Bavaria in Germany may be the natural home of the wheat beers but the word is out and spreading. Truth be told, i was not a fan of wheat beers until i started this website and now they are may favourite type of non alcoholic beer to drink.
But how many calorie do they have and are non alcoholic wheat beers much lower in calories than their alcoholic equivalent?
For a complete review of the calories in all types of non alcoholic beers versus alcoholic beers you can read my full article on it here.
Is non alcoholic wheat beer lower in calories than alcoholic wheat beer?
From my study sample of 8 non alcoholic wheat beers i have tried and personally reviewed, the average calories per 100ml was 21.5kcal and 76.3kcal per 12fl oz serving.
I also undertook a sample of 4 alcoholic wheat beers. The findings were that on average they contained 42.75kcal per 100ml and 151.81kcal per 12fl oz serving.
This would mean that a non alcoholic wheat beer has 75.51kcal less per 12fl oz serving and contains only 50% of the calories of an average alcoholic wheat beer.
50% is a huge calorie reduction. We can think of a pound of fat as roughly 3500kcal, so if you switch from drinking alcoholic to non alcoholic wheat beers, you would be 1 pound lighter after 46 non alcoholic wheat beers than alcoholic wheat beers.
Is non alcoholic wheat beer lower in calories than alcoholic beer in general?
Alcoholic wheat beers are very slightly lower in calories than a standard alcoholic beer.
The USDA have stats on nearly all foods and on their website that the average alcoholic beer has 43kcal per 100ml and 153kcal in a 12fl oz serving. I undertook my own study which had a sample of 35 alcohol beers, all with non alcoholic equivalents. From this i found an average of 43.2kcal per 100ml and 153.3 in a 12fl oz serving.
If we use those USDA figures, then compare a non alcoholic wheat beer, we see it has 77.49kcal fewer calories per 12fl oz and only 49% of the calories.
How do non alcoholic ales calories compare to a general non alcoholic beers?
Non alcoholic wheat beers have less calories than alcoholic beers, 50% less in fact, but how do they compare to the rest of the non alcoholic beer categories?
From my study of 110+ non alcoholic beers, i calculated the average calories in a beer was per 22.6kcal and per 100ml 80.1kcal per 12fl oz.
This means that that a non alcoholic wheat beer has on average about 5% less calories than a general non alcoholic beer.
|Type of Beer||Kcal per 100ml||Kcal per 12fl oz|
|Non alcoholic wheat||21.5||76.3|
|Non alcoholic beer||22.6||80.1|
Why are non alcoholic wheat beers lower in calories?
Whilst a raw figure of 5% difference in wheat and general non alcoholic beers doesn’t seem like much, it doesn’t tell the whole story.
As you will be able to see from my data in the table below, there was a divide in calories between the big German brands and some newer craft beers. The average of just the German wheat beers would have been about 15% higher and then about 10% higher than the non alcoholic beer average.
The German wheat beers tend to contain slightly more carbs and crucially sugar. They market themselves as being “isotonic” which means the salts and sugars are in the same concentration as found in the blood, which can make it absorb faster.
Erdinger Alkoholfrei has gone as far as to brand itself as a sports isotonic recovery drink and sponsors its own triathlon team!
To read more about what an isotonic beer is and if they really are sports drinks, you can read my article on it here.
Table of non alcoholic and alcoholic beers and calories used in calculations
The table below shows all the wheat beers that i have included in my calculations and i have reviewed all the non alcoholic wheat beers myself. You can see where the fit into my overall ranking on my “The Best Non Alcoholic Beers” page.
|Non Alcoholic Beer||Type||kcal/100ml||kcal/12fl oz||Alcoholic Beer||kcal/100ml||kcal/12fl oz|
|Are Wheat There Yet||Wheat||10||35.5||Schneider Weisse||41||145.55|
|Drink’in in the sun||Wheat||16||56.8||Paulaner||42||149.1|
|Kloster andechs Weissbeir 0.5%||Wheat||21||74.55||Maisel’s weisse||44||156.2|
|Schneider Weisse Tap3||Wheat||23||81.65||Erdinger||44||156.2|
|Paulaner Weissbeir 0.0||Wheat||24||85.2||Average||42.75||151.7625|
|Krombacher Weizen 0.5%||Wheat||28||99.4|