Craft beer and bar food calories

craftbeersHigher alcohol beers are packing calories.

The Walk Talk Nutrition RD team visits a microbrewery.   Sometimes being a nutrition professional is hard work.  High alcohol craft beer can be high calorie, and we felt like someone just had to check out the situation.  We took along the husbands, to justify tasting several different beers.  As you can hear in the podcast, we all thought the 15% alcohol beer was wonderful.  “Smooth!”

For more information about craft beer, one expert of our acquaintance recommends Beer Advocate.  Most breweries list the percent alcohol next to each beer.  In general, they range from 4 – 15%, meaning that percent of the volume of the beer is alcohol.  What does that mean in terms of calories?  Here’s a handy beer calorie calculator.  You have to know the gravity measurements of the beer.  We used it to calculate sample calorie counts for some typical craft beers:

% alcohol     Calories/12 oz
5.25            164
8               230
12              330
15              400
17              460

Then there’s the bar food.  Microbreweries vary in the type and variety of food served.  If you’re enjoying some higher calorie beers, it makes sense to go easy on high calorie foods and big portions.  We were happy to find that the brewery we visited had lots of healthier menu choices, as well as modest portions.  Another option: buy smaller glasses of beers.

For more on beer in general, check out this article Kathy wrote a couple of years ago.

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