St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and it just seems natural to reach for a Guinness. Whether it’s on tap or in a can, I’m thinking it would be better if I had this beer more often. Mental conditioning is a big part of it…dark stouts mean heavy…more calories…right? We already know that Guinness blows feather weights like Budweiser and Coors out of the water for taste. But would you be surprised to know a pint of Guinness undercuts these watery under performers in calories too?
Well as a matter of fact, Guinness draft has fewer calories than a comparable serving of skim milk (135 calories) or orange juice (183 calories) let alone light beers. The reality is that 12 ounces of Guinness has just 125 calories and compares as follows with the following beers: regular Budweiser (143), Coors Original (148), Sam Adams Boston Lager (160), Anchor Steam Porter (205), and Sierra Nevada Stout (225).
How is this possible? Let’s take a look at Guiness’s 4 key ingredients which most importantly yield a substantially lower alcohol content per volume (only about 4%) versus most other brewed stouts averaging at least 6%. It’s worth noting that alcohol is the primary calorie culprit:
- Barley…both malted and roasted. The roasted barley gives the beer its distinct dark ruby red color (it looks black, but hold your glass up to the light to see the difference)
- Female hops and double the amount than in most beers yield a more intense flavor and aroma which also eliminate the need for artificial preservative
- GUINNESS® Yeast…their own strain descended from the brewery’s inception, ensures the beer is fully fermented and charged with flavor. In case something should happen to the main supply, a small reserve is kept under lock and key.
As far a beating out skim milk and orange juice, combined with these other factors, Guinness has much more plain water content, fewer proteins & dense sugars, along with zero fat.
Photo courtesy of Guinness