Difference Between Beer vs. Malt Liquor

Main Difference

Alcoholic drinks have become part of people’s food items and get consumed in large amounts in most parts of the world. They have loads of varieties and get distinguished by alcohol content within them. The two items get discussed here are beer and malt liquor and the main difference between them is as follows. Malt Liquor gets defined as an alcoholic drink made from malt by fermentation rather than distillation. Beer gets described as an alcoholic drink that has around 5% of alcohol in the full content.

Comparison Chart

Basis of DistinctionBeerMalt Liquor
DefinitionAn alcoholic drink that has around 5% of alcohol in the full content.An alcoholic drink made from malt by fermentation rather than distillation.
DistinctionFamous all around the world.Famous in the northern American region.
Interesting FactBeer is considered as the oldest drink in the category of spirits and is the third most utilized drink in the world after water and tea.Amalgamation of malt and beer was tried in the European countries in the late 1970’s, but the experiment failed.
AlcoholVaries from 1% to 20%Varies between 5% and 6%
Size12 ounces40 ounces

Beer

Beer is considered as the oldest drink in the category of spirits and is the third most utilized drink in the world after water and tea. It comes in various varieties, and the process of which it forms is also different from any other. It is mostly sold in cans and bottles but also become available in the draught form. The companies who own this drink range from bigger multinational to the smaller regional breweries. The strength of alcohol is low in this and varies from 1% to 20% though some companies even have the amount as high as 40%. It gets sold in abundance, and according to an estimate, more than 200 billion liters of it gets consumed around the world. The brewing process takes a lot of time and space. A dedicated building for the making of beer gets called a brewery, although it is made at home mostly. The main ingredients required to make a beer include The basic ingredients of beer are water; a starch source, such as malted barley that become fermented easily, a brewer’s yeast to produce the fermentation; and a flavoring, such as hops to counterbalance the sweetness of the malt. The list of steps includes in the making of beer are several and keep changing depending on the company and the nature required but has unity. Malting, mashing, lautering, boiling, fermenting, conditioning, filtering, and packaging are some of these processes and help in making the best beer available in the market.

Malt Liquor

This type of drink gets defined as an alcoholic drink made from malt by fermentation rather than distillation. Malt liquor is most common in Northern American and considered as a drink that has a high content of alcohol. In technical terms, it mostly includes any alcoholic beverage with 5% or more alcohol by volume made with malted barley. In general terms, this beer contains a high amount of alcohol that is always more than 7% and gets manufactured from the process and constituents that resemble those for American-style lagers. It gets considered as a strong lager or ale that has sugar, corn and other ingredients combined together in proportions and added in the malted barley. This process helps in increasing the final concentration without having to increase the sweetness or change the taste. The term originated from the United Kingdom in the 17th century where it collectively got used for beer and ale. These drinks are famous globally but do not get imported or exported on a regular basis. For example, the ones prepared in the United States do not become available in Europe and vice versa since all have their variety. A try for creating a mixture of European and American malt got done in the late 1970’s, but it failed. Since many drinks fall under this label, it’s hard to know the exact concentration of them all. Therefore, anything that has more than 1/20th of alcohol content is malt liquor and available in 40-ounce bottles.

Key Differences

  1. Beer gets described as an alcoholic drink that has around 5% of alcohol in the full content. On the other hand, malt liquor gets defined as an alcoholic drink made from malt by fermentation rather than distillation.
  2. Malt Liquor gets considered as a type of beer that has many constituents in it and is famous in Northern American region whereas beer is a liquid alcohol drink that is famous all over the world.
  3. The strength of alcohol is low in this and varies from 1% to 20% though some companies even have the amount as high as 40% for a beer, whereas the strength of alcohol ranges from 5% and 6% for a liquid to get the name of malt liquor.
  4. Import and export of beer take place in large amounts all over the world whereas malt liquor mostly gets prepared at the local level so does not need any transportation.
  5. The process of fermentation used for beer is top and bottom fermentation whereas the process for a malt liquor is mostly bottom fermentation.
  6. Traditionally beer is available in the market as a bottle of 12 ounces, but sizes keep changing according to places, whereas malt liquor is available in the 40 ounces’ bottles no matter where they are present.