Can you get drunk on 0.5% abv beer?

This is a question that we get asked a lot. It seems reasonable enough to ask; since there is a small amount of alcohol in 0.5% abv beer, surely if you drink enough of it then you could get drunk?

Hypothetically – yes. But let’s look at whether this is actually possible…

Most people start to feel the effects of alcohol at 0.04% (% alcohol concentration in blood). To exceed this, it is estimated that you would have to drink in excess of 28 (twenty-eight) bottles of 330ml beer at 0.5% abv. And unless you can drink it all VERY quickly, the body will metabolise the small % of alcohol as you drink it, making getting drunk on 0.5% beer pretty much impossible…

Not convinced? This guy tried it! Do not try this at home… (credit: YouTube)

The most important thing to know when asking if you can get drunk on a beverage is to know exactly what % abv you are drinking. Despite the best efforts of progressive organisations like Club Soda, UK alcohol labeling is still confusing. For example, a ‘low alcohol’ label in the UK can mean anything from 0.1% to 1.2% abv, despite drinks 0.5% or below not falling under alcohol licensing laws. And yes, you may well be able to get drunk on 1.2% beer!

At the Smart Beer Club, we assure that any beers that make it in to our boxes are all 0.5% abv or below. That really is Smart Drinking.