Is Non Alcoholic Lager Lower In Calories Than Alcoholic Lager?

Lagers are the most widely drank type of alcohol or non alcoholic beer in the world. The growth of the non alcoholic beer market is in the double digits every year and a big reason for this is the calorie savings.

But is non alcoholic lager lower in calories than alcoholic larger? And if so then by how much and why?

I have reviewed about 150 non alcoholic beers and have gathered all their data as well as many alcoholic beers nutritional data to be able to crunch all the numbers and work out averages for this review.

Is Non Alcoholic Lager Lower In Calories Than Alcoholic Lager?

From my sample of 32 non alcoholic lagers and 19 alcoholic lagers, i have found that non alcoholic lagers are a lot lower in calories.

The average non alcoholic lager has 20.2kcal per 100ml and 71.7kcal per 12fl oz serving.

The average alcoholic lager had an average of 42.6kcal per 100ml and 151.2kcal per 12fl oz serving.

Non alcoholic lagers have 47.4% of the calories on alcoholic lagers and 47% of the calories of a generic alcoholic beer.

With the average saving of 79.5kcal per 12fl oz serving, you would be a pound lighter if you drank non alcoholic lager over alcoholic lager.

A pound of fat is about 3500kcal so after making the swap and drinking 44 cans over however long, you would be a pound lighter than if you were drinking alcoholic ones.

Non alcoholic lagers have on average 11% fewer calories than a generic non alcoholic beer.

Type of BeerKcal per 100mlKcal per 12fl oz
Non alcoholic lager20.271.7
Non alcoholic beer22.680.1
Alcoholic lager42.6151.2
Alcoholic beer43153
Calories in lagers comparison

Why are non alcoholic lagers so much lower in calories?

With under half the calories of alcoholic lagers, non alcoholic lagers are certainly a good option for those who want to watch their calories.

Why are they so much lower in calories? The answer is of course, the calories that are laden in alcohol.

Alcohol is even much more calorie dense than sugar. So the reduction in alcohol more than offsets the increase in sugar in terms of calories.

SubstanceKCal per gram
Calories per gram

As you can see, gram for gram, alcohol contains nearly twice as much calories as sugar or carbs does. So despite the non alcoholic lagers sometimes having a big more carbs, without the alcohol, they save a lot of calories.

There is also a new breed of extremely low carb and sugar non alcoholic lagers, which then result in a very low total calorie count. These are generally 0.5% beers and not the alcohol free 0.0% ones due to the way they are made.

You can read about just how much lower 0.5% beers are vs 0.0% ones here and if you want to know why some beers are 0.0% whilst others are 0.5%, you can read about that here.

Why are non alcoholic lagers lower in calories than the average non alcoholic beer?

From my data sets, the average non alcoholic lager is 11% lower in calories than the average non alcoholic beer, but why is that?

The answer lies in what comprises the full list of non alcoholic beers. Higher calorie beers such as stouts and porters but especially fruit beers and sour beers, drag the overall average up past the light coloured beers like lagers and IPAs.

The fruit and sour beers contain a lot of sugar from the fruit or to balance the sourness of the acids.

As an example, i found the average non alcoholic fruit beer had 99kcal per 12fl oz and the sours beers came in at 100.5kcal per 12fl oz.

Table of alcoholic and non alcoholic lagers with their calories

Below is the full data that i have been working from for this review. I have personally tried and reviewed all the non alcoholic beers and if you would like to see which i rate the best, you can look at my page “Best Non Alcoholic Beers

Alcoholic beerKcal/100mlKcal/12fl ozNon Alcoholic Beerkcal/100mlkcal/12fl oz
Krombacher37131.35Infinite Session Lager1035.5
Carlsberg37131.35Lost AF1035.5
Becks 38134.9Coba Maya1139.05
Veltins Pils38134.9Furstenberg Pils 0.0%1139.05
Budweiser39138.45Budweiser Zero1449.7
BrewDog Lager 39138.45Carlsberg 0.01449.7
Heineken 40142Becks Blue1449.7
Rothaus Tannenzapfle40142Budvar Nealko15.555.025
Bavaria40142Lucky Saint 0.5%1656.8
Peroni 41.5147.325Corona Cero1760.35
Corona42149.1Stella Artois Alcohol Free1863.9
Stella Artois42149.1Rothaus Tannenzäpfle 0.4%1863.9
San Miguel45159.75Free Star1967.45
Brooklyn lager47166.85Ambar1967.45
Budweiser Budvar48170.4Free Damm2071
Estrella Damm 50177.5Birra Moretti Zero2071
Bitburger52184.6Heineken 0.02174.55
Birra Moretti 56198.8Estrella Galicia2174.55
Average42.605263157895151.24868421053Bitburger 0.0%2278.1
Perlenbacher 0.02381.65
Super Bock2381.65
Cobra Zero2485.2
Bavaria 0.02485.2
San Miguel 0.02485.2
Clausthaler Unfiltered Dry Hopped2692.3
Clausthaler Original2692.3
Veltins Pils 0.0%2692.3
Special Effects29102.95
Incel "Skippers"32113.6
Baltika lager 0.5%35124.25

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