What Is The Lowest Calorie Non Alcoholic Beer?


One of the main reasons someone would drink or switch to non alcoholic beers is the fact they are generally a lot lower in calories than their alcoholic counterparts. However, which is the lowest calorie beer out there and just how low is it compared to its non alcoholic peers and regular alcoholic beers?

The lowest non alcoholic beer is jointly held by two beers from the same brewery. Partake Pale and Partake IPA both have just 10kcal per 12fl oz, 355ml, serving. This is 93.5% less calories per serving than the USDA standard beer calories of 154kcal.

Just how low in calories are these Partake Brewing beers compared to the rest of the non alcoholic market and are they worth a try? Also, what are the nearest competitors from around the world?

What is the lowest calorie non alcoholic beer?

Does Non Alcoholic Beer Taste The S...
Does Non Alcoholic Beer Taste The Same

The lowest calorie non alcoholic beers that i can find, anywhere in the world, are both by Partake Brewing.

They are their Partake Pale and Partake IPA

Partake Pale

Calories per 100ml = 2.8kcal

Calories per 12fl oz serving = 10kcal

Calories per 100mlCalories per 12fl oz
Partake Pale2.8kcal10kcal
Calories in Partake Pale

They make this ultra low beer with just 4 ingredients…

  • Water
  • Hops
  • Barley
  • Yeast

In Germany, this is called the Reinheitsgebot, or Purity Law. It has been around for 500 years and was to ensure wheat was available for bread and no toxins were added as preservatives.

I am a big fan of producing a beer with these classic ingredients and no “natural ingredients” or anything else weird or wonderful you see listed these days.

Partake IPA

Calories per 100ml = 2.8kcal

Calories per 12fl oz serving = 10kcal

Calories per 100mlCalories per 12fl oz
Partake IPA2.8kcal10kcal
Calories in Partake Pale

Partake IPA has the same calories and ingredients as Partake Pale but with more of a citrus hop hit

About Partake Brewing

Partake Brewing are a Canadian company who distribute to North American only at this point.

They were founded by Ted Fleming, who had to give up drinking alcohol due to a medical condition.

All partake beers contain 0.3% alcohol by volume which is classed as non alcoholic. If you would like to know why some beers are 0.0% and some are 0.5% and why companies would choose one over the other, then you can read my blog on it here

The claim they can make their beers so low in calories due to a proprietary brewing technique which we are not privy to, but in the sections below i explain their options.

How low in calories are Partake beers versus alcoholic beers?

The US Department of Agriculture produce lots of standard nutritional information. They have a section for a “standard beer” which is 5% ABV. In the absence of an industry average this works well as a surrogate and reference point for all alcoholic beers.

Below is how many calories they state a standard beer contains.

Calories per 100mlCalories per 12fl oz
Standard Beer43kcal154kcal
Calories in a Standard Beer

Now let’s compare that with the 2 Partake beers.

Calories per 100mlCalories per 12fl oz
Standard Beer43kcal154kcal
Partake Pale and IPA2.8kcal10kcal
Calories in a Standard Beer vs Partake

That works out at a quite staggering 93.5% calorie saving

You can drink 15.5 cans of Partake Pale or IPA before you will have drank more calories than just 1 standard 5% ABV beer. If you are on a diet but want to drink beer, that is incredibly attractive.

How low in calories are Partake beers versus other non alcoholic beers?

So as we have seen above, the Partake pair offer huge calorie savings vs regular beers but how do they compare vs the rest of the non alcoholic beer market.

In this case i have reviewed and collected the nutritional information for nearly 100 non alcoholic beers. You can see my score and all their nutritional information at a glance here

I have reviewed a wide variety of lagers, IPAs, ales, stouts, fruit beers and sours so the average calorie count is a good representative of the entire non alcoholic beer market.

Calories per 100mlCalories per 12fl oz
Non alcoholic beer average22.5kcal80kcal
USDA Standard beer43kcal154kcal
Calories in Non alcoholic beer

A non alcoholic beer is on average close to 50% of the calories of a standard alcoholic beer.

Calories per 100mlCalories per 12fl oz
Partake Pale and IPA2.8kcal10kcal
Non alcoholic beer average22.5kcal80kcal
USDA Standard beer43kcal154kcal

This table shows that the ultra low Partake Pale and IPA are on average 1/8th the calories of even an average non alcoholic beer.

That is how impressively low their calorie count is.

What is the lowest calorie non alcoholic beer available in the UK/EU?

Unfortunately, and not for want of trying on my part (i am UK based), Partake Brewing beers are not available outside of North America. They are not currently shipped abroad.

This means we should crown a regional winner of the lower non alcoholic beer for the EU.

I have tried over 100 beers from the EU and looked at the nutrient and calories of many many more and the beer with the lowest calories is…

UNLTD. IPA (my review here)

Calories per 100ml = 4kcal

Calories per 330ml bottle = 13kcal

Calories per 12fl oz serving = 14kcal

Calories per 100mlCalories per 330ml bottleCalories per 12fl oz
UNLTD.4kcal13kcal14kcal
Calories in UNLTD.

UNLTD. adds maltodextrin into its beer.

Maltodextrin is a white powder made from corn, rice, potato starch, or wheat. It has been added here as it is flavourless and doesn’t contain calories but will add to the body and mouthfeel of the beer.

Basically to avoid having a fizzy water type feeling in your mouth, you need body. Alcohol adds to this, as does carbohydrates. The less of each of these you have the harder it is to create body.

UNLTD. have used maltodextrin to good effect here as when i reviewed this beer i felt the body of the beer was far in excess of what it should be given its calories and carbs.

How are non alcoholic beers lower in calories than an alcoholic beers?

In general, non alcoholic beers will have somewhere around half the calories of an alcoholic beer (based off my research), but how is this achieved.

A non alcoholic beer will in general have more carbohydrate and certainly more sugar than an alcoholic beer

Type of beerCalories (kcal)Carbohydrate (gram)Sugar (gram)
USDA standard beer15412.60
Average non alcoholic beer8019.57.9
Nutrition per 12fl oz

So how can non alcoholic beers, with much higher average carbohydrate and added sugar loads, be nearly 50% lower in total calories?

The answer, of course, is that they lack one highly calorific ingredient, alcohol

Let’s look at how many calories a gram of alcohol contains versus carbohydrate and sugar.

SubstanceKCal per gram
Fat7
Alcohol7
Carbohydrate and Sugar4
Calories per gram

So when you remove the 13.9g of alcohol from a standard beer and increase the carbohydrate by a smaller degree, the calorie saving is huge.

Then, the lower the carbohydrate and sugar in a non alcoholic beer the lower the overall calories are and we can see they can get a 12fl oz beer down to 10kcal, which is just extraordinary.

How do you make a non alcoholic beer?

My full article on how non alcoholic beers are mad can be viewed here.

There are 2 very broad categories of how to make non alcoholic or alcohol free beer. You can either 

  1. Remove the alcohol once the beer is brewed – called dealcoholisation
  2. Limit the amount of alcohol produced in the brewing – called limited fermentation

To dealcoholise a beer down to 0.0% is costly if you want to retain the full flavour, for this reason, most of the craft breweries do not brew alcohol free 0.0% beers but non alcoholic <0.5% beer.

They do this with various methods involving limited fermentation techniques.

The smaller breweries use…

  • grains that are specially grown to contain low amounts of carbohydrates
  • new yeast strains that either cover no sugar to alcohol, or limited amounts
  • arrested fermentation when the fermentation is artificially stopped before too much alcohol is produced.

All these combine to make less sugar available to be turned into alcohol and less alcohol produced.

philmcclelland

Hi im Phil. Im the sole writer on this site. For more info look at my about page https://www.openingthebottle.com/about-us/

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