Known by many as the King of Beers, Budweiser is one of the most popular beers in the world. Budweiser is the 2nd biggest selling beer internationally, while Bud Light is the 4th. But how many calories in Budweiser are there? How much alcohol does it contain? Is it vegan? Gluten-free? What beers are similar to it? Let’s find out:
There are 222 calories in a pint of Budweiser (568ml). Budweiser is vegan friendly but is not gluten-free as it contains malted barley. Budweiser is an American-style pale lager, so there are many similar beers out there. It should not be confused with the Czech beer Budweiser Budvar.
In this article, I am going to properly answer the most commonly asked questions about Budweiser. I’ll avoid the other Budweiser beers out there such as Bud Light, Budweiser Zero, and Budweiser Nitro Gold.
Unlike beers like Guinness (that can vary in calorie/alcohol content depending on which vessel it is served in), all Budweiser beers are the same. No matter if they are in a can or bottle, or on draught your Budweiser will contain 39 calories per 100ml.
The alcohol by volume (abv) of Budweiser differs depending on where you drink it, and it can also differ between bottles and cans. In the US, Budweiser is a standard 5% abv. However, in the UK, Budweiser is 4.5% abv. But that’s not all, you can also find 4.8% abv cans of Budweiser in the UK. Other countries vary, with most sitting between 4.8% and 5%.
I was surprised at the lack of information available about whether Budweiser was gluten-free or not. There didn’t appear to be any official answer on the website, and there was a lot of conflicting information on Google.
As far as I can tell, Budweiser is NOT gluten-free, this is due to the malted barley that is used to brew the beer. However, thanks to the use of rice, the level of gluten is very low. This article by Steffen found that the gluten content was less than 5 ppm which means it has almost no gluten. Anecdotally, a lot of the comment section in that article claimed that they could drink Budweiser fine.
My verdict? Very low levels of gluten, but not gluten-free.
Yes, after research I would say that Budweiser is vegan. It contains no animal products, no animals were hurt in the production, and it does not appear to use isinglass to clarify the beer. Meaning that you can drink Budweiser guilt-free and maintain a vegan diet.
Budweiser is an American-style pale lager, meaning that it is the most common beer style in the world. I’m sorry, but I don’t really see why American pale lagers deserve their own category. They were based on German/Czech pale lagers, in the same way, that Spanish, Mexican, Portuguese, Turkish, English, and Australian pale lagers were.
The most obvious beers that are similar to Budweiser would be other American lagers such as:
These lagers are all brewed by large breweries, but there are some smaller breweries that arguably brew better lagers. For example:
All three of these are fantastic examples of American lagers. But if you are looking for other beers that are similar to Budweiser, you may want to start looking internationally. Czech pilsners such as Budvar (the original Budweiser), Staropramen, Pilsner Urquell, or Kozel will absolutely blow you away. They are refreshing like American lagers, but with a crisper taste, better hops, and overall better water and ingredients.
Then you have got German pilsners such as Veltins, my personal favourite pilsner of all time! Bitburger, Krombacher, Rohaus, and many more.
While on the subject of German beers, you may want to try Kolsch, not technically a lager, because it is bottom-fermented rather than top-fermented, but for us regular folk it looks and tastes like a lager. Really worth trying if you can get your hands on it.
Then there are the Festival beers from Munich such as Spaten, Paulaner, Lowenbrau, Ayinger etc … which are a serious step up from Budweiser.