Non-alcoholic (NA) beers are a great option for those who want to reduce or eliminate their alcohol consumption and still take part in social drinking. But one thing that many people don’t consider is how non-alcoholic beers compare nutritionally to regular beer, especially when it comes to carbs. In this article, we will look at non-alcoholic beer carbs vs alcoholic beer carbs, plus compare some of the most popular brands.
After analyzing 100+ beers, non-alcoholic beer carbs ranged from 0 to 35g. On average, there were 14.3g carbohydrates in non-alcoholic beers.
Just like alcoholic beer, the carbohydrate content in a can of non-alcoholic beer is dependent on style and ingredients.
In this post, you’ll see how wide the carbs in non-alcoholic beers can vary, how these numbers compare to some similar alcoholic beer styles, plus some of the lowest carb non-alcoholic beer.
For a quick visual summary, jump to the comparison tables:
- Carbs in NA Beer vs Alcoholic Beer Chart
- Carbs in Non-Alcoholic Beers Comparison Table
- Low Carb Non-Alcoholic Beer
What is a Carbohydrate?
Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients found in food, and are made up of sugar molecules. They provide energy for your body and can be found in a variety of foods, from bread to fruit.
Carbs come in two forms: simple and complex. Simple carbs are broken down quickly by your body and are found in things like candy, white bread, and soda. Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest and can be found in foods like whole grain breads, legumes, quinoa, oats, and potatoes.
The type of carbohydrates in non-alcoholic beer depends on the type of grains and other ingredients used to make it. Generally, non-alcoholic beers contain both simple and complex carbs. This is because the grains used are usually made up of both simple sugars (such as maltose) and complex starches.
You might also be interested in gluten free non-alcoholic beer.
Carbs in Beer with Alcohol
The amount of carbs in alcoholic beer can range wildly depending on the style and brand. In a sampling of several styles of craft beer, most range between 7-14g carbs per can (12-16 calories per ounce).
Non-Alcoholic Beer Carbs
Non-alcoholic beers are truly varied in carbs, and not necessarily lower in carbs than alcoholic beer. Perhaps you can blame this on the lack of alcohol, since yeast usually consumes sugar during fermentation. But lower sugar doesn’t always mean lower carbs. After all, beer is made with carb-rich grains. Is non-alcoholic beer high in carbs?
While the overall numbers suggest there are more carbs in non-alcoholic beer than standard beer, it’s also a good idea to look at styles of beer to see if those averages change.
When comparing over 100 non-alcoholic beers, the results were a little different. In pale ale, lager and pilsner styles, there were fewer carbs in alcohol free beer. However, NA stout, wheat and IPA styles had more carbs than the comparable standard beers that were compared against.
Carbs in NA Beer vs Alcoholic Beer Chart
After analyzing specific styles of non-alcoholic beer more closely, here are the results. Comparable alcoholic beers were used for comparison against non-alcoholic beers.
Carbs in Non-Alcoholic Beers Comparison Table
Here are some of the most popular non-alcoholic beers with their carbs compared to similar beer styles with alcohol. Links are to individual product reviews and tasting notes.
|Calories in Comparable Beer with Alcohol
|Partake Brewing Pale
|Brew Dog Punk AF
|Untitled Art Italian Pilsner
|Athletic Brewing Upside Dawn
|O’Douls Golden Non-Alcoholic Brew
|Athletic Brewing Run Wild IPA
|Wellbeing Brewing Victory Wheat Sports Brew
|Rescue Club IPA
Lowest Carb Non-Alcoholic Beer Chart
If you’re looking for a low carb non-alcoholic beer, there are a few. Here are some brands that make low carb non-alcoholic beer, and an example of one of their products. Several breweries on this list have more than one low-carb beer, so be sure to check them out.
In addition to these, there are some hop-flavored drinks that are free of fat, carbs, calories, and sugar. These are HopLark Sparkling Hop Tea and Lagunitas Hop Hoppy Refresher. They are both refreshing carbonated beverages and alternative soft drinks that are great substitutes for beer or when you want to drink something different than water.
|Carbs (g) per 12oz
|Drop Bear Beer
|Yuzu Pale Ale
|Natural Bridges Kolsch Style
|Big Drop Brewing
|Uptown Craft Lager
Many alternative soft drinks are loaded with calories, as are many ready-to-drink NA cocktails, even without alcohol included. Adding alcohol just drives the caloric content up even more.
See our stats on how alcohol affects the calories in beer vs non-alcoholic beer.
Where to Buy These Non-Alcoholic Beers
There are several retailers with a good selection of alcohol free beer. One of the best options is ProofNoMore. They not only have a great selection, but I love that you can purchase beer by the can, which is an excellent way to try new things!
Purchase by the can and try several different non-alcoholic beers. (link to check price and see individual cans available on ProofNoMore)
Carbs: NA Beer vs Other Alcoholic Beverages
According to the USDA, pure alcohol (100 proof) has no carbohydrates. The carbs in cocktails will come from all the other ingredients. Here are a few cocktails with their calories:
- Whisky Sour (w/egg white): 4.7g carbs
- Gin & Tonic: 15 carbs
- Mojito: 20 carbs
- Margarita: 12 carbs
The carb content in cocktails is about the same as most non-alcoholic beers, but it really depends on which you compare. However, comparing only carbs isn’t the full picture. Cocktails are usually much higher in calories and, of course, contain alcohol.
You might also be interested in trying a low carb non-alcoholic sparkling wine.
Health Benefits of Drinking NA Beer
Non-alcoholic beer can be a healthy part of your diet if consumed in moderation. Carbohydrates are only a small piece of the nutrition puzzle. You have to look at the full picture and determine what will work for your goals or lifestyle. Since non-alcoholic beers contain fewer calories than regular beer, they can help you stay within your daily calorie goals while still enjoying a cold one with friends.
Additionally, the complex carbs found in non-alcoholic beer provide energy possibly without spiking blood sugar levels.* They taste great and are a great alternative to standard beer. Plus, they have even been used by athletes to hydrate.
*This is not health advice. talk to your doctor about consuming non-alcoholic beer for its potential health benefits.
When compared with similar style beers with alcohol, the number of carbs varies. Non-alcoholic IPA, stout, and wheat beers have more carbs than comparable beers. However, NA pale ale, lager, and pilsner have less carbs than comparable alcoholic beers.
If you’re interested in trying some of the no carb and low carb non-alcoholic beers and don’t want to commit to a 6- or 12-pack, test them out by purchasing one can of each (check brands at ProofNoMore).
All the listed nutrition facts are approximations and may be subject to change.