Is alcohol by volume calculated differently in the United Kingdom than the United States?

Here’s a link to a pub drink list in London.
Greene King IPA with an ABV of 3.6%? Carlsberg has an ABV of 3.8%, less than Coors Light? Fosters is listed as 4%, the same as Coors Light?

Are these beers calculating their alcohol by volume using the same metrics?

Those numbers look right to me. Green King IPA, for instance, is not what we think of as an IPA here in the US. It’s a pretty easy-drinking session beer, more like an English Mild Ale than anything else, although it has perhaps a bit more hop presence than that style. A lot of UK and Irish beers I’ve had were in the sub 4.5% ABV range. Hell, Guinness is only 4.2% ABV and good if you’re watching the calories. :slight_smile: The Carlsberg seems a bit low at 3.8%, though.

Actually, never mind about the Carlsberg. It looks like there is a 3.8% version for the UK market that is separate from the standard 5% version.

That’s quite interesting. I figured most lagers would be close to the USA Budweiser level of 5%. I try to avoid lagers in the United Kingdom, but at a few bars, they don’t have cask ale.

I love drinking IPAs in Chicago, but I know most of them are very high in alcohol content so I have to restrain myself. Interesting that I can drink a low alcohol IPA in the United Kingdom.

If you go to the Goose Island Brewery’s Clybourn location, they often will have at least one English style session beer on tap. Having had that Green King in the UK, I’m not exactly sure how it qualifies as an IPA, but if you’re looking for a sessioner, Goose Island will often have maybe an English Mild or Ordinary Bitter on tap. Looking at the beer menu right now, they have a 3.5% English Mild called “Mildly Cytrus” on tap with a nitro pour. This is one of the reasons I like Goose Island’s Clybourn brewpub so much: they have a wide variety of beers in all sorts of alcohol ranges, and is pretty much the only place I could think of in the Chicago area to get a reasonably low alcohol beer that still tastes like beer. Oh, and it looks like the Clybourn location is the only one there is now. Guess I missed that news.

I live near Wrigley and the opening and I’ve seen closing over the past two years of the Goose Island near here, but yes, the Goose Island here finally closed up to allow the Cubs Disneyland to take over Clark.

Coors Light is 4.2% IIRC. Guinness, a beer that most people consider “heavy,” is the same percentage.

Many beers in countries like the UK and Australia are actually weaker than most Americans are used to. There is a tendency in the craft beer world to produce higher alcohol content but that might be changing. It seems to me that Berliner Weisse is becoming a thing now, and that’s typically low alcohol.

Oh and the two measurements are by volume and by weight (3.2 ABW = 4.0 ABV) and used throughout the world. One thing you may encounter is that the UK has defined “proof” differently than the US. This is typically used with hard alcohol but not beer or some. In the US it’s simply ABV x 2.

Several beers in the UK have reduced their strength in recent years, to reduce the amount of duty.