Most calorific beers REVEALED amid calls for nutritional info on beer taps

Most punters don’t give calories a second thought when ordering a pint at the pub. 

But would you reach for a second, third or fourth pint if you knew how many calories you were knocking back?  

Four pints of BrewDog Punk IPA, one of the worst offenders, can deliver half a day’s worth of calories.

And just one pint of San Miguel contains around 250 calories — more than a Mars bar (228 cal).

To solve this ‘big issue’ of uncertainty around just how calorific beer is, shadow health minister Liz Kendall suggested beer pumps should display the number of calories in a pint.

Here, MailOnline stacks up the evidence and compares just how many calories are in Britain’s favourite pints.

This is how many calories are in some of Britain’s favourite pints, according to the myfitnesspal database. Ales appear to be more calorific with an Abbot Ale containing 234 calories and a Punk IPA containing 292 calories. But a Guinness at 210 calories is surprisingly less than a Peroni with 235 calories and a Stella Artois containing 227 calories 

The Labour frontbencher told BBC Newscast that she would ‘like to know how many calories there are in alcohol’. 

She said that for her ‘knowledge is power’, before adding that she isn’t ‘going to tell people what to do’. 

But industry leaders say calories on taps is a bad idea at a time when the high street is already struggling with a stagnant economy. 

This is not the first time calories on taps has been suggested. 

In 2021, Tory government health chiefs wanted to force larger chains to disclose the number of calories for every beer, wine and spirit ordered in their bars. 

But it was later dropped over cost fears. 

Whether you are for beer taps displaying calories on or not, it may surprise you that some IPA’s contain more than double the number of calories in a packet of Walkers ready salted crisps (130 cal). 

A pint of BrewDog Punk IPA contains 292 calories, making it the worst-offender out of the 16 beers MailOnline looked at.

That means just two pints of the IPA contain more than a quarter of a person’s daily suggested calorie intake. 

Men are supposed to consume around 2,500 calories per day to maintain a healthy weight, while women are advised to stick to 2,000 calories. 

Shipyard American Pale Ale (257 cal) and San Miguel (256 cal) are not far behind.

Meanwhile, Kronenbourg (244 cal) contains nearly the same number of calories as a three McVitie’s Chocolate Digestive (249). 

And punters may be shocked to find out a pint of Peroni (235 cal) or an Abbot Ale (234 cal) contain almost the same number of calories as a Snickers (245 cal). 

In comparison, a pint of Carling is on the lighter end of the scale with 189 calories.

A pint of Foster’s contains 205 calories and a Heineken is 227 calories.  

It’s not just ales and larger that are high in calories, as wine, cider and spirits are packed with them.

That is because many alcoholic drinks are made from natural starch and sugar, which are fermented to produce the alcohol content.

This is why alcohol contains roughly 7 calories per gram, which is almost as many as a gram of fat, according to the NHS. 

While many believe that the darker the beer and the denser the head, the more carbohydrates and calories the drink contains, that myth has been dispelled. 

In fact, many lagers are more calorific than a Guinness. 

A pint of Budweiser (232 cal), Cobra (228 cal) and Stella Artois (227 cal) all contain more calories.

Higher levels of sugar in beers such as Peroni, Kronenbourg, Budweiser, Heineken and Stella Artois could be the reason why they have more calories in each pint than Guinness, says DrinkWell UK. 

Calorie content of beers 
Pint Calories Kcal
Carling 189
Foster’s 205
Guinness 210
Sharp’s Doom Bar 220
Hop House 13 Larger 226
Beck’s 226
Heineken 227
Stella Artois 227
Cobra 228
Budweiser 232
Abbot Ale 234
Peroni 235
Kronenbourg 244
San Miguel  256
Shipyard American Pale Ale 257
BrewDog Punk IPA 292
Source: Myfitnesspal   


One screening tool used widely by medical professionals is the AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Tests). Developed in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, the 10-question test is considered to be the gold standard in helping to determine if someone has alcohol abuse problems.

The test has been reproduced here with permission from the WHO.

To complete it, answer each question and note down the corresponding score.


0-7: You are within the sensible drinking range and have a low risk of alcohol-related problems.

Over 8: Indicate harmful or hazardous drinking.

8-15: Medium level of risk. Drinking at your current level puts you at risk of developing problems with your health and life in general, such as work and relationships. Consider cutting down (see below for tips).

16-19: Higher risk of complications from alcohol. Cutting back on your own may be difficult at this level, as you may be dependent, so you may need professional help from your GP and/or a counsellor.

20 and over: Possible dependence. Your drinking is already causing you problems, and you could very well be dependent. You should definitely consider stopping gradually or at least reduce your drinking. You should seek professional help to ascertain the level of your dependence and the safest way to withdraw from alcohol.

Severe dependence may need medically assisted withdrawal, or detox, in a hospital or a specialist clinic. This is due to the likelihood of severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms in the first 48 hours needing specialist treatment.