The Total Amount Of Beer You'd Have To Drink To Equal A Shot

All alcohol is not created equally, and if you are going out to a happy hour with your coworkers or to a bar with friends, it is important to have a grasp on how it can affect you. When it comes to beer versus shots of alcohol, it is not a one-equals-one equation. A shot of hard alcohol like whiskey, vodka, or tequila is going to hit most people harder than sipping on a glass of beer. That's because a 12-ounce mug of beer with 5% Alcohol By Volume (ABV) is about as much as one small shot or 1.5 ounces of a distilled spirit where the ABV is 40% or 80 proof.

Beer is typically a lower-alcohol option, and it has an ABV range that is dependent on the type of beer you are chugging. Light beer has a general ABV range of between 4% and 5%, but regular beer and craft beers are typically higher, topping off at up to 10% ABV. However, the percentage of alcohol, while very important, is not all you should consider when imbibing responsibly.

Speed matters

It is important to consider just how quickly are you downing your shots in comparison to your beer. Speed matters. Distilled spirits are going to have you feeling tipsy quicker than beer if consumed over a short period. Having three or four Kamikazes or Dublin Drop shots at a party over the course of an hour is going to put more ethanol in your bloodstream than sipping on one or two beers. 

To put this into even greater perspective, generally speaking, your body can only metabolize .25 ounces of alcohol per hour. This can also vary based on your weight, gender, whether you've eaten anything, and even if you are sick. For example, someone with greater body fat will absorb the alcohol in a beer or a shot of whiskey much slower than someone who is a little leaner. Knowing this may help you understand your limits and keep you from drinking more than you want to.