Special Report

Beers With the Most (and Least) Calories

Thinkstock

Americans have always loved their beer. When the Pilgrims set out for the New World nearly 400 years ago, the hold of their ship, the Mayflower, was filled with barrels of beer. Even during Prohibition in the 1920’s and early 1930’s, America’s thirst for alcohol remained strong, funding bootlegging businesses and criminal organizations.

Today, drinking-age Americans consume an average of about 27 gallons of beer annually. According to a 2015 study commissioned by the Beer Institute, the U.S. beer industry adds $252.6 billion to the economy each year, about 1.5% of total gross domestic product. While beer consumption is certainly popular, the United States is also in the midst of an obesity epidemic, and many Americans may be unaware of the additional calories they consume with each beer.

Beer-drinking may play a role in adding inches to many American’s waistlines, but some beers are far more calorie rich than others. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the nutritional information of more than 200 of the country’s most popular beers to identify those with the most calories.

Click here to see the beers with the most calories.

Click here to see the beers with the least calories.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define moderate drinking as no more than two drinks a day for men, and one drink a day for women. For beer drinkers, what this means in terms of calories can vary dramatically, depending on the beer. Certain light beers, such as Heineken Light, contain as few as 99 calories. Two Sierra Nevada Stouts, on the other hand, contain 450 calories, equal to nearly a quarter of the FDA’s recommended 2,000 calorie daily diet.

While certain beers are especially high in calories, alcohol itself is almost as calorie rich as pure fat. Alcohol contains seven calories per gram, while fat has nine. In comparison, a gram of protein or carbohydrates have only four calories each. This means that while alcohol typically makes up a small share of a beer’s volume, it accounts for half or more of the calories received by the drinker.

Considering the caloric density of alcohol, it may not be surprising that the most calorie-rich beers are also high in alcohol content, while low-calorie beers tend to have a lower alcohol content. Of the six beers reviewed with at least 300 calories, all had greater than 8% alcohol content. Of the 18 beers reviewed with less than 100 calories, all had less than 5% alcohol content — the amount of alcohol in a can of Budweiser or Coors.

Many of the highest calorie beers are also relatively sweet. While little to no sugar is added to most beers, eight of the 25 highest-calorie beers are fruit-flavored, which frequently means large amounts of added sugar.

To identify the beers with the most — and least — calories, 24/7 Wall St reviewed nutritional contents of over 200 beers from a range of sources, including the largest beer distributors in the U.S., news reports, and widely-cited industry observers on the web. Other beverages that are comparable to beer, including malt liquor, hard cider, hard soda, and non-alcoholic beer, were not considered. When available, calorie counts and alcohol by volume came from the brewer’s website. In cases where information on the beer maker’s site was incomplete, nutritional information was provided by CalorieKing, an online food and beverage nutritional content database. Beverages with no nutritional information listed on the manufacturer’s site or CalorieKing were excluded. For similarly branded items of equal caloric value — Michelob ULTRA and Michelob ULTRA Pomegranate, for example — only one item was considered. All calorie counts are calculated to reflect a 12 oz. serving size.

These are the beers with the most calories.

Molson XXX

23. Molson XXX
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 212
> Alcohol by volume: 7.3%
> Parent company: SABMiller

Leffe blond

22. Leffe Blonde
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 212
> Alcohol by volume: 6.6%
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV

Leinenkugel's Berry Weiss

21. Leinenkugel’s Berry Weiss
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 213
> Alcohol by volume: 4.7%
> Parent company: SABMiller

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale

20. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 214
> Alcohol by volume: 7.0%
> Parent company: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Icehouse Edge

19. Icehouse Edge
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 217
> Alcohol by volume: 8.0%
> Parent company: SABMiller

Sierra Nevada Pale Bock
18. Sierra Nevada Pale Bock
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 218
> Alcohol by volume: 7.0%
> Parent company: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

New Belgium Trippel

17. New Belgium Trippel
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 221
> Alcohol by volume: 9.0%
> Parent company: New Belgium Brewing Company

Colorado Native Winterfest

16. Colorado Native Winterfest
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 221
> Alcohol by volume: 7.0%
> Parent company: SABMiller

Sierra Nevada Stout

15. Sierra Nevada Stout
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 225
> Alcohol by volume: 6.0%
> Parent company: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Wild Blue Lager

14. Wild Blue Lager
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 240
> Alcohol by volume: 8.0%
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV

Colorado Native Double IPL

13. Colorado Native Double IPL
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 245
> Alcohol by volume: 8.5%
> Parent company: SABMiller

Shadow's Wild Black beer

12. Shadow’s Wild Black
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 262
> Alcohol by volume: 8.0%
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV

Leinenkugel's Big Eddy Royal Nektar

11. Leinenkugel’s Big Eddy Royal Nektar
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 263
> Alcohol by volume: 9.5%
> Parent company: SABMiller

Redd's Wicked Mango

10. Redd’s Wicked Mango
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 275
> Alcohol by volume: 8.0%
> Parent company: SABMiller

Redd's Wicked Apple

9. Redd’s Wicked Apple
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 277
> Alcohol by volume: 8.0%
> Parent company: SABMiller

Rascal's Wild Red

8. Rascal’s Wild Red
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 287
> Alcohol by volume: 8.0%
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV

Leinenkugel's Big Eddy Ãœber-Oktoberfest

7. Leinenkugel’s Big Eddy Uber-Oktoberfest
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 293
> Alcohol by volume: 8.5%
> Parent company: SABMiller

Leinenkugel's Big Eddy Cherry Doppelschwarz

6. Leinenkugel’s Big Eddy Cherry Doppelschwarz
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 300
> Alcohol by volume: 8.5%
> Parent company: SABMiller

Samuel Adams Imperial Stout

5. Samuel Adams Imperial Stout
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 308
> Alcohol by volume: 9.0%
> Parent company: The Boston Beer Company

Sam Adams Imperial Stout

4. Samuel Adams Imperial White
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 321
> Alcohol by volume: 10.0%
> Parent company: The Boston Beer Company

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot

3. Sierra Nevada Bigfoot
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 330
> Alcohol by volume: 10.0%
> Parent company: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Leinenkugel's Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout

2. Leinenkugel’s Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 338
> Alcohol by volume: 9.5%
> Parent company: SABMiller

Tusk & Grain Barrel Aged Blend

1. Tusk & Grain Barrel Aged Blend
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 353
> Alcohol by volume: 12.5%
> Parent company: SABMiller

These are the beers with the fewest calories.

Keystone Premium

23. Keystone Premium
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 109
> Alcohol by volume: 4.4%
> Parent company: SABMiller

Keystone Light

22. Keystone Light
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 104
> Alcohol by volume: 4.1%
> Parent company: SABMiller

Coors Light

21. Coors Light
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 102
> Alcohol by volume: 4.2%
> Parent company: SABMiller

Schell's Light

20. Schell’s Light
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 100
> Alcohol by volume: 4.0%
> Parent company: August Schell Brewing Company

Genessee Light Can Beer

19. Genesee Light
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 100
> Alcohol by volume: 4.0%
> Parent company: Genesee Brewing Company

Heineken Light

18. Heineken Light
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 99
> Alcohol by volume: 3.3%
> Parent company: Heineken NV

Corona Light

17. Corona Light
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 99
> Alcohol by volume: 3.2%
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV

Budweiser Select

16. Budweiser Select
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 99
> Alcohol by volume: 4.3%
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV

Yuengling Light

15. Yuengling Light
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 98
> Alcohol by volume: 3.8%
> Parent company: D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc.

Shipyard Light Brewing Co

14. Shipyard Light
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 97
> Alcohol by volume: 3.9%
> Parent company: Shipyard Brewing Company

Grolsch Light Lager

13. Grolsch Light Lager
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 97
> Alcohol by volume: 3.6%
> Parent company: SABMiller

Milwaukee's Best Light

12. Milwaukee’s Best Light
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 96
> Alcohol by volume: 4.1%
> Parent company: SABMiller

Miller Lite

11. Miller Lite
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 96
> Alcohol by volume: 4.2%
> Parent company: SABMiller

Amstel Light Coaster

10. Amstel Light
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 95
> Alcohol by volume: 3.5%
> Parent company: Heineken NV

Iron City Light

9. Iron City Light
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 95
> Alcohol by volume: 4.2%
> Parent company: Uni-World Capital

Kirin Light

8. Kirin Light
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 95
> Alcohol by volume: 3.2%
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV

Natural Light

7. Natural Light
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 95
> Alcohol by volume: 4.2%
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV

Busch Light

6. Busch Light
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 95
> Alcohol by volume: 4.5%
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV

Michelob ULTRA

5. Michelob ULTRA
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 95
> Alcohol by volume: 4.2%
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV

Michelob ULTRA Amber

4. Michelob ULTRA Amber
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 89
> Alcohol by volume: 3.9%
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV

Beck's Premier Light

3. Beck’s Premier Light
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 64
> Alcohol by volume: 2.3%
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV

Miller64

2. Miller64
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 64
> Alcohol by volume: 2.8%
> Parent company: SABMiller

Select 55

1. Budweiser Select 55
> Calories (per 12oz bottle): 55
> Alcohol by volume: 2.4%
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV

Sponsored: Want to Retire Early? Here’s a Great First Step

Want retirement to come a few years earlier than you’d planned? Or are you ready to retire now, but want an extra set of eyes on your finances?

Now you can speak with up to 3 financial experts in your area for FREE. By simply clicking here you can begin to match with financial professionals who can help you build your plan to retire early. And the best part? The first conversation with them is free.

Click here to match with up to 3 financial pros who would be excited to help you make financial decisions.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.