Grin and burp it: Which beers are the gassiest?

Study finds the fizziest beers have up to 2.71 pints of carbon dioxide per pint

Ever been left feeling uncomfortably bloated after a few pints of beer? Many of us overinflate and may even need to let the belt out another notch, or possibly try to disguise a few discreet belches.

We are all unhappily aware that beer is full of gas (carbon dioxide, actually) but are all beers equal when it comes to fizz?

A new study, undertaken by British doctor, writer and food scientist Dr Stuart Farrimond with discount voucher website Vouchercloud shows how gassy some of the most popular beers are. The UK study surveyed 30 bottled or canned beers.

Overall, lager is fizzier than stout or ale. Eight of the top 10 gassiest beers were lagers. Our national favourite, Budweiser, the self-styled “King of Beers”, with 2.71 pints of CO2 per pint of beer, can now also be crowned the fizziest of beers.


Its kid brother Bud Light comes in at number 4 in the gas charts. Out of the 31 beers tested (which included a few UK craft beers such as Brewdog IPA and Brooklyn Lager), Stella Artois and Coors Light came in joint second, followed by Corona Extra. The flattest beer of all was Hobgoblin with a mere 0.74 pints of CO2 per pint.

Carbon dioxide is a natural byproduct of fermentation and puts the fizz into beer, Champagne, Prosecco and other sparkling drinks. In beer, it is typically added or adjusted to reach the desired level.

So how can one pint of beer contain 2.71 pints of CO2? Well, carbon dioxide dissolves in a liquid much like sugar does in tea or salt in a brine. It can be hard to judge, as strong flavours and low serving temperatures both mask the amount of CO2. Should beers indicate how much CO2 they contain? It would certainly help us make a more informed choice, and maybe save us feeling quite so bloated the next time we have a few pints.

The top 10 gassiest beers:

1. Budweiser, 2.71 pints of CO2 per pint

2. Stella Artois and Coors Light, 2.55 pints of CO2 per pint

3. Corona Extra, 2.48 pints of CO2 per pint

4. Bud Light, 2.46 pints of CO2 per pint

5. John Smiths Bitter, 2.44 pints of CO2 per pint

6. Heineken, 2.39 pints of CO2 per pint

7. Pilsner Urquell, 2.32 pints of CO2 per pint

8. Fosters, 2.3 pints of CO2 per pint

9. Cobra Indian lager, 2.27 pints of CO2 per pint

10. Guinness Golden Ale, 2.27 litres of CO2 per pint

See the full results here.