source of dietary silicon. Dietary silicon helps with the growth and development of bones and connective tissues. It could also help in fighting the bone disease osteoporosis. The study also had the following to say:
"The researchers examined a variety of raw material samples and found little change in the silicon content of barley during the malting process. The majority of the silicon in barley is in the husk, which is not affected greatly during malting. The malts with the higher silicon contents are pale colored which have less heat stress during the malting process. The darker products, such as the chocolate, roasted barley and black malt, all have substantial roasting and much lower silicon contents than the other malts for reasons that are not yet known. The hop samples analyzed showed surprisingly high levels of silicon with as much as four times more silicon than is found in malt. However, hops are invariably used in a much smaller quantity than is grain. Highly hopped beers, however, would be expected to contain higher silicon levels. No silicon was picked up from silica hydrogel used to stabilize beer, even after a period of 24 hours and neither is there pick up from diatomaceous earth filter aid."
"Beers containing high levels of malted barley and hops are richest in silicon,” concludes Dr. Bamforth. “Wheat contains less silicon than barley because it is the husk of the barley that is rich in this element. While most of the silicon remains in the husk during brewing, significant quantities of silicon nonetheless are extracted into wort and much of this survives into beer.”