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How Many Calories In A Craft Beer

Craft beer has become increasingly popular and for good reason. It offers a wide variety of flavors and styles, making it a great choice for all kinds of occasions.

But not everyone is aware of how many calories are in craft beer.

Craft beer has become incredibly popular in recent years, both in the US and around the world.

It’s very easy to understand why – craft beers come in a huge variety of styles, tastes, and sizes, offering something for everyone.

On top of that, craft beers have typically fewer calories than regular lagers or ales, making them even more attractive!

But with so many options available, it can be hard to tell which ones might be higher or lower in calories.

To help you make the best choices, let’s take a look at how many calories in a craft beer and how to fit it into your balanced diet.

Understanding Beer Calories

When talking about beer calories we’re referring to two things: the alcohol content and carbohydrates (sugar). The higher the alcohol content (ABV) the more calories are added; likewise for carbohydrates.

As sugar is broken down by yeast during fermentation it adds more calories. Other factors such as the type of grain or hops used can also influence the final number of calories present.

Factors Affecting Beer Calories

Several factors affect how many calories are present in craft beer:

  • ABV: The ABV or Alcohol By Volume is the percentage of alcohol by volume present in a specific beverage; this affects how many calories will be present because alcohol is high in caloric content with 7 cal/g compared to 1 cal/g for carbohydrates. As ABV increases so too does the number of calories per 12 oz serving.*
  •  Carbohydrates: This is usually provided through malt made from barley grains which are then fermented by yeast. Malt is high in dietary fiber which actually contributes some health benefits however it also makes up a good portion of carbohydrate content which adds additional calories.*
  • Hops: Hops are used to add flavor bitterness as well as aroma and they also play an important role when calculating calorie content because they contain flavonoids which add additional caloric value.*

Comparison of Craft Beer And Regular Beer

It’s widely known that craft beers tend to be lower on average when it comes to calorie count than regular beers (though there will always be exceptions).

This is mainly because craft beers often rely on unique ingredients such as hops or grains that traditional lagers or ales don’t — these unique ingredients often provide unique flavors to the final product but also help keep calorie counts low relative to their commercial counterparts.

However this doesn’t mean all craft beers have fewer calories than regular ones – some may actually have more due to higher amounts of certain grains or hops added during fermentation.

How To Check The Caloric Content Of Craft Beer

The best way to check how many calories are present in your chosen beer is on its nutrition label if available online– this should give you a good indication of what you’re drinking and applicable caloric information specific to your beer choice.

Some brewers also provide detailed nutritional information with each batch they produce online so that customers can better understand what they’re consuming.

Additionally, if you purchase canned products most will include approximate calorie counts right on their labels!

How To Fit Craft Beer Into A Balanced Diet

It’s important to remember that while small amounts (one serving size) can fit into a healthy diet plan – too much can contribute unwanted empty calories and ultimately lead to weight gain if not monitored properly.

Here are some tips on how best to incorporate one serving size into an overall balanced routine:

  • Drink responsibly: enjoy one glass at a time – don’t overdo it! Anywhere between 12-14 ounces per session should suffice for most drinkers.
  • Monitor your intake: keep track of your total alcohol consumption over time – if you know exactly how much you’re drinking then you’ll be able to manage your overall calorie intake better throughout the week/month
  • Choose lighter options when possible: opt for light or low-calorie variants when possible as these generally contain fewer overall carbohydrates compared with their full-bodied counterparts
  • Choose quality over quantity: drink one quality brew instead of two mid-grade beers since larger cans tend to provide better enjoyment versus lots cheaper options
  • Don’t forget the food: consider having food alongside your drink whenever possible since ideally any alcoholic beverage should always be enjoyed responsibly with food
  • Consider strength: stronger alternatives tend to pack more punch per pint (and therefore more overall caloric count) so aim for those options lower down on the ABV scale whenever possible


At the end of the day, there really isn’t an exact answer as to “how many” – every individual will vary depending on factors such as ABV strength, type of grain used, etc.

So while having an understanding of basic guidelines helps guide our selection process ultimately you’ll need to slightly experiment before finding something that satisfies both taste palate AND dietary needs 🙂

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, homebrewer and beer taster. I’m also the editor of Beer100. I love travelling the world and trying out new handcraft beer and different beer styles. I’m not an expert in brewing beer, but I know a few things about beer, which I share on this blog. If you need help or have a question, please comment below.

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