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… https://youtu.be/uafW_X1tzb4 (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.

Sources
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/17/section/191
https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/alcohol-facts/alcoholic-drinks-units/alcoholic-and-non-alcoholic-beers/
https://www.fitbeer.co.uk/fitbeerblog/2017/04/28/does-alcohol-free-beer-contain-alcohol
http://www.pistonheadlager.com/can-you-get-drunk-on-non-or-low-alcohol/
https://steadydrinker.com/articles/can-you-get-drunk-low-alcohol-beer/
https://deadspin.com/will-drinking-28-non-alcoholic-beers-in-an-hour-make-me-1210108551