Beer myths

True or false?

View myths

01 | Darker beers contain more alcohol


Many people think that darker beers are stronger. In fact, there's no connection between colour and strength. A typical black Stout may have an alcohol content of 4%, while some pale beers can have a content as high as 8%. A beer's colour depends on the ingredients and on how it's brewed and fermented.

02 | Beer is high in sugar


Recently, some popular diet books have claimed that beer is high in sugar, particularly maltose. In the brewing process when the barley malt is first boiled, the resulting liquid does contain maltose. However, during fermentation, the yeast consumes the maltose, converting it into alcohol and natural carbonation. So most popular beers actually contain little or no maltose or other simple sugars.

03 | Alcohol-free beers contain no alcohol


Alcohol-free beers generally contain no alcohol, but they are actually allowed to contain up to 0.05% alcohol. On the other hand, the Zero beers sold in some markets never contain any alcohol.

04 | Alcohol affects men and women in the same way


Because women have a lower proportion of water in their bodies than men, the same amount of alcohol can have a greater effect on a woman. This is true even when you take weight differences into account.

05 | Drinking beer will give you a 'beer belly'


Extensive research in Britain and the Czech Republic has shown that there is no proven link between drinking beer and a 'beer belly'. The snacks you eat while drinking are more likely to cause you to put on weight than a couple of beers a night.

06 | Drinking too much may be bad for your health


Drinking too much may be bad for your health: alcohol abuse may affect your judgment and may lead to dependency and other serious health issues. If you have questions about what a responsible level of drinking is for you, talk to your doctor or check Drinkaware for the facts.

07 | Switching between alcoholic drinks will make you drunk more quickly


It's the level of alcohol in your blood which determines how intoxicated you become, not switching from one type of drink to another.

08 | Drinking beer makes you fat


If you drink in moderation, beer doesn’t make you fat. There are fewer calories in beer than in most other alcoholic drinks. Beer also contains no fat and is relatively low in carbohydrates, lower than wine for example. A 142 ml glass of wine typically contains 110 calories, 5 grams of carbohydrates and about 13 grams of alcohol (which account for 91 of the calories). This is roughly the same amount of alcohol and number of calories as in a 341 ml light beer.


Myths as a PDF

Need this information for your own personal use?

» Download the myths as a PDF