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Equalization: Not All Alcohol is the Same


Do you know how much alcohol is in a mixed drink compared to a beer? About the same? A little more? A lot more? The answer depends on the drink. Scientific research and the 2020-2025 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans tell us that no two hard liquor cocktails are the same.

For more than 200 years, U.S. policymakers have recognized the significant differences between beer and hard liquor and that laws and regulations governing the two products should differ. The false notion that “a drink is a drink,” commonly referred to as “standard drink,” is quickly dispelled with a careful look at the facts.

Beer and hard liquor are not made, served, or consumed in the same way.

Beer Institute Position

The Beer Institute wants to ensure that consumers have easy access to accurate and applicable moderate drinking guidance through public health advice, government literature, and policy documents.

To help consumers and policymakers easily understand the amount of alcohol in a hard liquor cocktail compared to a beer, we have created Know Your Drink. Using this tool, you can easily understand how much alcohol is in a hard liquor cocktail compared to a beer.