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Top 10 gassiest beers revealed

A study of 31 popular and readily available beer brands in the UK has revealed which are most likely to leave you feeling particularly gassy.

The research was sponsored by discount voucher website, vouchercloud, and the tests undertaken by food scientist Dr Stuart Farrimond.

Farrimond took 31 “popular” beers – including Budweiser, Stella Artois, Peroni, Pilsner Urquell, BrewDog and Corona – that could all be purchased at a “leading” UK supermarket and tested each of them at a temperature of 21° centigrade – far from an ideal drinking temperature of course but better to measure the carbon dioxide present in each.

To do so, a gauge fitted with a lid-piercing adaptor was used, the needle being able to slide into the container and take a reading while a rubber ferrule formed a tight seal to ensure no gas escaped.

As CO2 molecules are smaller than water molecules, an average single pint of liquid (or beer in this case) can hold as much as 2.1 pints of CO2 within it.

In the event it was found, perhaps unsurprisingly, that the ‘King of Beers’, Budweiser, was the gassiest beer of those tested with 2.7 pints of CO2 per pint of beer.

Stella Artois and Coors Light shared second place with 2.5 pints of gas per pint of beer while, also unsurprisingly, the ales and stouts scored much lower with Hobgoblin in fact being the least gaseous of the 31 brands tested – just 1.7 pints of CO2 per pint of beer.

Somewhat more interestingly, three non-alcoholic beers that were tested, Beck’s Blue, San Miguel 0,0% and Heineken’s 0.0, were found to be very low down on the scale with under two pints of CO2 each.

This is despite many customers apparently thinking that non-alcoholic beers are gassier than their ‘full-fat’ counterparts.

Farrimond wondered if the occasional side effects of beer drinking – a bloated feeling and belching – were simply more noticeable and less agreeable to people when sober.

An additional ‘taste test’ also found that actual carbonation levels did not necessarily equate to how drinkers perceived effervescence in their beer.

When rated in this instance the top three beers were felt to be: Kronenbourg 1664, Bud Light and Estrella Damm, even though the Kronenbourg and Estrella had rather average CO2 readings of under 2.2 pints of gas per liquid pint.

As Farrimond pointed out, lower temperatures and stronger flavour can go a long way to mask a beer’s true fizziness.

Click through (or if you’re on a mobile, scroll through) to see the 10 fizziest beers in the market.

9= Cobra & Guinness Golden Ale

Pints of CO2 per pint: 2.27

Brand owner(s): Molson Coors (Cobra) and Diageo (Guinness)

With over 2.2 pints of CO2 per pint, Cobra and Guinness’s Golden Ale are just a nudge over the average amount of gas one might find in a pint of beer.

8. Fosters

Pints of CO2 per pint: 2.3

Brand owner: AB InBev

The UK’s favourite ‘Australian’ lager and the second biggest-selling beer in the UK which contributes hugely to consuming the 500 megalitres of the stuff that is estimated to be brewed each year.

How many bubbles does that come to? Answers on a postcard please.

7. Pilsner Urquell

Pints of CO2 per pint: 2.32

Brand owner: Asahi

Long claimed to be the world’s first blond pilsner style beer (in 1842) and the inspiration to many of the lagers brewed today.

Not the fizziest though.


6. Heineken

Pints of CO2 per pint: 2.39

Brand owner: Heineken

The sponsor of numerous sporting events, including the UEFA Champions League, Heineken is consumed in huge quantities across British sporting stadia.

Does its CO2 content have anything to do with you needing to go just at that moment you think your team might score?


5. John Smiths Original

Pints of CO2 per pint: 2.44

Brand owner: Heineken

The Original not the Extra Smooth that is, as the former is carbonated whereas the latter is nitrogenated, which of course means it doesn’t have any CO2 in it.

4. Bud Light

Pints of CO2 per pint: 2.46

Brand owner: AB InBev

Recently launched in the UK, now sports fans both there and the US can band together to do something productive like burp the lyrics of their favourite chants.

Ah, sports.


3. Corona Extra

Pints of CO2 per pint: 2.48

Brand owner: Grupo Modelo/AB InBev

The top-selling imported beer in the US and one whose marketing heavily favours beach settings.

There’s nothing like a bit of a buoyancy aid from a few pints of CO2 when you’re trying to exert as little effort possible to stay afloat.


2= Stella Artois & Coors Light

Pints of CO2 per pint: 2.5

Brand owner(s): AB InBev (Stella) and Molson Coors (Coors Light)

No surprise to see a beer like Stella close to the top of the fizzy rankings but one can only assume that in the case of Coors Light they’ve been using CO2 as a substitute for the alcohol and calories they’ve taken out.

1. Budweiser

Pints of CO2 per pint: 2.7

Brand owner: AB InBev

The “King of Beers” and the ‘Fizziest of Beers’ too it would seem – at least from this test – which also gives it the PSI of over 30 which is almost as much as the pressure released when opening the valve on a car tyre.

Despite this elevated CO2 level however, Budweiser was quite some way down the list of beers that appeared fizzy when drunk, and the canned beer with the greatest PSI there is?

Guinness Draught apparently, with over 40 PSI.

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