Craft beer can pack a punch, and we thought that it would be interesting to compare how much “bang for your buck” you’re getting when drinking craft beer versus typical American adjunct lagers. The chart after the jump breaks down just how many “fizzy yellow beers” your bomber of imperial stout is equivalent to.
Quickly, “percent alcohol by volume”, or %ABV, is simply the percentage of the total volume of a solution (in our case beer) that is alcohol (in our case ethanol). The other common measurement of alcohol strength, “proof”, is simply twice the %ABV of the liquid. So an 80 proof rum is 40%ABV, and you could – though no one would – say that PBR is 9 proof.
The chart shows the approximate number of 12oz servings of typical 5%ABV beer (Coors, Miller, Bud etc) that a given serving size and %ABV of a craft beer contains. We like this measurement because the “standard” 12 ounce serving size of 5%ABV beer is basically equivalent to a 1.5 ounce “shot” of 80 proof liquor or a 5 ounces glass of “typical” wine.
The math is easy when you’re trying to figure out how boozy a 12-ounce bottle of Great Divide’s Hercules Double IPA is: at 10%ABV the DIPA is obviously worth 2 cans of MGD. But what happens when you’re drinking 4oz tasters of imperial stouts? The math starts to get tricky, and this chart can help you visualize just what your getting into.
That champagne bottle of Dogfish Head’s Bitches Brew has the alcohol equivalent of nearly 4 bottles of beer. The bomber of Stone’s Double Bastard is worth three and a half bottles of Bud. Conversely, at around 4%ABV a full 16oz pint of Eagle Rock Brewing’s Solidarity has the same alcohol content as a 12oz can of Coors and you’re getting 25% more beer!
The chart and figures are academic, but we find it interesting to think about how quickly a couple of rounds of great craft beers at the bar can sneak up on you. Lets say you sit down to a couple of 12 ounce pours of 8%ABV Pliny the Elder. That’s the equivalent of drinking 3 fizzy yellow beers.
There isn’t much of a point to all of this, but we found it interesting to be able to visualize just how hard-hitting some craft beers can be. It also goes a long way to explaining my interesting evening that time the bartender “did me a favor” by serving me a full pint of Flying Dog’s (9.2%ABV) Gonzo Imperial Porter. We’ll just say that it snuck up on me…