How Much Water is in Beer?

How much water is in beer? Depending on the style and its strength beer is typically made up of 90 – 95% water.

For the purposes of this article, we are going to say that beer is made of 95% water. We are going to take a look at what that means in regards to how much water is in the beer you are consuming depending on the serving size as well as the ABV (alcohol by volume) of the beer you are drinking.

How Much Water is in a 12 oz Beer?

For this example, we are going to stick with a typical commercial beer with an average alcohol content such as a Budweiser that has an ABV of 5%. Using 95% as the percentage of water it results in there being 11.4 oz of water in a 12 oz beer. (12 oz x .95 = 11.4 oz) The remaining 5% would be alcohol which would work out to be 0.6 oz of alcohol. (12 oz x 0.5 = 0.6 oz)

How Much Water is in Light Beer?

Most light beers such as Bud Light, Coors Light, or Michelob Light come in at approximately 4% ABV. To figure out how much water is in a light beer you simply remove the 4% from 100%, which results in 96% of the beer being water. If you are drinking from a standard 12 oz beer bottle then your beer would have 11.52 oz of water (12 oz x .96 = 11.52 oz), which means the same 12 oz bottle would hold 0.48 oz of alcohol.

How Much Water is in One Beer? 
A beer sitting in water next to the words how much water is in beer.
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How much water is in one beer depends on the serving size of the beer you order. If you are in a pub ordering a beer the size of the pint they serve it in can vary significantly. The most popular standard size pint glasses are the US Pint and the Imperial Pint. The US pint holds 16 oz whereas the Imperial Pint holds 20 oz. Do not be surprised if you see some establishments selling their beer in 14 oz pints.

Sticking with the standard ABV of 5% let’s take a look at how much water is in each of these serving sizes of beer.

A 14 oz pint of 5% beer will contain 13.3 oz of water. With the remaining 0.7 oz being alcohol.

A 16 oz US pint of 5% beer will contain 15.2 oz of water. With the remaining 0.8 oz being alcohol.

A 20 oz Imperial Pint of 5% beer will contain 19 oz of water. With the remaining 1 oz being alcohol

How Much Water is in a Can of Beer?

Beer can come in many different can sizes, the two most popular are 12 oz and 16 oz. Commercial beers are typically sold in the 12 oz can sizes while most craft beers are sold in the 16 oz sizes.

It goes without saying that the amount of water in a can of beer depends on the can size. A 12 oz can of beer would have 11.4 oz of water and a 16 oz can of beer would have 15.2 oz of water.

How Much Percentage of Water is in Beer?

On average 90 – 95% of beer is water. To determine what percentage of the beer you are drinking is water, simply look for the ABV or alcohol percentage listed on the side of the bottle or can and subtract it from 100. For example, if the beer you are drinking has an ABV of 7.5%, subtract that number from 100%, which will show you that your beer contains 92.5 percent water. (100 – 7.5 = 92.5)

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you survive on beer without water?

No, it is not possible to survive on beer without water. You would die of dehydration because even though beer is made up of a large percentage of water, beer does not hydrate you due to the alcohol within it having a diuretic effect.

Some people do attempt to survive on beer and water for a period of time, which is a hundreds of year-old tradition that was practiced by monks in Germany. However, even with adding water to the mix, you would probably only survive a few months. It is reported that eventually, scurvy would set it making you very sick.

Is Beer Healthy to Drink?

The old adage of “everything in moderation” comes to mind in regards to whether beer is healthy to drink.

It is reported that 1 – 2 beers a day can indeed have potential health benefits. Beer is full of antioxidants that help the body get rid of free radicals. Beer is also full of vitamins and minerals. It has been suggested that beer is as good as wine when it comes to being able to lower your risk of heart disease.

There are other studies that show consuming small amounts of beer daily can reduce the chance of developing diabetes as well as increase your bone strength. The problem is that once you exceed the 1 – 2 beers a day mark all of its benefits are outweighed by the potential negative effects it can have on your health.

Does Mixing Alcohol with Water Make it Weaker?

Yes if you had water to any alcoholic beverage including beer and thus increasing the liquid volume of the drink, you have in essence diluted the ABV of that drink. Now it is important to understand that if you still drink all of the drink you will have consumed the same amount of alcohol that you would have if you had not mixed it with water. However, water will also dilute the alcohol in your body and slow down its absorption.

Additional Reading: The best water for brewing beer

2 thoughts on “How Much Water is in Beer?”

  1. I drink 3-4 pints of 4% cask ale late. at night is this harmful to my Liver normally taking 1-2 days off midweek.

    • Hi Peter, thanks for dropping by. Welcome to the club, I tend to do the same. I am not a medical professional so I can not comment on what is harmful or not. However lots of studies out there would say it probably is.


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