Beer Alcohol and Calories:

Alcohol and Calorie Content of About 200 Popular Beers

Maintained by: binger@hsh.com

About this Document...

Below are the results of a cooperative study completed by Mr. Lester Hankin, and the The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and the Excise Tax Division of the Connecticut Department of Revenue Service.

The above mentioned FAQ maintiner *does not* know or have any relationship whatsoever with either Mr. Hankin or any Connecticut State Department. This FAQ results from the saving of a post to Usenet's alt.beer in late 1993.

Special thanks to Mike Feustel , whose "friend" originally unearthed this data from somewhere. Now if he could only remember where!

A request for updated informaton is being prepared and will be sent to the proper authorities. (1/95: still pending)

Copyright Info: I know of none, but assume that this data is copyrighted by the above mentioned parties. If an update can be secured, or even an original copy of the study be obtained, copyright information will be added at that time.

Background

Consumption of beer in the United States is about 33 gallons per person per year based on persons over 18 years of age (6). In all, over six billion gallons of beer are produced each year in the United States (6,7).

Generally three types of beer are sold: regular, light, and non-alcoholic. The term light intends to signify a product with less alcohol and fewer calories than regular beer. About 2-3 percent of beer sales are now of the light type (4). Non-alcoholic beer usually claims less than a half percent of alcohol and is intended for people who desire a product with little or no alcohol.

In all, 202 samples of beer were tested. The alcohol and calorie content for each sample are reported. In comparison to regular beer which averaged 5 percent alcohol and 43 calories per 100 ml, light and non-alcoholic beer averaged 16 and 94 percent less alcohol and 27 and 60 percent fewer calories, respectively.

Analysis of Beer

TABLE I--ALCOHOL AND CALORIE CONTENT OF BEER

Brand/Brewer (Country)            % Alcohol  Calories
                                             per 100 ml
-------------------------------------------------------
Anchor Porter
   Anchor (USA)                     5.66        59
Anchor Steam Beer
   Anchor (USA)                     4.63        43
Asahi Draft Beer
   Asahi (Japan)                    5.21        41
Ballantine Prlvate Stock Malt Liquor
   Narragansett (USA)               6.01        47
Ballantine Indla Pale Ale           6.17        53
   Falstaff (USA)                   6.61        55
Ballantine Premium Lager Beer
   Falstaff (USA)                   4.82        43
Ballantine XXX Ale                  5.68        49
   Falstaff (USA)                   5.08        46
Bass & Co's Bale Ale                4.02        37
   Bass (England)                   5.51        45
                                    4.95        41
Beamish Irish Cream Stout
   Beamish - Crawford (Ireland)     3.73        37
Beck's Beer                         5.13        43
   Brauerei Beck (Germany)          5.13        42
Big Barrel Australian Lager         3.98        31
   Cooper & Sons (Australia)        4.66        39
Black Horse Premium Draft Beer
   Black Horse (USA)                4.74        45
Blatz Beer
   G. Heileman (USA)                4.86        43
Blatz Milwaukee 1851 Beer
   Blatz (USA)                      4.48        38
Boulder Porter
   Boulder (USA)                    6.07        53
Budwelser King of Beers             4.82        40
   Anheuser Busch (USA)             4.47        39
Busch Beer                          4.98        42
   Anheuser Busch (USA)             5.19        43
Carling Black Label Canadian        4.71        45
   Style Beer G. Heileman (USA)    4.38         39
Cerveza Carta Blanca
   Cerveceria Cauhtemoc (Mexlco)    4.02        36
Cerveza Tecate Beer                 4.10        37
   Cervecerla Cauhtemoc (Mexico)    4.49        41
Chester Golden A]e
   Greenall Whitley (England)       5.43        44
Colt 45 Malt Liquor                 5.53        45
   G. Heileman (USA)                6.11        49
Coors Banquet Beer                  4.81        39
   Adolph Coors (USA)               5.03        41
Corona Extra Beer
   Cereveria Modela SA (Mexico)     4.84        45
Dos Equis XX Imported Beer
   Cauhtemoc (Mexico)               4.79        42
Dos Equis XX Special Lager
   Cerveceria Montezuma (Mexico)    4.96        44
Dragon Stout
   Desnoes - Goeddes (Jamaica)      6.79        62
Foster's Lager                      5.25        42
   Garlton & United (Australia)     5.06        44
Furstenberg German Beer
   Fustlich Ferstenbergische        4.43        39
    (Germany)
Genesee 12 Horse Ale                4.76        46
   Genesee (USA)                    4.98        44
Genesee Beer
   Genesee (USA)                    5.03        43
Genesee Cream Ale                   4.9B        44
   Genesee (USA)                    4.70        42
George Killian's Irish Red Ale
   Adolph Coors (USA)               5.79        50
George Killian's Irish Red Brand Beer
   Adolph Coors (USA)               5.54        49
Great Wall Imported Chinese Beer
   Green Bamboo (China)             4.63        45
Greenall's Cheshire English Pub Beer
  Grecnall Whitley PLC (England)    5.00        40
Grizzly Canadian Lager              5.4B        43
   Hamilton (Canada)                4.45        36

Grolsch Lager Beer                  5.11        44
   Grolsch Bierbrouweri (Holland)  5.17         44
                                    5.16        43
                                    5.37        44
Guinness Extra Stout
   Gulnness (Ireland)               4.27        43
Harfenrefrer Private Stock Malt Llquor
   Narragansett (USA)               6.87        50
Hamm's Beer
   Pabst (USA)                      4.53        40
Harp (mported Lager Beer            4.55        40
   Harp (Ireland)                   4.71        42
                                    4.96        43
Heineken Lager Beer                 5.41        47
   Heineken (Holland)               5.41        45
Heineken Special Dark Beer
   Heineken (Holland)               5.17        48
Hofenperle Special Feldschlosschen Bier
   Feldsohlosschen Rheinfelden
   (Switzerland)                    5.28        45
Kaiserdom Rauchbier-Smoked Bavarlan Dark Beer
   Bamberg Worner OHG (Germany)     5.88        49
Kirin Beer                          6.85        53
   Kirin (Japan)                    5.27        43
Knickerbocker Natural Beer
   Ruppert (USA)                    4.16        38
Kronenbourg Beer                    5.11        43
   Kronenbourg (France)             4.83        42
Kronenbourg Imported Dark Beer      5.08        46
   Kronenbourg (France)
Kuppers Kolsch          
   Kuppers     (Germany)            5.38        45                
LA Anheuser Busch Premlum Pilsner Beer
                                    2.29(a)     26
   Anheuser Busch (USA)             2.00(a)     29
Labatt's 50 Canadian Ale            5.34        43
   Labatt (Canada)
Liberty Ale
   Anchor (USA)                     6.12        53
Lord Chesterrfeld Ale               5.40        30
   D.G. Yuengling & Son (USA)       5.57        44
Lowenbrau Dark Special Beer                        
   Miller (USA)                     5.00        45
Lowenbrau Special Beer              5.12        45
   Miller (USA)                     5.03        44
McEwans Scotch Ale
   Scottish & Newcastle (Scotland)  9.50        83
Michelob Beer                       4.90        44
   Anheuser Busch (USA)             4.99        45
Michelob Classic Dark Beer
   Anheuser Busch (USA)             4.76        45
Michelob Classic Dark Beer
   Anheuser Busch (USA)             4.93        45
Mickeys Fine Malt Liquor
   G. Heileman (USA)                5.70        45
Miller High Life Beer               4.78        44
   Miller (USA)                     4.80        43
Miller High Life Genuine            4.68        42
   Draft Beer, Miller (USA)         5.02        43
Molson Canadian Beer
   Molson (Canada)                  5.19        43
Molson Golden Beer                  6.04        48
   Molson (Canada)                  5.22        43
Moosehead Canadian Lager Beer      5.08         43
   Moosehead (Canada)               4.84        40
                                    4.92        40
O'Keefe Canadian Beer               4.96        40
   O'Reefe (Canada)                 5.03        41
Olde English Brand 800 Malt Liquor  6.13        48
   pabst (USA)                      5.78        45
Old Milwaukee Beer                  4.95        44
   Stroh (USA)                      4.51        41
Olympia Premium Lager Beer
   Pabst (USA)                      4.78        41
Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer              4.50        39
   Pabst (USA)                      5.01        43
                                    5.00        43
Piels Premium Draft Style Beer      4.84        43
   Stroh (USA)                      4.23        39
Pilsener Urquell Beer
   Pilsener Urquell Pilzen          4.25        45
   (Czechoslovakia)
Red Strlpe Lager Beer               5.04        43
   Desnoes & Geddes (Jamaica)       4.82        42
Red White & Blue Special Lager Beer
   G. Heileman (USA)                5.15        43
Rheingold Premium Beer
   Rheingold (USA)                  4.78        42
Rolllng Rock Extra Pale Premium Beer
   Latrobe (USA)                    4.64        40
Rolling Rock Premlum Beer           4.51        34
   Latrobe (USA)                    4.27        38
Samuel Adams Boston Lager           4.67        50
   Boston Beer (USA)                4.88        48
                                    4.74        44
Schaefer Beer                       4.66        40
   Stroh (USA)                      4.60        40
                                    4.48        40
Schlitz Beer                        4.70        41
   Stroh (USA)                      4.41        40
                                    4.60        42
Schlitz Malt Liquor
   Stroh (USA)                      6.29        52
Sheaf Stout
   Carlton & United (Australia)     5.28        49
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
   Sierra Nevada (USA               4.82        45
Sierra Nevada Porter
   Sierra Nevada (USA)              5.34        48
Sierra Nevada Stout
   Sierra Nevada (USA)              5.10        56
Signature Stroh Beer
   Stroh (USA)                      4.84        43
Sol Cerveza Especial                3.94        36
   Cerveceria Montezuma (Mexico)    4.13        37
Spaten Munich Special Dark Beer
   Spaten-Brau (Germany)            6.63        52
St. Pauli Girl Beer                 5.00        39
   St. Pauli (Germany)              4.79        41
St. Pauli Girl Dark Beer            5.02        45
   St. Pauli (Germany)              4.93        44
Stroh's Beer                        4.64        41
   Stroh (USA)                      4.68        42
Suntory Draft Beer
   Suntory (Japan)                  4.64        39
Superior Imported Beer
   Cerveceria Moctezuma (Mexico)    4.34        43
Thos Cooper & Sons Adelaide Lager
   Cooper & Sons (Australia)        4.27        36
Thos Cooper & Sons Naturally Brewed Real Ale
   Cooper & Sons (Australia)        6.77        45
Thos Cooper & Sons Naturally Brewed Stout
   Cooper & Sons (Australla)        7.10        58
Tolly Origlnal Premium Ale
   Tollei-ache & Cobbold            4.85        41
   (England)
Tsingtao Beer
   Tsingtao (China)                 4.79        43
Tuborg Deluxe Dark Export Quality Beer
   G. Heileman (USA)                5.11        46
Tuborg Export Quality Beer          5.02        45
   G. Heileman (USA)                5.02        44
Tusker Malt Lager
   Bia Ni Bora (Kenya)              5.24        42
Utica Club Pilsener Lager Beer
   West End (USA)                   4.82        27
Watney's Red Barrel Beer
   Stag (England)                   3.92        40
Wurzburger Hofbrau Pilsner Beer
   Wurtzburger Hofbrauag            5.42        45
  (Germany)
Yuengling Porter
   D.G. Yuengllng & Son (USA)       4.13        40
Yuengllng Premium Beer
   D.G. Yuengling & Son (USA)       4.65        39
                                    4.11        39
------------------------------------------------
(a) claims half the alcohol of regular beer



TABLE 2--ALCOHOL AND CALORIE CONTENT OF LIGHT BEER

Brand BreHer (Country)       % Alcohol         Calorles
                                     .        per 100 ml
--------------------------------------------------------
Amstel Light Bier                   3.74        29
   Amstel Brouwerij B.V.            3.96        28
   (Holland)
Anheuser Busch Natural Light Beer   4.40        33
   Anheuser Busch (USA)             4.12        31
Bud Light Beer                      3.56        30
   Anheuser Busch (USA)             3.88        33
Coors Llght Beer
   Adolph Coors (USA)               4.36        30
Dribeck's Light Low Calorie Beer
   Brauerei Beck (Germany)          3.39        28
Genesee Light Beer
   Genesee (USA)                    3.55        27
Michelob Light Beer                 4.53        41
   Anheuser Busch (USA)             4.52        39
Miller Lite Pilsner Beer            4.61        31
   Mlller (USA)                     4.40        29
Molson Light Beer
   Molson (Canada)                  2.41        23
Nordik Wolf Light Imported Beer     4.81        32
   A.B. Pripps Bryggerier           4.70        31
  (Sweden)
Old Milwaukee Premium Light Beer
   Stroh (USA)                      3.82        32
Pabst Extra Light Low Alaohol Beer
   Pabst (USA)                      2.50(a)     19
Piels Naturally Light Beer
   Stroh (USA)                      4.49        40
Rheingold Extra Light Beer
   Rheingold (USA)                  4.32        27
Schaeler Light Lager Beer        
   Stroh (USA)                      4.07        34
Schlitz Light Pilsner Beer
   Stroh (USA)                      4.28        31
Stroh Light Beer                    4.91        42
   Stroh (USA)                      4.45        35
Watney's London Light Beer
   Whatney Combe Reid (England)     3.56        29
Wurtzburger Hofbrau Pure Bavarian Light Beer
   Wurtzburger Hofbrau Ag           5.44        43
   (Germany)
---------------------------------------------------
(a) claims 50% less alcohol than regular beer


TABLE 3--ALC0H0L AND CALORIE CONTEHT OF NON-ALCOHOLIC BEER

Brand Brewer (Country)       % Alcohol        Calories
                                     .        per 1OO ml
--------------------------------------------------------
Bass Barbican Non-Alooholic Malt Beverage
  Bass (England)                    0.10        15
Clausthaler Non-Alcoholic Herbfrisches Schankbier
   Bindlng Brauerei (Germany)       0.44        13
Clausthaler Hon-Alcoholic Herbfrlsches Schankbier
   Bindlng Brauerel (Germany)       0.48        14
Elan Swiss Brew Non-Alcoholic Malt Beverage
   Feldschloschen (Switzerland)     0.50        25
Kallber All Natural Non-Alcoholic Brew Light Malt Beverage
   Guinness (England)               0.10        14
Kingsbury Non-Alcoholic Malt Bev.   0.20        15
   G. Heileman (USA)                0.10        14
                                    0.10        13
Metbrau All Natural Draft Non-Alcoholic Malt Beverage
   Metropolls (USA)                 0.50        21
Moussy Non-Alcohollc Malt Beverage  0.05        15
   Cardlnal Filbourg (Switzerland)  0.10        16
Saint Michael's Non-Alcoholic Malt Beverage
   St. Michael's (USA)              0.73        17
Wurtzburger Hofbrau Non-Alcoholic Light Malt Beverage
   Wurzberger Hofbrau Ag (Germany)  0.10        30
------------------------------------------------------------


TABLE 4--AVERAGE ALCOHOL AND CALORIE CONTENT OF REGULAR, LIGHT,
         AND NON-ALCOHOLIC BEER

Product            No.         % AlcoholCalories
                 samples          per 100 ml
----------------------------------------------------------------
Regular            163         5.0 [2.0-9.5]         43 [26-83]

Light               26         4.1 [2.4-5.4]         32 [19-43]
                                   (-16%)               (-27%)

Non-alcohollc       13         0.3 [0.1-0.7]         17 [13-30]
                                   (-94%)               (-60%)
----------------------------------------------------------------
The number in parenthesls ( ) indicates average difference from regular beer and numbers in brackets [] is the range of % alcohol and calories per 100 ml, respectlvely.

ADDITIONAL DATA

Beer is a generic name for beverages made by fermentation of extracts of cereal grain, particularly barley, or other starchy material (1,8). Beer is a beverage known since antiquity and next to wine is probabLy the oldest of prepared food drinks. In modern times the countries of northern Europe set the style of beer as it appears today. In fact, the words "beer," "brewing," and "Lager" are all of German origin (1,8).

Beer is defined in Connecticut Statutes (2) as any beverage obtained by the alcoholic fermentation of an infusion or decoction of barley, malt and hops in drinking water and containing more than one-half of one percent of absolute alcohol. Taxes on beer sold in Connecticut are collected by the Excise Tax Division of the Department of Revenue Services at the rate of $3 per barrel (not less than 28 nor more than 31 gallons per barrel).

METHODS

Samples were collected at wholesale beer distributors in Connecticut by inspectors of the Excise Tax Division of the Department of Revenue Services during April and May, 1987. Analysis for alcohol content was by AOAC methods (5) using gas chromatography (3). Proteins, ash, and solids were analyzed by AOAC methods (5). Carbohydrate content was calculated as percent total solids - (% protein + % ash) Calories were calculated as (% alcohoL X 6.93) + ((96 carbohydrate + %protein) X 4) (3). Duplicate analyses for alcohol in the same container of beer showed an average deviation of 0.057 percent and duplicates for protein 0.05 percent.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Of the 202 samples tested, 163 were regular beer (Table 1), 26 were light beer (Table 2), and 13 were non-alcoholic beer (Table 3). These represented 81, 19 and 9 different brands of regular, light, and nonalcoholic beer, respectively. Each Table lists the brand name of the beer, the name of the brewer, the country of origin, alcohol content, and the calories per 100 ml (milliliters) (3.5 ounces).

Alcohol in regular, light, and non-alcoholic beer averaged 5.0, 4.1, and 0.3 percent, respectively (Table 4). Calories in regular, light and non-alcoholic beer averaged 43, 32, and 17 per 100 ml, respectively. The range in values for alcohol and calories was wide. Alcohol in regular beer ranged from 1.0 to 9.5 percent, while light beer ranged from 2.4 to 5.4 percent and non-alcoholic beer from 0.1 to 0.7 percent. Similarly, calories varied among all types of beer. Some variation was noted in alcohol content among different containers of the same type of beer. A dilference of 1.5 percent was found in one type of regular beer and 1.6 percent in another. Although the labels showed no code numbers, each container of beer is likely from a different manufacturing batch.

A comparison of alcohol and calorie content between regular and light beer from the same manufacturer can be made by examining Tables 1 and 2. For example, eight regular beers made by Anheuser Busch (does not include beer claiming half the amount of alcohol as regular beer) averaged 5.11 percent alcohol. Four light beers from the same manufacturer averaged 4.17 percent, 15 percent less than found in the regular beer. Calories in the same Anheuser Busch regular beer averaged 44 per 100 ml and 35 in light beer, or 20 percent lower calories. Similar comparisons may be made for other manufacturers.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Analyses were by Lucia McLean, Dr. Vipin Agarwal, Lois Hornig, Deborah Behnfield, and John Hayes. Arrangements and collections of samples were made by Pasquale Oronzo, James Pyne, and Robert Brown of the Excise Tax Division.

REFERENCES

1. Encyclopaedia Brittanica. Vol. 1, 15th edition, 1974, Chicago, IL.

2. General Statutes of the State of Connecticut. revised January 1, 1987, sections 12-433 and 435.

3. Hankin, L. 1986. Analysis of wine and beer coolers. Bulletin 840, CT Agricultural Experiment Station.

4, Messenger, B. 1988. Coors Target: Beer across America. Prepared Foods 157:58-61.

5. Official Methods of Analysis. 1984. 14th edition, S. Williams (ed.). Assoc. Official Analytical Chemists, Arlington, VA.

6. Statistical Abstracts ol the United States. 1985 105th edition, Washington, DC.

7. Statistical release Dept. of the Treasury, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. ATF R A:I 5130-2.

8. The Chemistry and Technology of Food and Food Products edition. M.B. Jacobs (ed.). 1951. Interscience Publishers, Analysis of Beer.