Cider vs Beer: What Has More Calories?

July 27, 2021

Cider and beer are often compared to one another. It makes sense - both are fermented drinks that are enjoyed by millions of people across the UK! But are they similar when it comes to calories? In this post, we’re comparing the calories in cider vs beer.
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As we discussed in our post about calories in cider, there are three main ingredients that make up the calories in cider: ABV, sugar, and carbohydrates.


ABV – first of all, alcohol contains 7 calories per gram, so the ABV will make a big difference on the number of calories in a beer or cider. Ciders tend to range from 3% to 8% ABV. This means that there will be a fair number of calories that come from the alcohol content alone.

Sugar – because cider is made from fermented fruits including apples, pears and peaches, this means that it will naturally have a high sugar content. This is especially true if the cider combines apples and other fruits, or if it is labelled as a sweet cider. (Dryer ciders have less sugar, but tend to have a higher ABV.)

Carbohydrates – these are also present in cider. This is because apples and other fruits naturally contain carbohydrates. Most are broken down during the fermenting process, but some will still remain in your drink. 

If you’d like to learn a bit more about the calories in cider, then we’ve got a great blog post for you to read!

Shop all our Ciders here



ABV – the alcohol content of beer is a lot more varied than cider. But beers usually range from 4% and 10%. A lot of this will depend on the type of beer, as lighter types such as a pale lager will have a lower ABV when compared to a stout.

Sugar – this is where there’s a real difference between the calories in cider vs beer, because beers are naturally sugar free. Hops and barley (two of the most commonly used ingredients in beer) are naturally low in sugar. This sugar is then used up in the fermentation process. Beers only tend to have sugar if the brewer has added it to balance out any sourness.

Carbohydrates – finally, beer tends to have a higher carb content, because one of the main ingredients in beer is starch. However, this can vary depending on the type of beer. For example, stouts and porters tend to be on the higher end, with around 20g of carbohydrates. A lighter beer such as a lager has around 10-15g. And beers that are specifically brewed to have a low carbohydrate content can go as low as 5g.

Shop all our Beers here


So if you’re looking for an alcoholic drink and want to choose a lower calorie option, it’s not as straightforward as it might first appear. Beers do tend to have less sugar, but on the whole, the calories in cider and beer are fairly similar. To find the one with the lowest amount of calories, you’ll need to look at the specific beers and ciders on offer.

However, both beer and cider are perfectly fine when drunk in moderation and in conjunction with a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Want to try some new ones for yourself? Have a browse through our suppliers!

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