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In this second in a series of articles looking at calories in alcohol, we take a closer look at calories in beer and lager - notably, where these calories come from, how the emergence of a ‘light’ beer category has confused things for consumers, and how the number of calories in a pint across the UK’s most popular brands compare to our lower calorie alternatives from Skinny Brands and Lean Brew.
Read on to find out more about the calories in different brands of beers and discover refreshing and satisfying lower-calorie beer with DrinkWell.
How Many Calories Are There In A Pint of Beer?
The number of calories in a pint varies considerably between different types of beer. The prevailing opinion is generally that the darker the beer and the denser the head, the more carbs and calories it contains. We’ve found, however, that this isn’t actually always the case. For instance, using the myfitnesspal database, we can see some pretty surprising numbers below:
|Beer||Calories in a Pint|
|Kronenbourg (5.0% ABV)||244|
|Peroni (5.1% ABV)||235|
|Budweiser (4.5% ABV)||232|
|Cobra (4.8% ABV)||228|
|Heineken (5.0% ABV)||227|
|Stella Artois (4.8% ABV)||227|
|Becks (4.8% ABV)||226|
|Guinness (4.1% ABV)||210|
|Brewdog IPA (5.4% ABV)||292|
|Skinny Lager (4.0% ABV)||149|
|Lean Brew IPA (4.1% ABV)||170|
Nutrition details (per 125ml)
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By using higher levels of sugar, the likes of Peroni, Kronenbourg, Budweiser, Heineken, and Stella Artois are in fact delivering a significantly higher number of calories to their consumers - even higher than Guinness. There appears a misperception, then, that lager is the better option for anyone wanting to watch their calorie intake from beer.
Skinny Larger Compared To Other Brands
It is always best to work from facts, and based on the data above, we can see that Skinny Lager has a much lower number of calories compared to regular lager. A 330ml can/bottle of Skinny larger contains:
- Calories per serving: 89
- Total Carbohydrates: 3g
- Alcohol by volume: 4%
Comparatively, that is:
- 39% fewer calories than a bottle of Kronenbourg
- 37% fewer calories than a bottle of Peroni
- 36% fewer calories than a bottle of Budweiser
- 35% fewer calories than a bottle of Cobra
- 34% fewer calories than a bottle of Heineken
- 34% fewer calories than a bottle of Stella Artois
- 34% fewer calories than a bottle of Becks
- 29% fewer calories than a bottle of Guinness
Notably, Skinny Lager also has 10 fewer calories per bottle than Corona Light, which is a popular lager for a lot of people trying to reduce their number of calories from alcohol. This demonstrates how including the word ‘light’ in the name doesn’t necessarily make it the lowest-calorie alternative. This difference is all the more impressive when we take into consideration that Skinny Lager actually has slightly more alcohol than Corona Light (4.0% versus 3.9% ABV).
Lean Brew IPA vs. BrewDog IPA
When it comes to IPA’s, the high hop content that gives them their magnificent bitterness also means that their calorie range can be much higher. However, it is not all lost hope for the hops, as low calorie alternatives like Lean Brew IPA deliver the same amount of hoppy bitterness as market-leading competitors, without the extra calories.
One 330ml can of LeanBrew IPA contains:
- Calories per serving: 99
- Total Carbohydrates: 4g
- Alcohol by volume: 4.1%
- International Bitterness Units (IUB): 32.5
Compared to BrewDogs’ Punk IPA, Lean Brew delivers the same healthy hoppy bitterness (32.5 IUB) with 42% less calories and 75% less carbs.
Where do the calories in beer come from?
The calorie count in beer is dependent upon alcohol levels and sugar/carbohydrate content, with alcohol having the most impact due to the higher number of calories per gram in alcohol (7) than carbs (4).
As a side note, often confused in the UK market to mean low calorie, light beer by industry definition actually means a reduced level of alcohol, and the lower number of calories is a byproduct of lessening the calorific impact that alcohol has within that beverage - as detailed above. However, this lower level of alcohol (and subsequently calories) is relative to that brand’s regular bottle of beer. Therefore, when faced with a new brand of light beer, it is important to find out the exact number of calories contained in that beer, rather than assuming that it falls below that of other bottles without the word ‘light’ in their name.
Leaving that to one side, beer also has the impact of delaying the fat-burning process your body is undertaking prior to consuming alcohol. By viewing alcohol as a toxin, the body focuses its efforts at processing and eliminating alcohol when consumed. As a result, everything else comes to a complete standstill. This means that your body will stop burning other such things, including its stored fats. As such, if drinking beyond moderation, your body has a double whammy from the calories in the beverage, as well as increasing the impact of calories consumed before, during and after alcohol consumption - not good at all if you’re trying to restrict your calorie intake.
Lower Calorie Beer at DrinkWell
If you’re looking for a lower-calorie beer then look no further. At DrinkWell we offer an extensive range of delicious and lower-calorie beers that means you can enjoy a pint guilt-free. A great low-calorie beer we offer that is still 4.0% and has a premium taste to it, is Skinny Larger, there really isn’t a better option in our opinion. If you’ve not tried Skinny Lager yet, why not treat yourself to a case today for just £16.99, or explore our other ranges of lower-calorie drinks from wine, to hard seltzers, spirits and more?
As always: drink responsibly, drink smart and Drinkwell.