Can Horses Drink Beer? Toxic or Beneficial Treat

Wanting to know if you and your horse can become beer buddies or not? Well, your question is just going to be answered. There are tons of articles on this topic but none of them is giving a satisfactory answer. As you must have been exhausted reading all the irrelevant information available online so we decided to keep our answer brief and relevant yet helpful.

If beer can improve our mood, self-confidence, sociability, decrease anxiety, redness appearing on the face, it can do so much to the poor animal as well.

The modern beer is extracted from cereal grains, malted barley, wheat, maize, and rice but the active ingredient is ethyl alcohol which leaves the horse enthusiasts in doubt. 

In this article today, we would be discussing can horses drink beer? If they can, do they like it, or do they get drunk? How much quantity should be offered? What’s the right way of feeding it? and everything else you need to know before allowing your horse to take a sip of this rewarding drink. 

So without further ado, let’s not tax you with additional-not-so-demanded information and debate what needs to be debated. Starting with the most Googled questions,

Can horses drink beer?

Yes, horses can drink beer but in moderation to not get drunk. As far as the active ingredient is concerned, it is not noticed causing any serious problem. So, yes! You and your horse can become beer buddies.

Do horses like beer? If they do, what makes it so admirable?

Of course, they do like drinking beer but whether they like getting drunk or not, is yet to be figured out. It is assumed that the horses appreciate beer because the ingredients are quite related to their natural food source; oats.

Do horses get drunk?

Yes, horses do get drunk. How can one stay sane after drinking alcohol in a noticeable quantity? But this giant creature needs at least 20 (sometimes even more) shots than humans to get drunk.

As they do not get drunk easily, so making your horse a beer buddy would not be a problem.

How often should it be offered? And what’s the ideal quantity?

It must not be offered every day, it’s better to limit it to special days or occasions. Even though the horses do not get drunk easily, beer should not be offered in huge quantities. 2.4 to 3.6 kgs of alcohol is enough to kill a horse, so try keeping it as minimum as possible. 

What’s the right way of feeding beer? 

To not get yourself in hot waters, the beer must be fed the right way. By the right way, I mean, do not feed it quite often, feed in moderation, and try not to feed it through glass, can, or by any other human-friendly way. 

Feeding it through a bucket is the best way to minimize the risk and waste. 

Now that you know it’s safe for the horses to drink beer in moderation and they do appreciate the taste, it’s time to share some valuable information with our readers.


To racehorses, beer is often offered on victory

My readers should know that this trend is not new at all. The horses, even the carefully kept racehorses, are drinking beer quite often. The racehorses drink occasionally, like on winning the race. 

Despite all the calories, it doesn’t cause weight gain

We all know how beer can effortlessly help you gain 125 to 200 calories, it’s fair to think that it would cause weight gain. Well, it can help an exceptionally weak human to gain weight but the horse’s case is different.

Horses need 17000 calories a day to serve the purpose and live a balanced life. So, having a few shots won’t cause any such problem.

Horses metabolize beer much faster than humans

Yes, it’s true, horses metabolize beer much faster than humans and it’s one of the reasons why horses do not get drunk that easily.

The reason for this rapid digestion is believed to be the production of alcohol dehydrogenase

Horses prefer darker beers over the lighter ones

Horses do have their preferences when it comes to food and drinks. There would definitely be horses out there who prefer lighter ones but most of the total population choose to drink darker ones. There is no specific reason behind this, the horses may find dark beer more mouth-watering. 

Horses do not have to reach a certain age to enjoy this heavenly drink

Unlike humans, horses do not have to reach a certain age to drink beer or any other alcoholic beverage. Despite the fact they can process beer quite easily, it’s better and even recommended to avoid serving it to the newborns and the horses in crucial growing years. 

Besides the risks and rewards, it’s an expensive treat

There are some other treats as well that can be healthy, cheap, and delicious at the same time. Alcohol beverages, whether it’s beer or not, are quite expensive to be fed every other day.

So, you should offer it on special occasions, not because it’s not expensive but not healthy as grapes, raisins, bananas, strawberries, cantaloupe, and melons are. 


Beer can treat a horse disease called “Anhidrosis” 

Out of all the surprising facts you have read till now in this article, I bet this has surprised you to the deepest core.

Anhidrosis is a disease in which the animal stops producing sweat, it affects the whole body or some parts of the horse’s body. This disease brings down performance and causes excessive weight gain.

As per the study conducted on horses, the horses normally maintain their healthy weight through sweating, almost 60 to 70% is usually lost by sweating. So, it’s healthy for horses to sweat and beer helps in producing sweat.  So to promote sweating, Whether the whole body is affected or not, the vets mostly prescribe beer to cure the disease. 

My thoughts on feeding beer? 

Well, I’m not against feeding beer once in a while as it does not “really” cause a problem, not even weight gain.

But I would not prefer it over other healthier treat options; strawberries, carrots, grapes, raisins, bananas, strawberries, cantaloupe, and parsnips

All the worth-sharing information is served now let’s move ahead and answer a few of your most frequently asked questions. 


Do horses get drunk? 

Yes, horses can get drunk but due to their exceptional metabolism, they do not get drunk easily. They need a huge amount of beer to get drunk. 

Is beer healthy for horses? 

It’s a neither healthy nor harmful treat. It’s healthy only for the horses suffering from Anhidrosis as it promotes sweating. Other than horses suffering from Anhidrosis, beer would do no good except satisfying the taste buds. 

How often beer should be fed? 

Not as often as we feed other treats. I suggest feeding it once a month or on special occasions. As it’s not nutritional and expensive, there is no point in feeding it every other day. 


The most appropriate answer to the question “can horse drink beer?” is yes, horses can drink beer but in moderation. If it’s not harmful, it’s not healthy either.

The horses appreciate getting treated with beer because of its supernatural taste. The horses do not get drunk that easily as their metabolism metabolizes it quite faster than humans.

The extraordinary thoroughbred racehorses often get beer as a treat after a fine victory. The horses do not necessarily have to be of a certain age to start drinking but it’s better to feed other nutritional treats in the crucial growing years.

Horses generally prefer drinking darker beers over lighter ones. Beer is healthy only for the horses suffering from a disease called “Anhidrosis”. The horses suffering from disease stop producing sweat, beer is often recommended by the vets in such condition to promote sweating. 

Hi, I am Waqar and active in the horse world since 2012. I have MSc (Hons) in Agriculture from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad. I love to solve equine health care issues and note down in the form of research papers. I have written hundreds of equine health care, accessories, names, and history-related blogs. My equine related work is watering a lot of horse-related magazines and blogs.

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