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Calories in Cider: How Do They Compare To Beer?

Calories in Cider: How Do They Compare To Beer?

Drinkwell is the home of lower-calorie alcohol. We bring together the best lower-calorie beer and cider on the market and all the information you need to make the right choices for your lifestyle. Explore our blog for more. 


Whoever coined the phrase ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ probably didn’t do so in reference to cider. But, how does this cider compare to beer in terms of the number of calories and carbohydrates? Keep reading for all the details.

So, is cider healthier than beer? There is no definite answer for this as the number of calories in a product depends on the level of alcohol and the amount of sugar/carbohydrates. Cider contains 47 calories per 100ml on average, whereas across the most popular brands in the UK, beer contains 40 calories per 100ml on average. So, cider does generally contain more calories than beer but this is not always the case.

Read on to learn more about the comparison of calories in cider and beer, and find out more about delicious, lower-calorie beers and ciders with Drinkwell.

Does Cider Contain More Calories Than Beer?

The all-important question: is cider more or less calorific than beer?
To answer this, let’s first look at the number of calories in cider across the most popular brands available:

  • Rekorderlig Strawberry & Lime - 330 calories (500ml; 4.0%)
  • Henry Westons Oak Aged Herefordshire Cider - 280 calories (500ml; 8.2%)
  • Rekorderlig Passionfruit - 275 calories (500ml; 4.0%)
  • Bulmers Crushed Red Berries & Lime Cider - 275 calories (500ml; 4.0%)
  • Kopparberg Strawberry & Lime - 275 calories (500ml; 4.0%)
  • Kopparberg Mixed Fruits - 275 calories (500ml; 4.0%)
  • Thatchers Haze Cloudy Somerset Cider - 245 calories (500ml; 4.5%)
  • Magners Pear Irish Cider - 235 calories (500ml; 4.5%)
  • Thatchers Gold Somerset Cider - 230 calories (500ml; 4.8%)
  • Strongbow Cloudy Apple Cider - 230 calories (500ml; 4.4%)
  • Magners Dark Fruit Irish Cider - 220 calories (500ml; 4.0%)
  • Kopparberg Pear Cider- 215 calories (500ml; 4.5%)
  • Magners Original Irish Cider - 210 calories (500ml; 4.5%)
  • Bulmers Original Cider - 210 calories (500ml; 4.5%)
  • Scrumpy Jack British Cider - 210 calories (500ml; 6.0%)
  • Strongbow Dark Fruit Cider - 200 calories (500ml; 4.0%)
  • Stowford Press English Cider - 185 calories (500ml; 4.5%)
  • Strongbow Original Cider - 175 calories (500ml; 5.0%)
  • Kopparberg Summer Fruits Light - 170 calories (500ml; 4%)

Using an often standard measure for cider  the 500ml bottle  the average number of calories above is 234 calories. For comparison to beer, this is 47 calories per 100ml.

Now, if we reference our recent article on calories in beer, the average number of calories per 100ml in beer across the most popular brands in the UK comes out as 40 calories.

So, there we have it, cider does appear to contain more calories than beer, which is due largely to the higher levels of sugar content from its different fermentation process. If you wish to find out more about how cider can compare to different types of alcoholic beverages and their calories, why not check out our blogs on wine and gin where we discussed this in more detail?

Where Do the Calories in Cider and Beer Come From?

The calorie count in cider or beer is dependent upon two things: the levels of alcohol and the amount of sugar or carbohydrates.

Considering that alcohol has a total of seven calories per gram compared to four calories per gram for carbohydrates, the ABV of an alcoholic beverage often has the most impact on the total number of calories.

Based on this, how does the alcoholic content differ between cider and beer?

Does Cider Contain More Alcohol Than Beer?

Looking at the most popular brands, the ABV between the two alcoholic beverages is pretty consistent. For instance, Strongbow, Magners, Bulmers, Thatchers, Kopparberg, Rekorderlig and Stowford Press all fall within 4 to 5 percent ABV, which is a range that the likes of Stella Artois, Heineken, Budweiser, Guinness, Fosters and Carling also all fall within.

There are, of course, exceptions to this, such as Henry Westons Oak Aged Herefordshire Cider with an ABV of 8.2%, but for the majority of the ciders found on draught in your local pub the ABV is typically around 4 to 5 percent.

Does Cider Contain More Carbohydrates Than Beer?

With similar levels of alcohol content, the amount of sugar or carbohydrates holds the key to the number of calories in cider versus beer.

Fermented with fruits such as apples, peaches and pears  all of which have a naturally high degree of sugar in them  cider has a much higher overall sugar content than beer, which is fermented with low-sugar grains such as hops and barley. Although a degree of sugar will often be later added to beer to balance the flavour, the impact of the different fermentation process results in cider most often having a higher number of carbohydrates.

But what about dry ciders? Whilst it’s true that this type of cider does contain less sugar as a result of the yeast being allowed to consume the majority of the cider’s natural sugars, this process results in higher levels of alcohol, which in turn increases the number of calories overall.

Notably, the trend is definitely much more towards sweeter cider than dry at the moment, as depicted by the emergence of a growing number of flavoured ciders, such as strawberry and lime, from the likes of Kopparberg and Rekorderlig, as well as Strongbow and Magners with their dark fruits alternative.


Are There Any Low Calorie Ciders Available in the UK?

The lowest-calorie cider in the UK is Alska 28 at just 123 calories per can. Compared to an alternative on the market Alska28 saves you over 50% on calories and 90% on sugar compared to any Kopparberg or Strongbow product.

Deciding to add this low-calorie cider to our range of lower-calorie alcohol was a no-brainer for us here at DrinkWell. If you’re trying to reduce your calorie intake from cider, switching to Alska 28 should also be a no-brainer.

Therefore, if you’re conscious of the number of calories in the alcohol, make sure to grab yourself a case of one of our delicious lower-calorie Ciders.

Drink Responsibly. Drink Smart. DrinkWell.


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