How Many Shots Equal to a Beer?

How Many Shots Equal to a Beer

Do you often get confused between shots and beer? Why do other drinks like vodka have shots while you drink the beer directly? And if a shot and a beer are equal or not? Then look no further, as the articles cover all the nitty-gritty for you right here.

Generally, the thumb rule states that a standard size shot of 1.5 oz contains 40% ABV, and a typical 12-ounce beer of 5% are equal. However, as the serving size or alcohol concentration varies, so does the equality changes. For example, a 1.5 oz vodka with 60% ABV is undoubtedly not equal to a regular beer. 

Want to know how you can calculate the relation between shots and beer and what makes them vary? Then without any further ado, let’s delve through the article. 

Beer Vs. Shot- A Quick Comparison!

How Many Shots Equal to a Beer

A shot is usually of hard liquors like wine, whiskey, tequila, and vodka. The standard size of a shot is 1.5 oz. However, in different states, the size changes. 

Similarly, the standard beer bottle is counted to comprise 12 oz. But again, there are exceptions, like the tall boy beers, etc.

So, here are the details of the points at which a beer and a shot of drink contradict.


The first factor that makes a shot differ from beer is the volume (ounce) difference. Shot volumes change, depending on the state you are living in. For example, the volume of a shot in

  1. US is 1.5 oz
  2. Russia in 1.69 oz
  3. Australia is 1.01 oz
  4. Poland is 1.35 oz
  5. Japan is almost 2 oz

Similarly, beer bottles come in different sizes too:

  • 12 oz
  • 24 oz
  • 16 oz
  • 22 oz
  • 750 ml

However, 12 oz is usually used as the standard size during comparison. 

Alcohol Content 

The second point of difference is the alcohol content. In beer, usually, there is 4 to 8% ABV. 

However, in the case of a shot, the alcohol content varies drastically, depending on which alcohol or liquor you choose.

For example, red wine has mostly 12 to 18% ABV. On the other hand, vodka and whiskey usually have 40% alcohol content.

And according to American Dietary Guidelines, an alcoholic drink has 0.6 alcohol. 

So, guess what? A beer bottle of 5% ABV and 1.48 ounces of 40% vodka are equal. That’s how alcoholic content makes the difference.


Similarly, beer and shots of different alcoholic drinks also differ in their calorie content. 

Harder drinks like rum have a higher calorie count.

For example,

  • A regular beer contains 153 calories per 12 ounce
  • Port wine contains 45 calories per 1 ounce
  • Pina Colada includes 490 calories in 9 ounce

It clearly shows that beer has fewer calories, despite more amounts.

How Many Shots Equal To A Beer? The Standard Size Comparison 

When considering the standard size, it has been found that one beer of 12 ounces equals a 1.5 glass shot of 40% ABV.

Now, you must be thinking, how? 

Well, the formula used for the calculation of alcohol is to multiply the alcohol by volume to drink size.

In the case of beer, you need to multiply the size of the beer (12) by the alcohol content (0.05(, and the answer comes out to be 0.6

Similarly, for the standard shot, you multiply the 1.5 ounces by 0.5, and again the answer comes out to be 0.6.

And here you come to know that one beer equals one shot.

But remember, not always a beer is equal to a shot. 

You need to check its alcohol content using the formula we discussed. If the answer for both comes out to be the same, then they both are equal, else one is greater than the other.

Is A Shot Stronger Than A Beer?

If taken in an equal ratio with respect to alcoholic content, then both shot and beer are equally strong.

However, people claim that shots get you drunk faster. The reason is that a shot is much smaller (only a few ounces) than beer, which has 12 ounces. 

As a result, you often end up consuming 3 to 4 shots quickly in the same period in which you will drink one beer. That is why you get more drunk with beer.

Is It Possible That You Mix Shots With Beer?

Yes, one can take the two drinks together. Now, you must be thinking, how? So, here are a few well-known recipes for drinking a shot and beer together with a bartender are:

  • Deep charge in which you add a shot of vodka in a beer pint
  • Sake bomb, a cocktail that is prepared by adding sake to a glass of beer
  • Irish car bomb in which you add Irish cream and whiskey in a 0.5 pint of beer

Comparison Of Beer With Shots

To end up, let’s compare the amount of beer with shots of some heavy liquors.

Shots Of Baileys Equal to a Beer Or Not

When comparing Baileys and Beer, it has been found that 3.23 shots of Baileys are equal to one 16-ounce beer.

Shots Of Vodka Equal to a Beer Or Not

Typically, a shot of 40% vodka is 1.5 oz. Therefore, one beer is almost equal to a single vodka shot.

Final Verdict 

All in all, a standard shot of 1.5-ounce hard liquor is equal to one 12-ounce beer. However, the rule doesn’t always remain the same. If you opt for a 40 to 50% liquor or a different serving size, in both cases, the equality ratio gets disturbed.

In that case, you need to look for both the volume and ABV of beer and shot.

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