Saturday, January 5, 2013
All Light Beers Are Not Created Equal: Is Your Beer Punking You?
Recently, I was at the local chain bar, PJ Whelihans (which comes up Wheel Iguana w/ predictive typing) and I decided to make my beer of choice for the night Heineken Light. It was on special for $3, plus I was watching my weight and it tastes pretty damn good. But I noticed at the end of the night that I was feeling very little effects of my several beers, or at least much less effect than my friends. So when I got home I googled alcohol content in Heineken Light and was shocked to see that it was 3.5%. You might think, "so what? what's the difference?" Well, I'll tell you. At 4.2%, most light beers are at a 16% reduction in ABV from your standard 5.0% beer (Budweiser). That's a pretty significant drop, but that's what you have to do to remove calories and that drop off often allows us to drink more and for longer. But at 3.5%, you are at a drop off of 30% and are much closer to drinking "low-point beer" than you are a regular light beer.
Why am I telling you this? Because quite frankly, people should know. For the same reason it's important to know that if you are drinking a Stella Artois or a Sierra Nevada, you are drinking beers that are 5.2% & 5.6% respectively. People have developed, or tried to develop, drinking thresholds because it makes the effects of alcohol consumption more predictable. But it would take 10 Heineken lights to equal 8 Bud lights or 6 Sierra Nevada's, so maybe $3 isn't such a good deal after all.