Top 10 most fattening beers
As brewers around the world push the beer boundaries more extreme and stronger beers are being brewed and the calorie count has gone up as well.
While techniques and styles can make stronger beers taste better than ever, there is no hiding from the calories some of these cracking beers contain.
Some of the UK’s favourite beers don’t stack up too badly against some of the ones in this list. A pint of Carling, Britain’s most popular lager, has 138 calories, Doom Bar, the UK’s most popular cask-conditioned ale has 203 calories per pint and Guinness Draught carries around 125 calories.
Many of the beers listed have many more calories, which have come as craft beer and brewing has boomed. Many brewers have a range of high-strength, and subsequently high-calorie ales, but this list just contains only one beer from any brewer.
If you want to find some beers that are NOT fattening, watch our video running down five of the lowest calorie beers in the world, below:
Carlsberg Elephant Beer
Carlsberg refers to Elephant as one of its “true classic” beers. The 7.2% brew was first launched in 1959 and the elephants on the beer’s label are inspired by the two pairs of life-size, elephant statues which form part of the main entrance to Carlsberg’s brewery in Copenhagen.
The founder of the Ny Carlsberg brewery, Carl Jacobsen, was said to be fascinated by elephants. The brewery says that the beer “goes very well with all spicy dishes, and it is particularly well suited for the Thai kitchen, Cajun dishes and Mexican food.” There are around 216 calories in a 330ml bottle of Elephant Beer.
Greene King Very Special India Pale Ale
At 7.5% this special edition brew is much stronger than Greene King’s traditional IPA, which is 3.6%. This Very Special IPA was created to “Britain’s rich cultural association with India”.
Renowned beer expert Roger Protz joined Greene King’s head brewer John Bexon in recreating this traditional style of IPA. Protz said of the beer: “Greene King Very Special IPA is a wonderfully refreshing beer. The finish is long and complex; bitter but beautifully balanced by juicy malt and ripe fruit flavours.” The beer has 225 calories per bottle.
Sharp’s Honey Spice Tripel
This beer was created by the Cornish brewer Sharp’s as part of its Connoisseur range and used extra pale malt, Cornish honey and sugar to produce a base for the hops.
Classic Saaz and Styrian Golding hops and ground coriander seeds and dried citrus peel were also infused into the brew. The yeast used came from a trappist monastery. The 10% beer has 300 calories in a bottle.
Flying Dog Horn Dog
Moving across to the US where craft beer and brewers have boomed in recent years. One thing these craft brewers enjoy is creating seasonal beers and these often mean higher strength beers. Maryland-based brewers Flying Dog started out as a brewpub in Aspen in 1990, opening a “full-fledged Denver Brewery” in 1994.
Horn Dog is barley wine ale, which aged for a minimum of three months before being packaged. The brewer says: “Like a fine wine, this beer will only get better with age when stored at optimum conditions.” It is a 10.2% beer, which has 314 calories.
Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
Founded in 1988 the Brooklyn Brewery is another American brewer that produces a wide range of core, seasonal and speciality beers. Its Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout is a 10% abv beer, with 320 calories in a bottle.
Brooklyn uses three mashes for each batch of this beer to help it achieve “a luscious deep dark chocolate flavor through a blend of specially roasted malts.” The brewer releases this beer every winter.
Samuel Adams Imperial White
Possibly the success story of the US craft beer boom, the Boston Beer Company is the biggest US craft brewer and its Samuel Adams beer has been named the best perceived beer in the US.
This Imperial White beer is a speciality brew with ingredients including Orange & lemon peel, dried plum, Grains of Paradise, coriander, anise, hibiscus, rose hips, tamarind, vanilla. It is 10.3% and has 328 calories in a bottle.
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot
The Sierra Nevada Brewing Company started in 1970 and is the second biggest craft brewer in the US. The Bigfoot Ale is one of three beers in the brewer’s High Altitude range, which it calls “the biggest, boldest beers we have ever brewed”.
The barley wine style ale is certainly big and bold at 9.6%, and this is another beer that can mature like wine if aged properly. At 330 calories a drinker is probably not watching the weight so the recommended food pairing of either bread pudding or pungent blue cheese is not a problem.
Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA
As a brewer that recently used moondust in a beer, it’s fair to say that Dogfish like to “keep things interesting and off-centered” as it claims on its website. Clocking in at around 18% and with 450 calories the 120 Minute IPA is “boiled for a full two hours while being continuously hopped with high-aplha American hops”.
The brewer says this beer is “more whisky than wine” and recommends smoked almonds, grilled lamb or gingersnaps as a food pairing.
The Scottish craft brewers BrewDog have become known as boundary pushers in the beer world, and in creating record-strength beers it was almost inevitable one of its brews one end up here.
Rather than taking one of its extreme beers, Tokyo is one of its core range and is an oak aged imperial stout. It’s an 18.2% beer that is brewed with jasmine and cranberries and then aged on oak chips. It has 546 calories in a bottle.
Brewmeister Snake Venom
Recently released as the world’s strongest beer, Snake Venom from another of Scotland’s craft brewers, Brewmeister, weighs in at 67.5% abv, stronger than most cask-strength whiskies. Brewed with smoked peat malt and two varieties of yeast, one beer and one Champagne, there is also freezing involved during fermentation to increase the strength.
The beer comes with a warning on the label telling drinkers not have more than one of the beers in a sitting. A 275ml bottle costs £50 and contains 2025 calories.