The most likely way beer contributes to belly fat is through the excess calories it adds to your diet.
Other types of alcohol like spirits and wine have fewer calories per standard drink than beer. This means they may be less likely to cause weight gain and belly fat.
Interestingly, some studies have linked drinking moderate amounts of wine with lower body weights (35).
The reason for this is unclear, although it’s been suggested that wine drinkers have healthier, more balanced diets compared to beer and spirit drinkers (7, 36).
What’s more, studies have shown that the amount of alcohol you consume and how frequently you consume it also matter when it comes to your waistline.
In fact, one of the most risky behaviors for developing a beer belly seems to be binge drinking. Studies have found that drinking more than four drinks at one time can increase your risk of belly fat, no matter what drink you choose (19, 37, 38, 39).
Additionally, one study found that people who drank one drink per day had the least amount of fat. Those who consumed less overall, but had four or more drinks on drinking days, were at the greatest risk of weight gain (37).
Summary: Other alcoholic beverages are lower in calories than beer. However, heavy drinking of any alcoholic beverage will put you at higher risk of gaining belly fat.