#Health & Fitness

Buzzkill! The Calorie Content of Popular Beers

by admin

Buzzkill! The Calorie Content of Popular Beers

Sipping your favorite cold brew is a beloved pastime, but is it also wreaking havoc on your waistline?

On a hot day or breezy summer night, a cold, refreshing beer is sometimes (okay, most times) just what the doctor ordered. However, pint after pint of the foamy goodness can pack on the pounds faster than you’d think. I’d never advocate ditching beer completely (nobody stands between me and my Belgian ales), but a little calorie consciousness can be a good idea sometimes, especially if you’re looking to avoid or minimize the ubiquitous beer gut. A bar trip can easily turn into a 800-calorie kind of night—and that’s not even factoring in dinner beforehand or the drunken 2 a.m. pizza run—when you don’t know the facts. 

Ale-style beers are what many people turn to when the temperature goes up. (They’re a clear favorite among our editorial staff, too.) But after comparing these 12-ounce servings, it’s clear that what tastes light in flavor isn’t always light in calories. 

Hefeweizens (Wheat Beers):


  • Pyramid—145
  • Weinhard’s—151
  • Paulaner—168
  • Samuel Adams—182 

IPAs (Pale Ales):


  • Samuel Adams—175
  • Red Hook—188
  • Deschutes Quail Springs—200
  • Sierra Nevada—231
  • Dogfish Head 60 Minute—294 

Stouts (Dark Ales):


  • Guinness Draught—125
  • Murphy’s—150
  • Samuel Adams Cream Stout—195
  • Sierra Nevada—225 

Brown Ales:


  • Newcastle—140
  • Nut Brown Ale—171 

Amber Ales (Belgian Ales):


  • Smithwick’s—150
  • Fat Tire—159
  • Weinhard’s—169
  • Boont—179 

This type of beer is fermented at a colder temperature than ales and uses a different kind of yeast in the process, resulting in a vastly different taste than ales. 



  • Shiner—143
  • Michelob Amber Bock—166
  • Sierra Nevada Pale Bock—218
  • Samuel Adams Double Bock—240 

Pale Lagers:


  • Budweiser—143
  • Coors Original—148
  • Heineken—150
  • Pabst—152 

Light Beers

There are also light beers on the market for the calorie counters out there, but bear in mind that with less calories usually comes less flavor—and not always much of a caloric difference to compensate. 

Light Beers:


  • Beck’s Premier Light—64
  • Miller Lite—96
  • Bud Light—110
  • Coors Light—104
  • Keystone Light—103
  • Sam Adams Light—124 

Obviously this doesn’t include every type of beer in these categories, but it should give you a rough idea of how many calories you’re ingesting with each pint of beer. It’s worth noting that calories tend to go up with higher alcohol content, so while one choice is calorically higher than another, you’re also getting more of a buzz for your buck. 

Not surprisingly, it wasn’t easy finding exact calorie amounts for many beers. Some of these are verified, others are close approximations. That’s probably because beer makers learned the same lesson I did while researching this story—finding out the calories is a total buzzkill! None of this should deter you from enjoying a beer now and then. However, it might make you pause before you attempt to enjoy ten. And that’s in your liver’s best interest, too. 

Sources: DailyPlate.com, Beer100.com, Realbeer.com