How Much Sugar Is In Beer?

Beer is one of the most popular and widely consumed beverages in the world. It’s also one of the oldest alcoholic drinks, and after water and tea, it’s ranked third among the most popular drink. Beer is composed of four basic ingredients: grain, hops, yeast and water. And, it’s created through a fermentation process. Although beer is made up of 95% water, the other three ingredients that only make up 5% of beer determine all of the characteristics of the beer. Grain gives the beer its color, flavor and provides the sugars needed for the yeast to convert it to alcohol and carbonation. The hops will determine how bitter the taste of the beer is, as well as its aroma. And, there are two different types of yeast that are typically used in beer creation: top-fermenting Ale yeast or bottom-fermenting Lager yeast.

Beer is a widely enjoyed drink, but with an increased amount of dietary limitations, more and more people are finding that they need to cut beer out of their lives, because of the wheat or sugar content. But, in the same way, gluten free products – including gluten free beer – have made it possible for those with gluten intolerances to continue enjoying beer, newly developed sugar-free beer alleviates the problem of how much sugar content is there in beer for those with sugar restrictions in their diets.

What Is The Average Amount Of How Much Sugar content Is there In Beer

When creating a typical beer, the sugars in the grains, usually barley, are what feed the yeast, letting it do its job to convert the sugar to alcohol and carbonation. The sugar in barley is literally eaten by the yeast and turned into alcohol. 

It’s important to look at the type of sugar that’s in beer. The type of sugar you’ll find in beer is very different from the sugars in beverages like sodas. Sugary sodas contain sucrose, which is a simple sugar, whereas the sugar in beer after it’s been processed by yeast, is a complex type of sugar. It’s a long chain carbohydrate that, once converted by yeast, cannot be broken down by it afterward.

How Much Sugar Is In Beer A half full pint of beer.

But, even though the yeast is eating the sugars, it never really gets all of it. There is always some amount of sugar left unprocessed by the yeast. So beer contains carbs and sugars because of how the beer making process works.

Even though it has sugar in it, because beer doesn’t have simple sugars in it like a soft drink, you won’t have a super sweet sugary taste. A typical 12-ounce beer will have around 13 grams of sugars from carbohydrates in it.

Why Is There A Need For Sugar-Free Beer?

The increase in different illnesses and conditions, such as diabetes, has lead to the increased need for certain dietary restrictions for larger numbers of people. In the last few years, there have been drastic rises in chronic conditions and dietary intolerances, such as gluten intolerances. The gluten-free product market is skyrocketing now, as more and more people find it difficult to enjoy wheat based food. 

The same type of trend is happening with sugar content. More and more people are finding themselves wanting or having to limit or completely eliminate sugar from their diets. For a person with diabetes, it’s important to limit the amount of sugar being consumed. These important dietary limitations are one of the reasons for the need for sugar-free beer. 

There are also a greater number of people who are consciously trying to live a healthier lifestyle, which includes a limited consumption of sugar. So, although they are technically able to include sugar in their diets, they have chosen not to. Having a sugar free beer option allows everyone, whether on a restricted diet by choice or by necessity, to enjoy one of the world’s most popular beverages without worry or guilt.

How Is Sugar-Free Beer Created?

It’s actually quite difficult to create a sugar-free beer, because of the process that needs to take place in the fermentation of beer. Low sugar beers are also known as low carb beers, and are generally the closest thing to a completely sugar-free beer as you will likely find, for now at least, until a new fermentation process is developed.

Low carb beers are typically lower in alcohol since they use less sugar, which is what the yeast uses to produce the alcohol. They usually taste a little more watered down because of this. The grains that are used to make this nearly sugar free beer are lower in sugar to begin with. So, doing this means that you won’t lose the flavors, but you’ll reduce the sugar content – and, by default, the alcohol content.

What Is The Average Amount Of How Much Sugar Is In Beer

There needs to be a balance of flavors from the hoppy bitterness and the sweetness from the grains, so having a completely sugar free beer is nearly impossible. A beer without sugar would need to be artificially sweetened in some way, which may throw off the balance of the natural components.

It’s for this same reason that a beer can never be completely alcohol-free. Even with non-alcoholic beer, there will always be tiny amounts of trace alcohol left behind. Alcohol in beer is a natural product of the beer making process, in the same way that sugar is a necessity in the process.

Keeping Beer In The Rankings

Increased numbers of people with dietary restrictions mean that beer creators will need to start looking at new ways to produce sugar-free beers for everyone to enjoy. In order to keep beer at its number three ranking of the world’s most widely consumed beverages, beer makers will need to make it drinkable by everyone, even those with sugar restrictions in their everyday diet.

And, as new developments happen in the beer fermentation process, sugar-free beers should become even better and closer to tasting like regular beer.

Image Credits

Images used with a creative commons license – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Image One by Ruocaled – https://www.flickr.com/photos/ruocaled/7961760700/

Image Two by Rex Roof – https://www.flickr.com/photos/rexroof/3203557451/

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