Alcohol Content (% ABV) of Popular Beer Brands

You can find the alcohol content of a beer just by looking at its label. If for some reason it was torn off in the distribution process or on the way home from the store, you can also check run a quick Google search.

A bottle of Miller High Life, a beer that is 4.6% alcohol by volume
The Champagne of Beers!

A standard drink in the United States is 12oz of beer. An American pint is 16oz. Broken down in another way, there are two cups in a pint, as a cup is 8oz. Here is a list of how much alcohol is in your favorite brand of beer. But first, let's understand how we got here.

According to The Growler Magazine, "After Prohibition had been repealed, Congress passed a law in 1935 banning the practice of labeling the alcoholic content of beer. The assumption was that consumers would buy the strongest beer, and by not disclosing this information the government hoped to prevent breweries from competing and engaging in "strength wars." ... In 1995, Coors successfully challenged this law. Currently, the feds leave it up to the states to decide whether to include ABV, which has resulted in a complicated mishmash of state and federal regulations on the subject. New York prohibits labels from including ABV, for example, while North Carolina, Washington, and New Hampshire mandate labeling beers over 6 percent, 8 percent, and 12 percent respectively".

It's not often that you find yourself with a 2% ABV beer in your hand, at least not in the days of the craft beer revolution. The alcohol content of Miller 64 is 2.8%. It may not seem like much, but have enough of them and you'll start to feel it. Of all the beers on this list though, it's probably the easiest beer to learn how to chug with.

Beer Brand Alcohol Content Calories (per 12oz)
Miller 64 2.80%64

A beer with an alcohol content of 3%-3.99% is a perfectly good sessionable beer. You're also bound to find the word "light" in its name, as evidenced by Amstel Light and Heineken Light. If you're looking for low calorie beers, you're in luck with the 3% range.

Beer Brand Alcohol Content Calories (per 12oz)
Amstel Light 3.50%95
Heineken Light 3.50%99
Modelo Chelada3.50%290
Michelob Ultra Pure Gold3.80%114
A tallboy can of Miller Lite, a 4.2% ABV beer
Tastes Great. Less Filling.

Look at all of the big name brews on here. The 4% alcohol content range contains nearly all of the most popular beers in America. What stands out to us is the fact that the alcohol content of Bud Light is actually higher than the alcohol content of Busch Light, coming in at 4.2% for Bud Light and 4.1% for Busch Light. Pretty astounding, we would have sworn it was the other way around.

Also nice to see the oldest brewery in America on this list, Yuengling, getting some visibility.

Beer Brand Alcohol Content Calories (per 12oz)
Corona Premier 4.00%90
Sam Adams Light 4.00%119
Busch Light 4.10%95
Corona Light 4.10%99
Michelob Light 4.10%123
Milwaukees Best Light 4.10%98
Keystone Light 4.13%104
Bud Light 4.20%110
Bud Light Lime4.20%116
Coors Light 4.20%102
Guinness Draught 4.20%128
Michelob Ultra 4.20%95
Miller Genuine Draft Light 4.20%110
Miller Lite 4.20%96
Natural Light 4.20%95
Budweiser Select 4.30%99
Busch 4.30%114
Modelo Especial 4.40%145
Corona Extra4.60%148
Dos Equis Amber 4.60%146
Hamm's Beer 4.60%150
Miller High Life 4.60%143
Yuengling Lager 4.60%142
Harp Lager 4.70%153
Newcastle Brown Ale 4.70%138
Red Stripe 4.70%151
Pabst Blue Ribbon 4.74%144
Michelob 4.80%158
A tallboy can of Budweiser, a 5% ABV beer
The King of Beers

A flat 5% ABV is where Budweiser falls on the list. You'll also notice that the alcohol content of Coors Banquet beer is the same as Bud Heavy. Also, if it has "ice" in the name, it's getting an extra boost to the ABV rating, as Keystyone Ice, Milwaukee's Best Ice, and Natural Ice all flirt with a 6% ABV rating.

Also, 5% ABV is starting to exit the range of acceptable shower beers.

Beer Brand Alcohol Content Calories (per 12oz)
Budweiser 5.00%145
Coors Banquet 5.00%149
Fosters 5.00%145
Grolsch Premium Lager 5.00%147
Heineken 5.00%142
Moosehead Lager5.00%144
Puppers Beer5.00%120
Stella Artois 5.20%153
Blue Moon Beer5.40%170
George Killian's Irish Red 5.40%162
Icehouse 5.50%149
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale 5.60%175
Keystone Ice 5.90%145
Milwaukee's Best Ice 5.90%144
Natural Ice 5.90%130
A bottle of Bud Light Platinum, a 6% ABV beer
Brewed for the night!

Ahhh, King Cobra. If you're interested, check out the list of the highest alcohol content beers. That list has some massive alcohol percentages. While it's good to be careful (and responsible) drinking any and all beers, it's exceptionally so when it comes to the Sam Adams Utopia series and those Brewmeister Snake Venom ales that hit the high 60% range for ABV.

Beer Brand Alcohol Content (% ABV) Calories (per 12oz)
Bud Light Platinum 6.00%140
King Cobra 6.00%134
Racer 5 IPA from Bear Republic in CA, a 7.5% ABV West Coast IPA
West Coast IPAs are quite tasty

7% ABV is starting to get up there. There is where you start to see all of those craft IPAs. If we were picking a rock solid example of a beer with an alcohol content of 7%, it might have to be a Racer 5 IPA from Bear Republic.

Beer Brand Alcohol Content (% ABV) Calories (per 12oz)
Racer 5 IPA 7.5n/a
Doobious 7n/a
The Floor is Lava 7n/a
Two Hearted Ale 7n/a
Side Business 7n/a

Now we begin the Imperial IPA range at 8% abv. 8% is no joke, seeing as it's double some of the beers on this list.

Beer Brand Alcohol Content (% ABV) Calories (per 12oz)
Tribute 8.1n/a
Orbital Elevator 8.3n/a
Second Fiddle 8.2n/a
Costumes & Karaoke 8n/a
Citra Ass Down 8.2n/a
It's Complicated Being a Wizard 8n/a
Plush 8n/a

Nine percent starts the, "that's just silly" range. You better be careful if you're sipping on more than 2-3 of these in any given day. Note to all of you, do not chug 9% beer.

Beer Brand Alcohol Content (% ABV) Calories (per 12oz)
On The Wings Of Armageddon 9.2n/a
Double Cannon 9.5n/a
Dogs & Boats 9.1n/a
Dented 9.5n/a

Once you hit double digits, it's all downhill. Get yourself a great koozie because 10 percenters are sippers only.

Beer Brand Alcohol Content (% ABV) Calories (per 12oz)
Triple Sunshine 10.5n/a
Triple Ecstasy 10.2n/a
King Misanthrope 10n/a
Radioface 10n/a
Castle in the Clouds 10n/a

What is a Standard Drink?

Let's revisit this. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism considers a standard drink to contain approximately "14 grams of pure alcohol". As humans, we like numbers, so let's see what that measures out to be.

What is a Standard Drink of Beer?

If the average beer is roughly 5% ABV, then a standard drink of beer would be approximately 12 ounces. If you're sipping on a 10% ABV craft beer, then a standard drink would be a 6 ounce pour.

What is a Standard Drink of Wine?

If the average wine is roughly 12% ABV, then a standard drink of wine would be approximately 5 ounces. Adjust your measurements (and assumptions) accordingly if the bottle of wine in front of you is less than or greater than 12% ABV.

What is a Standard Drink of Hard Liquor?

Hard liquor, or, distilled spirits, is generally thought to be 40% ABV. If you're drinking an 80 proof liquor, then 1.5 ounces is considered a standard drink of liquor. Be sure to note what the label on the bottle says when calculating this. Cordials and Apertifs vary greatly from Hard Alcohols such as Vodka, Gin, Tequila, and the like. Also take note of Bourbons as some are considered cask strength (higher than 40%). Certain other spirits, such as 151 Proof Rum or Grain Alcohol really saturate the alcohol content level.

Is 5% alcohol a lot?

Yes and no. 5% alcohol is the generally accepted average alcohol content for a standard drink of beer. In other words, the amount of alcohol contained in a 12-ounce beer at 5% is approximately 14 grams.

Is 8% alcohol a lot?

Also yes and no. 8% alcohol in a beer is considered a lot. 8% alcohol in wine is not considered a lot. 8% alcohol in a distilled spirit would certainly not be considered a lot.

Is beer considered alcohol?

Yes. Even most non-alcoholic beers (NA Beer) are considered alcohol (technically). There are some 0.0 beers in existence if you're looking for a true non-alcoholic beer, beers like Budweiser Zero.

Beer vs. Wine Alcohol Content

As discussed, wine is typically stronger, with an average ABV of 12% to Beer's 5%. By that count, the average wine is 2.4 times stronger than the average beer.

Wine vs. Hard Liquor Alcohol Content

Much like beer to wine, distilled spirits are significantly stronger than wine. The average 80 proof (40% ABV) hard liquor is 3.33 times stronger than the average wine.

Beer vs. Hard Liquor Alcohol Content

A Distilled Spirit that is 40% ABV is eight times stronger than the average beer at 5% ABV. This is why a shot of booze (1.5oz) is equal to a can of beer (12oz). The math is quite clear.

Can you get drunk off Budweiser?

Yes, you can get drunk off Budweiser. It's 5% ABV, so it's got enough alcohol to get you drunk if you drink enough of them.

Always know your limits and always know what you're drinking so that you can be responsible. If you suspect you need help or treatment, use the NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator.