If you've been to a party lately, you've probably seen a lot more people than before walking around with hard cider. Even though cider has been around for a long time, it is only recently that it resurfaced as a popular replacement for beer. But, how similar are they really? Could one even be better than the other? So, in order to finally settle the beer vs cider debate, here are a few ways that beer and cider really differ from each other.


Even though both drinks are made through a fermentation process, their flavors are really different. Cider, for one, is made from fermented apple juice - giving it a sweeter taste and a clearer color than beer. You could say that it sort of taste like a combination of apple juice mixed with white wine.

Beer, on the other hand, is made from brewed and fermented malted barley. Its color varies due to the color of malt itself and its taste is recognized by its particular dryness and bitterness.

Alcohol content

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Michelle Miller

As you probably know, there are two types of cider, regular cider and hard cider. Hard cider is the only one that contains alcohol. If you want to measure the percentage of alcohol using Alcohol by Volume (ABV), it ranges from 4% up to 8%.

When it comes to beer, the alcohol range is a little bit wider. Since beer is not only beer, but it is divided into different types - lager, brown ale, IPA, and stout. The percentage of these alcohol types vary depending on the type. It usually ranges from 3-10%, IPA being the one with the highest range of 6-7%. 

Nutritional value

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Sasha Kurumety

As we stated before, the main ingredient in cider is apple. This means that cider contains the same antioxidants and vitamin C that apples are loaded with. Beer, on the other hand, is made from barley and yeast, which unfortunately only has an inflammatory effect on your body.

When it comes to sugar content, cider usually has 23 grams per serving, which is actually rather high for a drink. Beer, on the other hand, is usually sugar-free. This makes beer a better alternative for a regular drink since sugar is often linked to health problems, like obesity and heart disease.

If you still prefer the taste of cider over beer or just prefer gluten-free drinks, not all is lost. Dry ciders are still an option. Dry ciders are fermented slower than regular hard cider, which makes the yeast reduce the amount of sugar that you find in hard cider, therefore it contains a lot less sugar. 

Could one be better for me?

So, when it comes to beer vs cider, they aren't exactly the same. If you are someone who enjoys the distinctive bitterness of beer and enjoys a sugar-free drink made of barley, then beer is the drink for you. Just be sure to know if has an inflammatory effect on your body.

If you are looking for a healthier, gluten-free option that has nutritional benefits, cider is the best alternative. And before you dismiss cider due to its high sugar content, remember dry cider is a perfectly valid option that has a lot more benefits than beer.