Alcohol Content of Beer: Stout, Pale Ale, and More

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.