Avoiding the Dreaded Beer Gut
Posted on 1/23/2013 by Chops
Beer geeks cannot say enough great things about the craft beer movement. Quality brews seem to have everything going for them. Better flavor, better look, better feel, bigger strength, you name it. Although, there is one unfortunate side effect of enjoying higher quality beers: calories. Lots and lots and lots of waistline expanding calories.

The one thing I will give crap beer is that they are generally low in calories, "light" beers even more so. Although, you have to sacrifice a whole lot of what makes beer... well, beer... to get those low calorie counts. Beer was never meant to be flavorless watery low-calorie nonsense. It's supposed to have a lot of flavor and a lot of calories. There's a reason why Belgian beers are often called "liquid bread". That's precisely what they are crafted to be for monks in monasteries.

The breweries that survived after Prohibition in America were brewing beers to meet rigid alcohol restrictions. Many breweries went out of business, which gave birth to the Big Beer era. Bland, weak, flavorless beer became an unfortunate norm. Consumers could drink a six pack of piss water beer and stay well below their daily calorie allowance. Nowadays, a few pints of craft beer can account for a third of your daily calories.

As a general rule of thumb, higher ABV means more calories. In one particular eye-opening example, a single 12 oz bottle of Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA (15-18% ABV) can contain over 500 calories. That's a quarter of your daily caloric intake in a single 12 oz bottle of beer. Needless to say, it pays to be aware of craft beer calories and adjust your intake accordingly.

So for those interested in staying trim while enjoying your favorite craft beer delights, I decided to construct a quick reference guide for craft beer calories. I keep this on my smartphone and reference it whenever I need a "hell yes I'll have another" reality check.

Beer Calories (Format: ABV - 12 oz calories - Pint calories)

4% - 150 - 185
5% - 175 - 215
6% - 200 - 250
7% - 225 - 280
8% - 250 - 310
9% - 275 - 345
10% - 300 - 375

Note: these are median values, not exact values. Actual calories can vary.

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