Beer Alcohol Content | How Much Alcohol Is In Beer?
Beer is among the most popular drinks in the world. Because it contains alcohol, it poses a number of health risks, including alcohol poisoning and alcohol addiction (also called alcohol use disorder).
In general, the more alcohol beer contains, the more dangerous it is. Different beers have different alcohol levels.
What’s The Alcohol Content Of Beer?
The amount of alcohol in an alcoholic beverage (also called alcohol concentration) is measured in ABV (alcohol by volume).
ABV can vary widely depending on the type of beer.
Types Of Beer
The two main types of beer are lagers and ales. Both types are created through fermentation.
Fermentation is a process in which yeast converts sugar into alcohol (also called ethanol). Lagers are fermented at cold temperatures with bottom-fermenting yeast, while ales are fermented at warm temperatures with top-fermenting yeast.
Both lagers and ales have multiple subtypes.
Lager subtypes and their ABVs include:
- bock (between 6.3% and 9.5% ABV)
- dunkel (between 4.8% and 5.3% ABV)
- pale lager (between 4.1% and 5.1% ABV)
- pilsner (between 4.1% and 5.3% ABV)
Ale subtypes and their ABVs include:
- pale ale (between 4.4% and 5.4% ABV)
- porter (between 4.4% and 6% ABV)
- stout (between 3.2% and 12% ABV)
- wheat beer (between 2.8% and 5.6% ABV)
How Much Alcohol Is In Popular Beer Brands?
Compared to the general types of beer listed above, beer brands have more specific ABVs.
Beer brands can be separated into two categories: standard beer and light beer.
Standard beer, also called regular beer, is a beer that’s mass-produced. The average ABV of standard beers is about 5.0%.
Popular standard beer brands and their ABVs include:
- Beck’s (5.0% ABV)
- Budweiser (5.0% ABV)
- Blue Moon White (5.4% ABV)
- Coors (5.0% ABV)
- Corona Extra (4.6%)
- Guinness (4.2%)
- Hamm’s (4.7%)
- Heineken (5.4%)
- Henry Weinhard’s Amber Ale (5.3%)
- Hoegaarden (5.0%)
- Killian’s (4.9%)
- Labatt Blue (5.0%)
- Lowenbräu (5.2%)
- Michelob (5.0%)
- Mickey’s (5.6%)
- Miller Genuine Draft (5.0%)
- Moosehead (5.0%)
- Samuel Adams Boston Lager (4.8%)
- Samuel Adams Boston Ale (4.9%)
- Tsingtao (4.7%)
- Yuengling Ale (5.0%)
- Yuengling Lager (4.4%)
Light beers are similar to standard beers, except they have fewer calories and carbs. They also tend to have a low alcohol content compared to standard beer. The average ABV of light beers is about 4.2%.
Popular light beer brands and their ABVs include:
- Amstel Light (3.5% ABV)
- Bud Light (4.2%)
- Busch Light (4.2%)
- Coors Light (4.2%)
- Corona Light (4.5%)
- Edison Light (4.0%)
- Genny Light (3.6%)
- Hamm’s Light (4.1%)
- Heineken Light (3.5%)
- Iron City Light (4.2%)
- Keystone Light (4.2%)
- Kipling Light Lager (3.4%)
- Michelob Lite (4.3%)
- Miller Lite (4.2%)
- Miller Genuine Draft Lite (4.2%)
- Natural Light (4.2%)
- Samuel Adams Light (4.5%)
- Shiner Light (3.9%)
- Yuengling Light Lager (3.6%)
How Much Alcohol Is In Craft Beer?
Craft beers are produced in smaller batches than standard beers and light beers. They also tend to have superior ingredients and higher ABVs than other beers. The average ABV of craft beer is about 5.9%.
Popular craft beers include:
- American IPA (between 5% and 8% ABV)
- Baltic Porter (between 7% and 10% ABV)
- Belgian Pale (between 4.8% and 5.5% ABV)
- Blonde Ale (between 3.8% and 7% ABV)
- Cream Ale (between 4.2% and 5.6% ABV)
- Farmhouse Ale (7.7% ABV)
- Kolsch (between 4.4% and 5.2% ABV)
- New England IPA (between 6.3% and 7.5%)
- Pumpkin Beer (9% ABV)
- Saison (between 5% and 8% ABV)
The craft beers with the highest alcohol percentages include Tactical Nuclear Penguin and Snake Venom.
Tactical Nuclear Penguin is an imperial stout (a strong, dark beer) with an ABV of about 32%. Snake Venom is a Scottish beer with an ABV of about 67.5%.
If you or someone you love feels unable to stop drinking alcohol, please contact an Ark Behavioral Health specialist. We provide a variety of alcohol abuse and addiction treatment services, including mental health counseling, support groups, and medical detox.
National Institute of Standards and Technology - How Do You Measure the Percentage of Alcohol in Beer, Wine and Other Beverages?
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism - What Is A Standard Drink?
National Library of Medicine - Craft beer: An overview
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