The Difference Between Beer & Malt Liquor

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Beer and malt liquor are similar in many ways. For example, they are produced in a similar fashion (fermented using malt and other ingredients). In fact, malt liquor is often referred to as a type of beer, specifically a lager. Their differences lie mainly in alcohol level and taste.

Taste Test

  • Malt liquor has a harsher, and sometimes sweeter, taste than beer has. Malt liquor is also stronger and higher in alcohol content than beer is; its alcohol content by volume ranges from 6 percent to 9 percent, while that of beer usually falls slightly below 4 percent. There are many different types of beer, from lagers and ales to pilsner and stout, while malt liquor is considered to be a type of lager. Its alcohol content separates it from other lagers.

Technicalities and Uses

  • Malt liquor is typically sold in 40 oz containers, while beer tends to be sold in smaller quantities. Malt liquor is also less expensive than beer is. Both are often used in cooking; for example, beer is used to make batter for frying and baking, while malt liquor can be used in the boiling of meat for a sweet taste.

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