How Many Calories Are in Non Alcoholic Beer?

We all love a good beer. There’s nothing better than sitting down and drinking an ice-cold brew at the end of a long day.


But what if you’re watching your weight? Beer has the reputation of being one of the least diet-friendlybeverages you can drink. Known for its relatively high-calorie content, beer is often affectionately nicknamed bread in a can––and for good reason. A 12 oz. serving of:

  • Budweiser contains 145 calories
  • Pabst Blue Ribbon contains 144 calories
  • Yuengling Traditional Lager contains 128 calories
  • Guinness contains 125 calories
  • Bud Light contains 110 calories

This puts many beers in the same unhealthy category as soft drinks, which tend to have between 140-160 calories depending on the brand of soda.

Now compare that to Heineken’s alcohol-free beer, which has a meager 69 calories in one 12 oz. bottle. It’s safe to say that non alcoholic beer is the better choice for dieting beer drinkers, but why?

How Do Beer Drinkers Stay Health Conscious?

Now for the sobering truth. No matter how you cut it, alcoholic drinks are going to have higher calories than non alcoholic ones.

There are seven calories for every gram of alcohol, and a 12 oz. can of Budweiser contains approximately 14 grams of alcohol. That’s 98 calories, which is a significant portion of the beer’s total caloric value.

Breweries started making ultra light beers as a way to get around this. These beers have fewer carbs and slightly lower alcohol content, but there’s a trade-off––they taste watered down.

If you’re a beer drinker and you want to cut calories, you only have a handful of options:

  • Consume the calories anyway
  • Drink a light or ultra light beer, but sacrifice some of the flavorsassociated with good beer
  • Switch to a non alcoholic brew

If you love beer for the taste and don’t care about its alcohol content, non alcoholic beer is your best bet.

A 12 oz. can of Michelob Ultra, a popular ultra light beer, has 92 calories.

How Many Calories Are in Non Alcoholic Beer?

The simple answer: a lot less than alcoholic beers.

A 12 oz. can of Michelob Ultra, a popular ultra light beer, has 92 calories. For an alcoholic beer, that’s a pretty low caloricvalue. It has fewer calories than the 14 grams of alcohol found in a can of Budweiser, and that’s not counting the rest of the ingredients that in a Budweiser beer that add to its caloric value.

But Michelob Ultra isn’t a non alcoholic beer. With an alcohol content of 4.2%, it’s not even considered a low alcohol beer. Let’s look at how many calories are in a 12 oz. can of non alcoholic beer, starting with a few popular picks.

  • Beck’s Non-Alcoholic (aka Beck’s Blue):46 calories
  • Pauli Girl Non-Alcoholic:96 calories
  • Heineken 0.0: 69 calories
  • Run Wild IPA by Athletic Brewing Co.: 70 calories
  • Nanny State by BrewDog:21 calories
  • Oatmeal Stout by Bravus: 100 calories
  • Special Effects by Brooklyn Brewery:103 calories

As you can see, there isn’t a whole lot of consistency when it comes to calorie content. While none of the aforementioned non alcoholic beers have more calories than the classic beers mentioned above, three have more calories than Michelob Ultra.

But here’s where things get interesting.

Take a sip from the Oatmeal Stout, Special Effects, or non alcoholic St. Pauli Girl, thentake a sip from Michelob Ultra or another popular low-calorie beer. Chances are, there will be a significant difference in flavor, body, and aroma.

Many people find ultra light beers to taste watered down and borderline flavorless, especially when compared to non alcoholic beer. Let’s look at why.

Why Non Alcoholic Beer Is More Flavorful

Now that we’ve looked at how many calories are in non alcoholic beer, let’s compare tastes.

We know that traditionalbeers like Budweiser, Guinness, and Heineken are flavorful. And they’re not trying to market themselves as low calorie, either.

But many light and ultra light beers lose their flavor, while most non alcoholic beers do not. Remember when we said one gram of alcohol is seven calories? Light beers tend to have anywhere between 3.5-4.5% ABV, so a significant portion of their calories come from alcohol. Thismeans, to effectively reduce calories, other ingredients contributing to the beer’s caloric value need to be removed or diluted. And more often than not, those ingredients also contribute to the beer’s flavor.

Naturally, this isn’t a problem one has to worry about when brewing non alcoholic beer. Consider the following:

A 12 oz. can of beer with 0.5% ABV has 1.4 grams of alcohol, which equals 9.8 calories.

Alcohol contributes heavily to a beer’s caloric value. Since non alcoholic beer only has traces of alcohol in it, the numberof calories fromitsalcohol contentis negligible. This means brewers can still make low calorie, non alcoholic beer without cutting back on other flavor-rich ingredients that contribute to a beer’s taste and aroma.

The truth is that the number of calories in a non alcoholic beer varies depending on how the brew was made.

Is Every Non Alcoholic Beer Low Calorie?

The absence of alcohol means brewers have more flexibility when making flavorful beer under 100 calories. It doesn’t mean that every single non alcoholic beer on the market is low calorie––although many are.

Take Budweiser’s Prohibition Brew, for example. A 12 oz. can of this non alcoholic beer contains 150 calories, which is five calories more than a classic Budweiser. But it also has 36 grams of carbohydrates, slightly more than double the carbs found in most non alcoholic beers (between 13-16 grams).

The truth is that the number of calories in a non alcoholic beer varies depending on how the brew was made. On the lower end of the calorie spectrum, you can find non alcoholic beers with 20-50 calories a bottle. The average non alcoholic beer has around 60-80 calories, and heavier or sweeter non alcoholic beers tend to have100 calories or more.

If you drink beer because you like the buzzand you’re watching your calorie intake, then a light or ultra light beer is probably your best option. But if you’re a beer lover who enjoys the taste of a good beer, consider switching to a non alcoholic brew. That way, you can enjoy a diet-friendly beer without having to cut back on flavor.

Plus,non alcoholic beer has a number of health benefits that traditional beer doesn’t.