Difference Between Beer and Malt Liquor

Both be beer and malt liquor at a base level, have the same process of production. These alcoholic beverages are quite similar in regards to a few aspects.

Beer vs Malt Liquor

The difference between beer and malt liquor is that the former has a lower alcohol content of 3% to 15%, in comparison to the latter, which has a higher alcohol content of 12% to 20%.

Beer vs Malt Liquor 1

Beer is an alcoholic beverage made using malted cereal grains, hops, and water that is fermented with the help of yeast. Here, sugar is extracted from grains, and the yeast then converts these sugars into alcohol.

Malt liquor is brewed to have high alcohol content, light colours, as well as a mix of several sweetening agents. A thing to note about malt liquor is that corn is used in its production instead of barley.


Comparison Table

Parameters of comparisonBeerMalt Liquor
HistoryThe ancient Egyptians first discovered the brewing process, and ever since beer has become popular in many cultures.In 1948, the company Clix was granted a patent for the production of the first malt liquor beverage, in the USA.
Production processIt uses barley, yeast, hops and also water for production. And it can be top or bottom-fermented.Here, corn, rice, dextrose, and less expensive hops are used. Malt liquor is only bottom fermented to keep the sugars trapped.
Alcohol contentBeer is seen to have a comparatively lower alcohol content range of 3% – 15%.Malt liquor has a higher alcohol content range that starts from 12% to at most 20%.
FlavourBeer has a distinct and bitter taste due to the addition of hops in the production process.Malt liquor contains added sugars due to the fermentation process, which makes it sweeter as compared to beer.
CostDue to the addition of expensive hops for a smoother taste, beer is comparatively costlier than malt liquor.Here, the ingredients are cheaper, and so the final price per ounce is less expensive than that of beer.
Bottle ouncesBeer is generally packed within 12 oz bottles, and this quantity is still costlier than malt liquor.Malt liquor is packaged within 40 oz bottles or more around the world, and have a lower cost for packaging.


What is Beer?

Beer has been an integral part of the world even before 5,000 B.C., and its production process was first introduced by the Egyptians.

The Egyptians were able to develop a method of brewing with the help of paper scrolls, dates, herbs and pomegranates.

The ingredients necessary for the brewing of beer involve using malted cereal grains, hops, and water. These ingredients are all added together, and with the help of yeast, the fermentation process takes place.

Beer gets its sugars from barley and the cereal grains, and the yeast uses this sugar and turns it into alcohol. Now, even though these sugars are added, beer still is seen to have a bitter taste compared to other alcoholic beverages.

The bitter taste can be attributed to the addition of hops, which counter the sugars present within the fermentation process, and provides an added flavour.

Brewers try to keep the alcohol content of beer lower than most beverages, at around 3% to 15% with no additional sugars or ingredients.

Now the ingredients that are present in beer, such as hops and grains are generally more expensive to purchase, and these, in turn, increase the final costs of the packaged beer and make them costly.

Beer is also packaged and shipped in 12 oz bottles to sell more quantity to several distributors.

We found the best deal(s) on Amazon for you

Preview Product
STUBBORN SODA, Classic Root...
STUBBORN SODA, Classic Root Beer, 12oz Cans (12 Pack)
Q Mixers Premium Ginger Beer:... Q Mixers Premium Ginger Beer: Real Ingredients & Less Sweet, 7.5 Fl oz per can, 24 Cans
Bundaberg Ginger Beer, 6.8 fl... Bundaberg Ginger Beer, 6.8 fl oz Cans, (24 Pack)

What is Malt Liquor?

Malt liquor is a unique alcoholic beverage introduced by the company Clix back in 1948 in the USA.

They had applied for a patent for the brewing process, and soon after, other companies started to adopt their own methods to produce and popularise malt liquor.

In the brewing process of malt liquor, we observe that the main ingredients consist of cheaper and more affordable products such as corn, rice, dextrose, and less expensive hops.

 These ingredients are mixed, and a bottom fermentation process is carried out to trap the various added sugars and make the drink a bit sweeter.

The added sugars are also the reason why malt liquor is seen to have a higher alcoholic content than its counterpart beer. The content range starts from 12% to upmost 20%.

The cost of malt liquor per 40 oz bottle is also cheap as compared to other alcoholic beverages due to the lower brewing costs for it.

malt liquor

Main Differences Between Beer and Malt Liquor

  1. Beer was developed and brewed even before 5,000 B.C. by the Egyptians, while malt liquor was produced recently in 1948 by the company Clix in the USA.
  2. The ingredients for the production of beer include hops, water, malted cereal grain and yeast for fermentation, while for malt liquor the ingredients include corn, rice, dextrose, and less expensive hops.
  3. Beer is fermented using either a top or bottom fermentation process. In contrast, malt liquor is fermented with the help of only bottom fermentation to capture the sugars for flavour.
  4. Beer is bitter as compared to malt liquor, which contains added sugars.
  5. The alcohol content in beer ranges from 3% to 15%, while the alcohol content range for malt liquor is from 12% up to 20%.
Difference Between Beer and Malt Liquor


  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1097/01.ALC.0000156118.74728.34
  2. https://www.astm.org/DIGITAL_LIBRARY/JOURNALS/FORENSIC/PAGES/JFS14603J.htm
Search for "Ask Any Difference" on Google. Rate this post!
[Total: 0]
One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️

Last update on 2022-11-27 / Amazon Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments