alcohol content of beerBeer is a versatile alcoholic beverage that can cater to anyone’s specific needs, tastes, and social situation. There is so much to choose from when it comes to taste, strength, style, and more, that there’s bound to be a suitable drink for everyone, from those who prefer their beers strong, to others who prefer to sip on something a little toned down. But how do those people determine which beer is right for them?

For some, the alcohol content of beer can be the determining factor of what they will and won’t drink. For others, it’s just good to know. If you’re in search of information regarding the alcohol content of beer, look no further than this guide! Here, we’ll examine the different beer styles, what sets them apart from each other, and learn a little bit more about this adult beverage’s alcohol content.

Interested in brewing your own beer? Check out Beer Making 101 to get started.

What Is The Alcohol Content of Beer?

The alcohol content of beer is calculated in abv, or alcohol by volume. The percentage of alcohol by volume represents the amount of ethanol present within 100 milliliters of the beverage.

Most beers contain between 5% to 14% alcohol by volume, give or take. The actual alcohol comes from the fermentation process, where cereal grains like barley, or another starch source, are steeped in water, and a brewer’s yeast is added to trigger the fermentation process. The fermentation process converts the carbohydrates into ethanol – or in other words, it turns the sugar into alcohol.

How much alcohol depends on what type of beer it is. Let’s check out the different kinds: Lager, Stout, Brown Ale, Pale Ale, and Indian Pale Ale (IPA).

Lager

Lager is a German beer type that relies on low temperatures during the fermentation process. Pale lager, the light, golden colored beer, is one of the most popular types of beer in the entire world, with its styles ranging from Pilsner, to Bock, to Märzen. Corona Extra is a type of pale lager, and Stella Artois is a type of pilsner.

Lager: 4% to 5% alcohol by volume

Pilsner: 3% to 6% alcohol by volume

Stout

Stout are strong, dark beers made with roasted barley or malt and hops. There are imperial stouts, oatmeal stouts, dry stouts, and porters, which were at some point considered an alternative name for stouts. Guinness is a kind of Irish dry stout.

Stout: 5% to 10% alcohol by volume

Porter: 4% to 5% alcohol by volume

Brown Ale

Brown ale looks exactly how it sounds – a brown or amber-colored beer. It is mostly brewed in America, England, and Belgium. They are sometimes chocolatey, nutty, or just sweeter in general that most beers, and usually have a low alcohol content, though not always. Some examples of brown ale are Newcastle Brown Ale and Samuel Adams Brown Ale.

Brown Ale: 4% to 6% alcohol by volume

Pale Ale

Pale ales are light beers made from pale malts and created using warm fermentation, sometimes with a fruity flavor. Indian Pale Ale is a popular sub-type, a much hoppier version of regular pale ale. Lagunitas makes a popular kind of IPA. IPA is generally very bitter, sometimes with a hint of citrus.

Indian Pale Ale: 6% to 7% alcohol by volume

List of Popular Beers By Alcohol Content

Below, you’ll find a list of beers sorted by lowest to highest percentage of alcohol by volume. Find your favorite one!

Brand: Pabst Extra Light Low Alcohol

Brewery: Pabst

Alcohol By Volume: 2.2%

Brand: Miller Genuine Draft 64

Brewery: MillerCoors

Alcohol By Volume: 2.8%

Brand: Anchor Small

Brewery: Anchor

Alcohol By Volume: 3.3%

Brand: Heineken Light

Brewery: Heineken

Alcohol By Volume: 3.5%

Brand: Ziegenbock

Brewery: Anheuser Busch

Alcohol By Volume: 4%

Brand: Bud Light Golden Wheat

Brewery: Anheuser Busch

Alcohol By Volume: 4.1%

Brand: Michelob Ultra

Brewery: Anheuser Busch

Alcohol By Volume: 4.1%

Brand: Sam Adams Light

Brewery: Boston Beer Co.

Alcohol By Volume: 4.1%

Brand: Bud Light

Brewery: Anheuser Busch

Alcohol By Volume: 4.2%

Brand: Coors Light

Brewery: MillerCoors

Alcohol By Volume: 4.2%

Brand: Keystone Light

Brewery: MillerCoors

Alcohol By Volume: 4.2%

Brand: Miller Lite

Brewery: MillerCoors

Alcohol By Volume: 4.2%

Brand: Tecate

Brewery: Cervecerla Cauhtemoc

Alcohol By Volume: 4.4%

Brand: Corona Light

Brewery: Cereveria Modela SA

Alcohol By Volume: 4.5%

Brand: Corona Extra

Brewery: Corona

Alcohol By Volume: 4.6%

Brand: Tsingtao

Brewery: Tsingtao

Alcohol By Volume: 4.7%

Brand: Widmer Hefeweizen

Brewery: Widmer

Alcohol By Volume: 4.7%

Brand: Dos Equis XX

Brewery: Cauhtemoc

Alcohol By Volume: 4.8%

Brand: Anchor Steam

Brewery: Anchor

Alcohol By Volume: 4.9%

Brand: Alaskan Amber

Brewery: Alaskan Brewing

Alcohol By Volume: 5%

Brand: Asahi Draft Beer

Brewery: Asahi

Alcohol By Volume: 5%

Brand: Budweiser

Brewery: Anheuser Busch

Alcohol By Volume: 5%

Brand: Guinness Extra Stout

Brewery: Guinness

Alcohol By Volume: 5%

Brand: Pabst Blue Ribbon

Brewery: Pabst

Alcohol By Volume: 5%

Brand: Red Strlpe Lager Beer

Brewery: Desnoes & Geddes

Alcohol By Volume: 5%

Brand: Apricot Ale

Brewery: Pyramid

Alcohol By Volume: 5.1%

Brand: Shock Top Belgian White

Brewery: Anheuser Busch

Alcohol By Volume: 5.2%

Brand: Fat Tire

Brewery: New Belgium Brewing

Alcohol By Volume: 5.3%

Brand: Blue Moon

Brewery: MillerCoors

Alcohol By Volume: 5.4%

Brand: Heineken

Brewery: Heineken

Alcohol By Volume: 5.4%

Brand: Sierra Nevada Porter

Brewery: Sierra Nevada

Alcohol By Volume: 5.7%

Brand: India Pale Ale

Brewery: Pyramid

Alcohol By Volume: 6.7%

Brand: Arrogant Bastard Ale

Brewery: Stone Brewing

Alcohol By Volume: 7.2%

Brand: Sam Adams Double Bock

Brewery: Boston Beer Co.

Alcohol By Volume: 8.5%

Brand: Samuel Adams Imperial Stout

Brewery: Boston Beer Co.

Alcohol By Volume: 9.2%

Brand: Sierra Nevada Bigfoot

Brewery: Sierra Nevada

Alcohol By Volume: 9.9%

Brand: Samuel Adams Imperial White

Brewery: Boston Beer Co.

Alcohol By Volume: 10.3%

Brand: Orange Blossom Pilsner

Brewery: Thomas Creek Brewery

Alcohol By Volume: 11%

Brand: Dogfish Head

Brewery: Dogfish Brewery

Alcohol By Volume: 15%

Now that you know the alcohol content of your favorite beer, and all the different types, you can drink responsibly and intelligently! For more beer knowledge, why not read up on how to brew your own beer with this course? Or, watch some beer brewing videos with this how-to course on at home beer brewing.

If you’re just someone who’s interested in collecting fine beer and wine, check out this guide on beer and wine cellar management for smart storage tips.

Empower your team. Lead the industry.

Get a subscription to a library of online courses and digital learning tools for your organization with Udemy for Business.

Request a demo