Does My BUTT Look BIG
In This BEER?
Nutritional Values of
2,000 Worldwide Beers
— Bob Skilnik —
aka, The Low-Carb Bartender
But pick up a bottle of your favorite beer, and unless it’s a low-calorie or low-carbohydrate brew with a federally-required Nutrition Facts label emblazoned on it, you have no idea what, if any, nutritional components are in a regular-brewed stout, porter, bock, wheat beer or even a simple
American-style pilsner beer…
…Until NOW! Whether you’re counting calories, carbs or even Weight Watchers® Points®, here’s the nutritional information that you can’t find anywhere else but in these following pages for
over 2,000 worldwide beers.
Moderation, Not Deprivation!
Whether brewers, vintners or distillers like it or not, the Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), responsible for labeling requirements of alcoholic beverages, is close to making it mandatory for alcoholic beverages to list their nutritional values. Whenever the TTB can finally arrive at some sort of standardized Nutrition Facts label that makes sense (it might take years), they have assured the drink industry that once they settle on an idea of what will be needed on the Nutrition Facts label, they will still give industry members an additional three years to redesign new labels and ease the cost of testing and relabeling by gradually implementing their compliance timeline.
One compelling reason why this will come to fruition is because of the hand of globalism in today’s universal trade and commerce. As the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States notes in their most recent comment in TTB Notice No. 74, “…this proposed rule change would bring TTB requirements into conformity with the provisions of the World Wine Trade Group (WWTG) Agreement on Wine Labelling (sic). As stated by TTB, ‘[these] negotiations proceeded from the view that common labeling requirements would provide industry members with the opportunity to use the same label when shipping product to each of the WWTG member countries. With a global economy and with free travel among consumers, we support TTB’s effort to harmonize its labeling regulations with international requirements. TTB’s proposal would have the beneficial effect of serving the interests of consumers, as well as eliminating a potential barrier to trade between countries.’”
Change is coming and it has the tailwinds of consumer support and NAFTA conformity behind it with a soon-to-be standardized world market of beer, wine and booze labels. Without acceptance by U.S. drink manufacturers, it’s conceivable that the import/export markets of beers, wines and spirits would come to a halt; but be assured, that that will not happen.
So in reality, the global economy is probably more the driving force behind the eventuality of nutritional labeling on beer, wine and booze than any concerns about the wants or needs of consumers.
But why worry about any of this? In the following pages, you’ll find nutritional information now that will help you to enjoy the moderate consumption of worldwide beer whether you’re counting calories, carbohydrates or WEIGHT WATCHERS® POINTS®, perhaps even trying to pack on the pounds, or simply trying to maintain your current weight. You can even use the alcohol by volume (abv) information in this reference guide to settle bar bets; What’s the strongest beer? The weakest? for instance.
“The Bureau [TTB] has determined that tolerance ranges are required with respect to labeled statements of caloric, carbohydrate, protein, and fat contents for malt beverages. The intent of these tolerances is to provide for normal production and analytical variables while continuing to ensure that the labeling is not misleading to the consumer.
Held, the statement of caloric content on labels for malt beverages will be considered acceptable as long as the caloric content, as determined by ATF [Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Bureau] analysis, is within the tolerance +5 and -10 calories of the labeled caloric content. For example a label showing 96 calories will be acceptable if ATF analysis of the product shows a caloric content between 86 and 101 calories.
Held further, the statements of carbohydrate and fat contents on labels for malt beverages will be considered acceptable as long as the carbohydrate and fat contents, as determined by ATF analysis, are within a reasonable range below the labeled amount but, in no case, are more than 20% above the labeled amount. For example, a label showing 4.0 grams (within good manufacturing practice limitations) but not more than 4.8 grams.
Held further, the statement of protein content on labels for malt beverages will be considered acceptable as long as the protein content, as determined by ATF analysis, is within a reasonable range above the labeled amount but, in no case, is less than 80% of the labeled amount. For example, a label showing 1.0 gram protein will be acceptable if ATF analysis of the product shows a protein content which is more than 1.0 gram (within good manufacturing practice limitations) but no less than 0.8 gram.”
You’ll probably notice disparities between the nutritional information of the same brands of beer, but brewed in different countries. Guinness or Beck’s comes to mind. Some worldwide breweries contract to have their beers brewed in satellite breweries, far from their home offices. The use of more easily available indigenous grains or accommodating known taste preferences of local beer drinkers can influence the use of different mixtures of grains in the mash, differently treated water sources, ever-changing ratios of various types of hops in the kettle, and even yeast strains in the fermentor, which can account for variances in calories, carbohydrates and alcohol levels for the same brand of beers in different countries. Guinness, for instance, is extremely popular in Nigeria, yet the cost of shipping malted barley from Ireland would be prohibitive. As a result, indigenous grains such as sorghum and soybeans can also be added to the grain bill. As noted throughout the book, and reflective of different brewing practices in a host of countries, the nutritional value for Guinness will vary widely. The beer is currently brewed in 51 countries!
Serving size for beer is listed in the book as 12-ounces (with rare exceptions), even if the beer comes in 22-ounce “bombers” or half-liter bottles, as per the TTB and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggestions. That serving size (12-ounces) for beer will assuredly be solidified when the TTB makes its final decision on labeling requirements. I have no idea how the TTB will handle high-strength beers such as The Boston Beer Company’s Utopia or Millenium brands, for instance. The brewery recommends a moderate 2-ounce serving size for these high-alcohol brews, but with a beer serving being defined as 12-ounces, this is just one more standardization problem that the TTB will have to deal with.
No sodium, fat, cholesterol or protein values are listed here. There is NO fat nor cholesterol in beer and trace amounts of sodium and protein values in your favorite brew. While TTB mandated alcoholic drink labels will almost assuredly display protein levels in grams and sodium levels in milligrams-all part of a labeling consistency for beer, wine, liquor and liqueurs-these numbers in beer are insignificant in my opinion, especially in light of the government recommendation of no more than two 12-ounce servings of beer for men and one 12-ounce serving of suds for women per day. For instance, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for sodium for a 25 old male is 1500 mg. Your average 12-ounce serving of Budweiser contains less than 10 mg of sodium. The average 12-ounce serving of Budweiser also contains 1.3 grams (gm) of protein while the RDA for protein for a male, 25 years and older, is 63 grams. (I used a 25-year old male for obvious reasons; they do enjoy their beers.) You could check out similar parameters for 25-year old women or different ages for men and women and you’d never find any beer, let alone a Budweiser, coming anywhere near RDA levels. You’d have to drink more than 150 bottles of Budweiser to hit the sodium RDA or chug down a little more than 49 bottles of the stuff to hit the protein RDA. Remember again; we’re considering the fed’s recommendation of no more than two 12-ounce servings of beer a day for men and one serving for women. The need to worry about sodium and protein in beer seems like a wasted exercise, so these nutritional values are ignored here.
One more caveat. Breweries are changing, and tweaking their recipes all the time, skewing their beers’ nutritional values with any given batch. Also be aware that any measurement of the nutritional values of beer is based on an average analysis. No two batches of beer will ever be the same. That’s why the TTB gives an expected range (+, -) for calorie, carbohydrate and protein analyses. Of the many breweries that contributed to this book, The Lion Brewery in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania was the only brewery that sent me their beer nutritional information with expected ranges, not as definitive numbers. That’s really how you have to look at the information in this book; numbers will fluctuate with each batch of beer. Keeping the nutritional data within an expected range and deriving an average analysis of product is what’s given here.
I welcome any documented corrections to the material presented here and will post them on our website and will also include the newest numbers in future printings of this book. There are more than 2,000 beers in this list, the majority of them with ALL their carbs, calories, and alcohol by volume percentages listed. You’ll waste your time going through the various websites with nutritional values of beer. Using info direct from the breweries, I’ve often found that the website nutritional values are wrong; more often than not, very wrong!
This material, as presented, is copyrighted. Slight “ringers” with an insignificant difference of .01 g carbs or 1 calorie have been added to the list to track any attempts to duplicate this material.
We’ll be online soon with ever-expanding information on beer, wine, and booze nutritional values and be presenting plenty of tips on how to enjoy them in a moderate, responsible and healthful manner.
On the website, you’ll find: