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How Many Shots Equal a Beer?

Article Highlights

  • One shot of liquor typically contains 1.5 ounces (44 milliliters) of alcohol
  • Most beers contain around 5% alcohol by volume (or ABV)
  • A standard-size beer contains 12 fluid ounces and has 0.6 ounces (17 milliliters) of pure alcohol
  • Shots tend to be absorbed faster than beer due to carbonation, ABV, and other factors
  • Genetics, tolerance level, and body weight can affect how quickly our bodies absorb and metabolize alcohol

Are you wondering about the shot-to-beer equivalent when it comes to alcohol? How many shots does it take to get the same amount of buzz as one beer?

We’ll tackle this question in a light-hearted and informative manner. Let’s try to answer the age-old question – how many shots equal a beer?

What is a “Shot”?

A shot is simply an amount of liquor poured into a small cup or glass. It generally refers to 1.5 ounces – which is equivalent to 44 milliliters – of hard liquor, such as tequila, vodka, whiskey, or rum.

How Many Ounces of Liquor are in a Shot?

A “shot” typically serves up 1.5 ounces (44 milliliters) of spirits. This amount has become somewhat standardized in the bar industry and most bartenders will pour you exactly 1.5 ounces when you ask for a shot of your favorite spirit.

What is the Alcohol Content of a Beer?

Most beers contain around 5% alcohol by volume (or ABV) but this can vary from brewery to brewery. For instance, light beers contain somewhere between 4%-4.5% ABV while more potent beers can contain up to 8% ABV or more as seen with beers like Imperial Stouts and Barleywines.

Standard Size Beer vs Standard Size Shot

The average standard-size bottle of beer typically contains 12 fluid ounces and contains roughly 5% alcohol by volume for that particular brew – which means that there are about 0.6 ounces (17 milliliters) of pure alcohol in one standard-size beer bottle or can.

On the other hand, we already know that 1 shot contains 1.5 ounces (44 milliliters) of pure alcohol – so it would be logical to conclude that 2 shots would equal one regular-size beer, right? Not completely correct…but let’s get into why below!

The Effectiveness of Shots Over Beer

When ordering shots versus ordering beers there are several additional factors to consider when tallying up your consumption rate:

  • Shots tend to get absorbed faster by your body since it flows directly into your bloodstream as soon as you swallow versus beer which needs time for your stomach acids and enzymes to break down its maltose sugars before entering your bloodstream
  • The natural carbonation found in most craft brews is effective at speeding up the absorption process once again allowing it quicker access into your bloodstream; this is why some people prefer lighter craft beers over heavier styles when they want their buzz faster!
  • A higher ABV will increase an alcoholic beverage’s potency so if you decide on taking shots over beers make sure that you find out what type of proof each beverage carries before making your purchase

Factors That Can Affect Your Body’s Response To Alcohol Consumption

  • Genetics play an important role – when it comes to how quickly our bodies absorb and metabolize ethanol so if you have any family members who don’t seem to get seriously buzzed without consuming large amounts then chances are that same bloodline doesn’t respond very well to alcohol
  • Tolerance levels also come into play here – people with high tolerances can drink more than others without feeling a significant “buzz” effect but those who have low tolerance levels only need small amounts before feeling intoxicated
  • Body weight is another factor at play – smaller individuals will be able feel the effects much quicker than larger individuals due mainly because they don’t have much body mass for alcohol molecules too disperse throughout


At the end of the day, everyone responds differently when it comes to alcohol consumption so finding out what works best for you may take some time but understanding factors such as genetics, tolerance level, and body weight can help expedite the process!

Finding out what type of proof each beverage carries should also be taken into consideration whether you opt for sipping on some beer or downing shots such as tequila or whiskey – make sure that whichever route you decide upon consume responsibly!

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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