Beer Or Whisky: Which Is More Harmful?

We’ve recently come across some people asking questions about comparing different types of alcohol, and which is more harmful, for example beer or whisky?

This is an interesting question to consider, because there’s kind of a direct answer, but there are a lot of caveats and things to explain, too. Looking at questions like this the wrong way can get people into serious trouble, especially someone who is already struggling with alcohol.

We’ve heard from people who drink whiskey, and they’re wondering if switching to beer is a healthier option to help with their alcohol addiction.

Which Is More Harmful Between Beer and Whisky?

Whiskey has a higher potential to be harmful than beer because it has a much higher alcohol content per volume.

Here’s the thing: whisky is a much higher % of alcohol, depending on how you drink it or mix it, than beer. If you were going to have 1 cup (250ml) of alcohol, and not a drop more, and you had to choose between whisky right out of the bottle, or a cup of beer, then the beer is going to contain a lot less alcohol, therefor it’s going to be less harmful for an alcohol.

However, it’s not necessarily that simple. Someone who is battling alcoholism and the very strong impulse to drink probably isn’t going to stop at just 1 beer, or just 1 cup of whisky, or whatever.

Depending on how their addiction is, they might keep going until the night’s over, or until they’ve passed out. In those cases, the beers could have a lot more carbs, sugars, and so on – which are technically not the healthiest things to be consumer in large quantities…

But that’s not what people are really talking about when it comes to the harms of alcohol.

So, that’s why this is kind of a tricky question.

If someone’s an alcohol and they are binge drinking, we don’t want to give anyone the impression that beer is a less harmful or healthier option, nor do we want to push people towards drining whisky instead because it could have less calories or sugars in it.

Beer Or Whisky: Is There a Better Option?

If you’re here because you’re struggling with a drinking program and you’re looking to minimize the harm to yourself while you sort things out, you aren’t alone. It’s common for people to consider healthier ways to consume their alcohol, and the fact that you care about this is a good sign.

However, can you do us a favor? Can you ask yourself if you’re just kicking the can down the road?

If you know you have a problem and you’re looking for ways to reduce the harm from drinking, while still continuing to drink, there’s a voice in you – there’s a part of you – that knows you need to seriously considering stopping drinking altogether. Sometimes, you’ll wake up from blacking out, and think “It’s time for a change.)

You might not feel ready for this step yet. Switching from whisky to beer can feel like you’re making progress in your journey, and it’s true that cutting back and drinking less is certainly a form of progress and it will take less of a toll on your body.

However, when you have a problem like this, eventually you’ll need to think about longer-term solutions instead of a bandaid or perceived fixes like this.

Switching to beer isn’t actually a huge fix for alcoholism, you know? It sounds kind of silly to even say it, but sometimes we get weird ideas in our head when we’re clouded by addiction.

You might also want to read:

Making Progress With Beer vs. Whisky

If you’re able to switch from drinking a lot of whisky to drinking a bit less beer, that’s a positive change and it’s not something to scoff at. We’re not here to downplay that or make it seem like it’s not an accomplishment at all, we’re just here to let you know that it’s a step towards a bigger goal, or at least that it can be.

And when you’re ready to take that next step, if you’ve managed to cut back on your drinking a bit but you want to cross the finish line and really take back control, we’ll be here to help you, too.

Category: Articles
Martijn van Eijk
Martijn is a passionate creator and the driving force behind He created this website to assist individuals and their families in conquering alcohol addiction and finding a joyful, fulfilling life after alcohol. With a deep understanding of the challenges they face, he empowers readers with valuable insights and practical guidance on their journey towards recovery. Author of the Stop Shaking Book.