How Many Beers Equal a Shot?

by Dane Wilson | Last Updated: November 2, 2021

Imagine a bar with two groups. One has friends chugging down beers while the other is doing shot after shot. Within an hour, both groups are sloshed, but is one more drunk than the other? You might be surprised by the answer. Curious to find out how many beers equal a shot of your favorite alcohol? You have come to the right place.

What is a Shot?

You might think of a shot as a splash of liquor poured neat into a shot glass, but that is not always what it meant. A shot is often in reference to a small drink of distilled liquor.

The size of a shot also depends on which country you’re in:

CountryShot Glass Size
Denmark0.67 oz (19.8 ml)
Germany0.67 oz (19.8 ml)
UK0.84 oz (24.8 ml)
Australia1.01 oz (29.8 ml)
India1.01 oz (29.8 ml)
Ireland1.20 oz (35.4 ml)
Canada1.44 oz (42.5 ml)
United States1.48 oz (43.7 ml)
Finland & Sweden1.35 oz (40.0 ml)
Italy2.02 oz (59.7 ml)
Japan2.02 oz (59.7 ml)
Greece1.52 oz (45.0 ml)
Russia1.69 oz (50.0 ml)

Now, you might be wondering: Does a single shot count as a drink? Yes, in most cases. This is because in the US a single shot of hard liquor contains about 0.6 oz (17.7 ml) of alcohol.

Beer vs Shot Volume

Is a shot of alcohol equal to a beer? Are shots stronger than 1 beer, or should you watch how much you drink regardless?

As already mentioned above, the sizes of a shot differ regionally. Beers also come in various sizes, from the standard 12 ounces (354 ml) to larger American 16 oz pints (473 ml). Meanwhile, the standard US shot is about 1.48 oz or 44 ml.

And if we’re looking at volume in terms of calories, 12 oz of beer averages around 149 calories per serving. A single shot runs around 65 calories, though that depends on the alcohol you’re drinking.

five poured drinking glasses on brown wooden tray

Alcohol Content

Science tells us that 12 ounces of beer is equal to 5 oz of wine, which is also equal to 1.5 oz of hard liquor. Yes, that means you shot of whiskey or rum is equivalent to a glass of red wine.

But let’s talk about alcohol by volume (ABV). Typically, domestic beer like Budweiser or Coors Light has between 5-8% ABV per serving. Vodka, on the other hand, has 40% ABV or 80 proof. Simply put, 5-8% ABV means beer is about 0.6 oz (17.7 ml) of pure alcohol (ethanol). A 1.48 oz shot of vodka has 0.59 oz (17.4 ml) of alcohol per serving.

So is a shot the same as a beer? Yes.

Here are the ABV percentages of popular drinks:

Drink NameABV %
Captain Morgan Rum40%
Absolut Vodka40%
Tanqueray London Dry Gin47.3%
Bombay Sapphire Gin40-47%
Tequila38-40%
Whiskey40-50%
Budweiser Beer5%
Heineken5%
Coors Light4.2%

This is just a standard. There are boozier beer options that compare to regular vodka or whiskey. Yet, 1.5 oz of the world’s strongest vodka—around 96% ABV—means that you consume 2.4 Budweiser beers in a single shot.

Here is a fun video detailing how one serving of beer, wine, or a shot of alcohol are all equal in terms of ABV:

How Many Beers Equals a Shot of Vodka?

A single shot of vodka is around 1.48 oz (44 ml) and contains about 0.6 oz (17.4 ml) of alcohol. This means that a single shot of vodka is equivalent to one standard serving of beer.

The same goes for multiples. If you drink four standard bottles of beer in an hour, it has the same effect on your as four shots of 80 proof vodka.

Don’t forget that it only takes about 5-7 shots of vodka for most people to start feeling inebriated.

How Many Beers Equals a Shot of Rum?

Rum has been 36-50% ABV, making it similar to vodka and whiskey in its alcohol content. That means that a shot of rum is going to have around 40% ABV on average. Comparatively, a single shot of rum equals a 12 oz serving of beer.

What if I’m Drinking High Alcohol Beer?

Wondering if high alcohol content beer is the same as drinking a shot or two of vodka or whiskey? Several brands have introduced beers with far more booze than normal, opening windows to new experiences and flavors.

On average, the high alcohol beers have around 40% ABV in a 12 oz bottle, or around 4.8 oz (142 ml) of alcohol. Most of those high alcohol beers are served up in either a standard shot glass or in a 5 oz (147 ml) snifter.

Essentially, that means you are consuming the same amount of alcohol as you would a shot of vodka.

Brewmeister’s Snake Venom, however, is different. At 67.5% ABV, Snake Venom contains slightly more alcohol per serving than normal vodka or whiskey.

Taking Shots and Drinking Beer

Since you have found out that one shot is equal to one beer, it’s going to be much harder to decide which to have at the bar. Why not try both at once? You can ask the bartender for a boilermaker, a kind of beer cocktail with two styles.

Basically, the boilermaker is beer served with a shot of whiskey. You can either drink the whiskey as a shot or drop it directly into the beer. Decisions, decisions.

That said, if you visit the UK and ask for a boilermaker, you’ll end up getting a half-pint of brown ale mixed with another half of draft beer.

There are also beer bomb shots, such as:

  • Irish Car Bomb: Irish whiskey and Bailey’s dropped into a half-pint of Guinness
  • Deep Charge: A shot of vodka dropped into a pint
  • Sake Bomb: Beer with a shot of sake
  • Corona Bomb: Half pint of corona with a shot of Barcardi Limon and a lime wedge

Final Thoughts

How many beers equal a shot? Hopefully this has clarified some things for you! Generally, 12 ounces or 354 ml of 5% ABV beer is considered equal to one shot, a 1:1 ratio. However, both the style of beer and alcohol content can vary. You might end up drinking more than you originally planned, since shots are much faster to consume.

And keep in mind that 100 shots of beer is never a good idea.

FAQs

How many beers equals a vodka shot?

One standard bottle of beer (12 oz) is equal to a single US shot of vodka (1.48 oz). This means that for every shot of vodka you take, you are effectively consuming the same amount of alcohol in one beer. Vodka with a proof above 80 will have more alcohol, however, and potentially be equal to 1.5-2.5 beers per shot.

How many beers equal a shot of tequila?

The average alcohol by volume for tequila is 40%, which is the same as vodka, whiskey, and rum. This means that one 12 oz beer is equal to a 1.48 oz shot of tequila. Drinking two beers is the equivalent of two shots of tequila, and so on.

How many drinks does a shot count as?

A shot counts as one drink in most cases. In the US, the serving sizes are as follows: 12 oz of regular beer, 5 oz of wine (white or red), and 1.5 oz of hard liquor. These serving sizes all have the same amount of alcohol present, despite the variances in overall volume.

How many beers are equal to a shot of whiskey?

One beer is equal to a shot of whiskey. This is because whiskey has around 40% ABV. One serving of whiskey (1.5 oz) has the same amount of alcohol as a 12 oz bottle of your favorite domestic brew. Whiskeys with a higher proof will contain more alcohol than the average, however.

One shot of whiskey equals how many beers?

Whiskeys range from 40-80% ABV in the US, with 80% being the highest legal amount available. However, most average around 40% ABV. As with vodka, tequila, and rum, whiskey has the same amount of alcohol in a 1.5 oz serving as beer does in 12 oz. This means that one shot of whiskey equals one beer.

What is a shot of whiskey equivalent to?

A single 1.5 oz shot of 40% ABV (80 proof) whiskey is equivalent to a 12 oz serving of domestic beer or a 5 oz serving of red or white wine. Similarly, a shot of whiskey has the same amount of alcohol as a shot of tequila, rum, or vodka.