Your favorite beer is getting a new addition

Your favorite beer is getting a new addition

Have you ever wondered how many calories are in that ice cold beer? Would you still drink it if you knew what it contained? Soon, you may actually be able to find that information on your beer bottle. The Beer Institute has announced that the Brewers’ Voluntary Disclosure Initiative will be encouraging their members to list calories, carbohydrates, protein, fat and alcohol by volume on their products or websites. The initiative is enforcing beer nutrition labeling by 2020. The goal of the move to add nutrition labels to beer is to help consumers make healthier more informed choices when enjoying alcoholic beverages.

Until then, Julie Tjhio, registered dietitian at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, shares answers to some nutritional questions you may have about the popular alcoholic beverage.

  1. How many calories are in the average beer? The average 12 ounces of beer has 150 calories, or 900 calories per 6-pack. A light beer typically has around 100 calories in 12 ounces.
  1. Are there healthier options for beer? “Craft beers are very popular now, but these beers can have a higher alcohol percentage, some as high as 18 percent. Your typical beer has around 5 percent. As the alcohol content increases, so do the calories. A 12 ounce beer with 12 percent alcohol content can have up to 360 calories,” explains Tjhio. If you would like to check the calories in your beer, she recommends utilizing websites like If you are trying to watch your weight but would still like to indulge in a beer, the best option would be to opt for a lighter beer with lower alcohol content. If you prefer craft beer, Tjhio recommends sharing it with a friend.
  1. How many beers a day is acceptable? Moderation is key. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, it is recommended that women only have one drink a day, and up to two drinks for men. 12 ounces of beer would be considered one drink.

Besides quenching your thirst after a long day, beer also has some health benefits when it’s consumed in moderation. “Beer has small amounts of B vitamins, protein, as well as antioxidants, which are associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease,” says Tjhio. However, she also warns that excessive beer consumption negates any benefits of moderate consumption and can lead to obesity, certain cancers, cirrhosis and stroke. So enjoy in moderation.


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  1. GREAT ALTERNATIVE, NON ALCOHOLIC BEER. Some brands (like Sharp’s) only contain 58 calories per 12 oz can or bottle and since the alcoholic content is less than 0.5% you can have 1 or two and not become intoxicated. Perfect for the designated driver who doesn’t want to feel left out at a party..

    Here are some other brands and their calorie count;

    Clausthaler Amber (the best tasting) 90 calories
    Bukler (by Heiniken) 75 calories
    O’Douls 70 calories

  2. Ugh. Nick, non-alcoholic beer is not beer and is not a great alternative. Taste is completely different.

  3. I use to think non alcohol beer was best for you, however Michelob Ultra only has 2.6 carbs and less calories and low on alcohol content. Moderation is key.

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About the Author

Tiffany Nguyen
Tiffany Nguyen

Tiffany Nguyen, health enews contributor, is a public affairs and marketing intern at Advocate Support Centers in Downers Grove, IL. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University with a degree in public health. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration focusing specifically on healthcare management at Lewis University. Tiffany enjoys hanging out with her friends, exploring new restaurants, and binge watching Netflix shows.