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 Beer||Kcal per 100ml||Kcal per 12fl oz|
|Non alcoholic lager||20.2||71.7|
|Non alcoholic beer||22.6||80.1|
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.
|Substance||KCal 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 beer||Kcal/100ml||Kcal/12fl oz||Non Alcoholic Beer||kcal/100ml||kcal/12fl oz|
|Krombacher||37||131.35||Infinite Session Lager||10||35.5|
|Veltins Pils||38||134.9||Furstenberg Pils 0.0%||11||39.05|
|BrewDog Lager||39||138.45||Carlsberg 0.0||14||49.7|
|Rothaus Tannenzapfle||40||142||Budvar Nealko||15.5||55.025|
|Bavaria||40||142||Lucky Saint 0.5%||16||56.8|
|Corona||42||149.1||Stella Artois Alcohol Free||18||63.9|
|Stella Artois||42||149.1||Rothaus Tannenzäpfle 0.4%||18||63.9|
|San Miguel||45||159.75||Free Star||19||67.45|
|Budweiser Budvar||48||170.4||Free Damm||20||71|
|Estrella Damm||50||177.5||Birra Moretti Zero||20||71|
|Birra Moretti||56||198.8||Estrella Galicia||21||74.55|
|San Miguel 0.0||24||85.2|
|Clausthaler Unfiltered Dry Hopped||26||92.3|
|Veltins Pils 0.0%||26||92.3|
|Baltika lager 0.5%||35||124.25|