Just one more reason to hate "three-two" beer

I live in Oklahoma. ::slight shudder:: Yeah, yeah….it’s not that bad. Actually, I’ll even confess to enjoying it here. However, Oklahoma’s liquor laws cause me some serious angst.

When we first arrived in Oklahoma my husband’s work friends cued us in. Here you cannot buy alcohol on Sundays or after 9pm on any day, all beer sold in liquor stores is room temperature, you cannot buy liquor or wine anywhere but a liquor store, beer in grocery stores is no more than 3.2% ABV (your standard domestics run between 4.2% and 5.0% ABV), and most everything served in a restaurant, sporting event, etc. is “three-two”. You can, however, find imports (at room temperature) that contain their proper alcohol content (typically 4.8%-5.6% ABV) in liquor stores. Call me a Yankee, Yupee, whatever…but I want to be drinking the

real deal when I choose to partake.

My better half would get embarrassed when I narrowed my beverage selection at a restaurant by asking, “What’s NOT ‘three-two’?” It’ll be a long life with that attitude, baby. Give credit where credit is due – I haven’t made the 45-minute commute to Arkansas for the real stuff. Yet.

But the dietitian in me got to thinking…there’s gotta be something good about this “three-two” stuff (one source actually reported 70% of alcohol-related deaths being attributed to the consumption of three-two beer!). Anyways, I deduced that because there’s alcohol missing, this beer must be lower in calories compared to its domestic brothers and sisters made right. Logical, si?


For the record, my bachelor’s is in “FOOD Science and Human Nutrition”, not “Food and Beverage Science and Human Nutrition”. Luckily, too. The latter wouldn’t sound as impressive on a resume. (Although, my undeclared minor was certainly beverage-related

coughcough). Anyways…

What makes a light beer lighter is not the (large) reduction in alcohol content, but rather the carbohydrate content. While my logical side thinks, “But how many more carbs can you take out of a Miller Lite containing a mere 3.2 grams of carbohydrates in a 12-ounce serving?”. No wonder Bud Light wins my vote. It comes in at 6.6 grams of carbs per serving, doubling its archrival Miller Lite. Dammit! At least

Bud Light has drinkability. Moving on…

A standard 12-ounce bottle contains 355 ml. If a domestic beer serving is typically 15 ml of “alcohol” (1/2 ounce), a “three-two”beer has 11.4 ml of “alcohol” (juuussst shy of 2/5ths ounce). Not a huge difference despite it’s “three-two” contents. If you don’t believe me, Google “milliliter”.

At least we’re not the only deprived ones — Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, and Utah are in this with us. In all seriousness, true source of all my angst surrounding this issue revolves around the fact that until Oklahoma liquor laws change, there will be no Trader Joe’s in our new home state.


Gotta jet – off to Arkansas.

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1 Comment

  1. Joe
    August 7, 2013 / 1:38 pm

    You are making a glaring error in your article. Three-two beer is 3.2% ABW, and not 3.2% ABV. That’s alcohol by weight vs alcohol by volume. They are two completely different measures and they are not interchangeable. 3.2% ABW is actually the same as 4.2% ABV which isn’t that much less than regular beer. Regular beer gets you hammered about 20-25% faster but for some people drinking beer isn’t about getting a quick buzz, it’s about enjoying the drinking and the lower alcohol content make it possible to drink more with fewer after effects.

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