How many calories in a pint of normal beer?

The number of calories in a pint of beer can vary significantly depending on the brand and type of beer. However, most normal or regular beers contain around 150-200 calories per 12 oz serving. Since a pint contains 16 oz, a full pint of regular beer will typically contain around 200-270 calories.

The Basics of Beer Calories

Beer gets nearly all of its calories from alcohol and carbohydrates. The alcohol content provides around 100 calories per 12 oz serving, while the carbs provide around 50 calories (most from maltose and other sugars). So a typical pint with 5% ABV that has 12 g of carbs will contain about:

  • 200 calories from alcohol
  • 50 calories from carbohydrates

This equals 250 total calories per pint on average. However, lighter beers may have closer to 150 calories per 12 oz serving, while stronger beers can get up to 300+ calories. Below are some key factors that determine the calorie content of beer:

Alcohol Percentage

Higher alcohol by volume (ABV) means more calories. The alcohol itself provides about 100 calories per 1.5 oz serving (a typical 12 oz beer contains about 1.5 oz of pure alcohol). So a 5% ABV beer would have 100 x 5% = 50 calories just from the alcohol alone.

Carbohydrate Content

More carbohydrates like maltose (a sugar) lead to higher calories. Light beers have around 5 g carbs while regular beers have 10-15 g per 12 oz serving. At around 4 calories per gram, that equals 20-60 extra calories from carbs.


Adjuncts like rice and corn add minimal calories. But beers brewed with higher calorie ingredients like wheat, oats, milk sugars will be higher in calories and carbs.

Serving Size

Obviously the size of the beer consumed makes a major difference. A 12 oz regular beer has about 150 calories on average. But a pint at 16 oz would have about 200 calories. And a large 24-32 oz beer could easily pack 300+ calories.

Calories in Popular Beer Brands

Here is the typical calorie count per 12 oz serving for some popular beer styles and brands:

Beer Type/Brand Calories (12 oz)
Light Beer (Bud Light, Coors Light, etc) 100-120
Regular Beer (Budweiser, Heineken, etc) 140-170
Craft IPA (Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas, etc) 150-200
Imported Lager (Corona, Stella Artois) 140-170

As you can see, most regular lagers and ales, whether domestic or craft, contain around 150-175 calories per 12 oz serving. Light beers shave off about 50 calories. And stronger beers like IPAs can add on 50+ extra calories.

Calories in a Pint of Different Beer Styles

Given the above per serving estimates, here are the typical calories for a full pint:

Beer Type Calories (16 oz Pint)
Light Beer 130-150
Regular Lager/Ale 210-250
Craft IPA 240-300
Strong Beer (high ABV) 300-350

Low Calorie Beer Options

For the calorie conscious, here are some of the best low calorie beer options:

  • Bud Select 55 – 55 calories per 12 oz
  • Coors Light – 102 calories per 12 oz
  • Miller Lite – 96 calories per 12 oz
  • Michelob Ultra – 95 calories per 12 oz
  • Busch Light – 95 calories per 12 oz
  • Natural Light – 95 calories per 12 oz

Low carb beers are another option, since most of the calories come from the carbs. These include:

  • Bud Select – 99 calories, 3.1 g carbs
  • Miller64 – 64 calories, 2.4 g carbs
  • Beck’s Premier Light – 64 calories, 2.6 g carbs

For craft and imported low calorie beers, keep an eye on the ABV and carb content. Some good options include:

  • Amstel Light – 95 calories, 5 g carbs
  • New Belgium Dayblazer – 105 calories, 4.5 g carbs
  • Great Lakes Lightkeeper – 100 calories, 7 g carbs
  • Omission Ultra Light – 98 calories, 2.6 g carbs

Tips for Reducing Beer Calories

Here are some ways to cut down on beer calories while still enjoying a pint:

Size Matters

Choose portion control options like 12 oz servings instead of 16 oz pints or mega 23 oz bombers. A 12 oz serving can shave off at least 50 calories compared to a pint.

Go Lighter

Pick light beers more often as these save about 50 calories per drink compared to standard beers.

Try Low Carb

Look for low carb beers under 5g carbs. Since carbs are around 50 calories per serving, this can make a big difference.

Alternate with Water

Alternating beers with water cuts overall calories while still allowing you to enjoy the beers you want. It also keeps you better hydrated.

Watch the ABV

Higher alcohol beers should be an occasional treat. The alcohol adds a significant amount of “empty” calories that add up fast.

Compare Brand Options

Pay attention to calorie counts and opt for light beer options from your favorite brands when possible.

The Bottom Line

In summary, most regular or normal beers deliver around 150-200 calories per 12 oz serving on average. So for a full pint at 16 oz, you can expect about 200-250 calories depending on the brand and style.

Light beers generally contain around 100 calories per 12 oz, or about 130 per pint. Craft IPAs and stronger beers can reach 250-300 calories per pint. Checking alcohol percentage, carb content, and nutrition labels can give you a better idea of the calories in specific beers.

Overall moderation is key, but choosing lighter beers, smaller sizes, and drinking water between beers can all help reduce the total calorie intake from beer.

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