Detailed Findings and Methodology
The amount of calories differs tremendously between the brews on this list. At the extremes, Bell’s Expedition Stout contains 383 calories, or about seven times the calories in Budweiser Select 55, the beer with the least calories at 55.
The brews with the most calories tend to have higher alcohol by volume (ABV) content. And the higher the ABV the more calorically dense the beer. The 23 most caloric beers have at least an ABV of 6.0%. The beer with the highest ABV, Tusk & Grain Barrel Aged Blend No. 2, clocked in at 12.9% ABV and 353 calories.
Brews with the most calories are also often similar in the style of beer. Rich beers like porters and stouts, and even fruity beers, comprise 12 of the 23 most caloric dense beers. Nearly every low-calorie beer, on the other hand, is a light lager.
It is important to note that of the many breweries and brewpubs in the United States, we could only consider a fraction due to the absence of nutritional information. Craft breweries in particular don’t provide calorie counts. This may potentially change by the year 2020 with the Beer Institute recently initiating the Brewers’ Voluntary Disclosure Initiative. The initiative encourages members of the Beer Institute to provide a nutrition label that discloses calorie, carbohydrate, protein, fat, ABV, and other ingredients.
To identify the beers with the most and least calories, 24/7 Wall St reviewed the calories of over 250 beers from a range of sources, most of which from some of the largest beer distributors in the United States. Other beverages that are comparable to beer, including malt liquor, hard cider, hard soda, and non-alcoholic beer, were not considered. Not all breweries included their beer’s calorie count on their site, so for those we relied on CalorieKing, a database that provides the nutritional content for a variety of food and beverages. Beverages with no nutritional information on the manufacturer’s site or CalorieKing were excluded.