What is the lowest calorie beer to drink?

by Kaia

Beer is one of the most popular beverages worldwide, enjoyed by people across various cultures and demographics. However, with an increasing focus on health and fitness, many beer enthusiasts are seeking low-calorie options that allow them to indulge without compromising their dietary goals. This article delves into the world of low-calorie beers, exploring what makes a beer low in calories, the best options available, and tips for choosing the right beer for a healthier lifestyle.


Understanding Calories in Beer

Before identifying the lowest calorie beer, it’s crucial to understand what contributes to the caloric content of beer. The main ingredients in beer are water, malted barley, hops, and yeast. The brewing process converts the sugars from malted barley into alcohol and carbon dioxide, with the leftover carbohydrates contributing to the beer’s calorie count.


The caloric content in beer primarily comes from two sources: alcohol and carbohydrates. Alcohol is energy-dense, providing seven calories per gram, while carbohydrates provide four calories per gram. Thus, beers with higher alcohol content (ABV – Alcohol by Volume) and residual sugars tend to have higher calorie counts.


What Makes a Beer Low-Calorie?

A low-calorie beer is typically defined as having fewer than 100 calories per serving (usually 12 ounces). Several factors influence whether a beer falls into this category:


Lower Alcohol Content: Beers with a lower ABV generally contain fewer calories because they have less alcohol, which is calorie-dense.

Reduced Carbohydrates: Some beers are brewed to have fewer residual sugars, thus lowering their carbohydrate content and overall calorie count.

Light Beer Varieties: Many breweries produce “light” versions of their popular beers, which are specifically designed to be lower in calories.

Top Low-Calorie Beers

Several low-calorie beers have gained popularity for their ability to provide a satisfying drinking experience without the extra calories. Here are some of the best options:

1. Michelob Ultra

Michelob Ultra is often hailed as one of the best low-calorie beers on the market. It contains only 95 calories per 12-ounce serving with an ABV of 4.2%. This beer is known for its light and crisp taste, making it a popular choice among health-conscious beer drinkers.

2. Miller Lite

Miller Lite is another excellent option for those seeking a low-calorie beer. With 96 calories and an ABV of 4.2%, Miller Lite offers a balanced flavor that appeals to a wide audience. It’s often described as having a slightly hoppy taste with a clean finish.

3. Budweiser Select 55

Budweiser Select 55 is one of the lowest calorie beers available, with only 55 calories per 12-ounce serving. It has a very light body and a low ABV of 2.4%, making it an ideal choice for those who prefer a milder beer with fewer calories.

4. Beck’s Premier Light

Beck’s Premier Light offers a refreshing beer experience with just 64 calories per 12-ounce serving and an ABV of 2.3%. This beer is perfect for those who enjoy a light, crisp beer with a subtle hop aroma.

5. Coors Light

Coors Light is a staple in the light beer category, offering 102 calories per 12-ounce serving with an ABV of 4.2%. It is known for its smooth, refreshing taste and is a favorite for those looking to enjoy a beer without excessive calories.

Choosing the Right Low-Calorie Beer

When selecting a low-calorie beer, several factors should be considered to ensure you enjoy your drinking experience without sacrificing your health goals:

1. Flavor Profile

Even among low-calorie beers, flavor profiles can vary significantly. Some beers are more hoppy, while others might have a maltier taste. It’s important to try different brands and styles to find a beer that suits your palate.

2. Alcohol Content

Lower ABV beers generally have fewer calories. However, some people might prefer a slightly higher ABV for a more robust flavor. Finding a balance between calorie count and alcohol content can help you choose the best beer for your needs.

3. Occasion

Consider the context in which you’ll be drinking the beer. For casual, social gatherings, you might prefer a lighter beer with fewer calories. For more formal occasions, you might opt for a beer with a bit more flavor and complexity, even if it means slightly higher calories.

4. Nutritional Information

Always check the nutritional information on the beer label. This will provide insights into the calorie content, carbohydrates, and alcohol by volume, helping you make an informed choice.

The Rise of Craft Light Beers

The craft beer movement has significantly impacted the beer industry, including the realm of low-calorie beers. Many craft breweries are now producing light beers that do not compromise on flavor. These beers often use high-quality ingredients and innovative brewing techniques to deliver a full-flavored experience with fewer calories.

1. Dogfish Head Slightly Mighty

Dogfish Head Slightly Mighty is a craft light beer with 95 calories and an ABV of 4.0%. It’s brewed with monk fruit, which provides natural sweetness without adding extra calories. This beer is known for its hoppy aroma and tropical fruit flavors, making it a popular choice among craft beer enthusiasts.

2. Lagunitas DayTime IPA

Lagunitas DayTime IPA is another excellent craft option, offering 98 calories per 12-ounce serving and an ABV of 4.0%. It has a refreshing, hoppy taste with notes of citrus, providing a satisfying experience for IPA lovers who are mindful of their calorie intake.

3. Bell’s Light Hearted Ale

Bell’s Light Hearted Ale, with 110 calories and an ABV of 3.7%, is a lighter version of their popular Two Hearted Ale. It maintains the same hoppy and piney characteristics while offering a lower calorie and lower alcohol alternative.

Health Benefits of Choosing Low-Calorie Beers

Opting for low-calorie beers can offer several health benefits, especially for those who enjoy beer regularly:

1. Weight Management

Reducing calorie intake is essential for weight management. By choosing low-calorie beers, you can enjoy your favorite beverage without consuming excess calories, helping you maintain or achieve a healthy weight.

2. Reduced Risk of Chronic Diseases

Excessive calorie intake, particularly from alcohol, can contribute to the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and liver problems. Low-calorie beers can help mitigate these risks by lowering overall calorie and alcohol consumption.

3. Better Hydration

Beers with lower alcohol content can help with better hydration. High alcohol levels can lead to dehydration, so consuming beers with a lower ABV can be a better choice, especially in social settings or warmer climates.

4. Enhanced Performance

For those who engage in regular physical activities, maintaining a balanced diet is crucial. Low-calorie beers allow athletes and fitness enthusiasts to enjoy a beer without significantly impacting their nutritional goals and performance.

Tips for Enjoying Low-Calorie Beers

To maximize your enjoyment of low-calorie beers, consider the following tips:

1. Serve at the Right Temperature

Different beers are best enjoyed at specific temperatures. Generally, light beers are best served cold, between 35-40°F (1.5-4°C). This enhances their refreshing qualities and makes for a more enjoyable drinking experience.

2. Pair with Healthy Foods

Pairing your low-calorie beer with healthy foods can enhance the overall experience. Consider light appetizers such as salads, grilled vegetables, or lean proteins that complement the beer’s flavors without adding excessive calories.

3. Savor the Flavor

Take the time to savor the flavor of your low-calorie beer. Pay attention to the aroma, taste, and mouthfeel. This mindfulness can enhance your appreciation of the beer and make the drinking experience more fulfilling.

4. Experiment with Different Styles

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles and brands of low-calorie beers. The market is continually evolving, with new options emerging that offer unique and exciting flavors. Trying a variety of beers can help you discover new favorites.

The Future of Low-Calorie Beers

The demand for low-calorie beers is expected to continue growing as more people prioritize health and wellness. Brewers are likely to innovate further, creating beers that not only meet the low-calorie criteria but also deliver exceptional taste and quality.

1. Increased Variety

We can expect an increased variety of low-calorie beers, including more options in different styles such as stouts, porters, and sour beers. This expansion will cater to a broader range of preferences, ensuring that everyone can find a low-calorie beer they enjoy.

2. Improved Brewing Techniques

Advancements in brewing techniques and technology will enable brewers to produce low-calorie beers that do not compromise on flavor. Techniques such as dry hopping, the use of alternative sweeteners, and selective yeast strains will play a significant role in this evolution.

3. Sustainable Practices

Sustainability is becoming increasingly important in the beer industry. Breweries focusing on low-calorie beers are also likely to adopt more sustainable practices, such as using locally sourced ingredients, reducing water usage, and minimizing waste.


The search for the lowest calorie beer leads to a world of diverse and delicious options that cater to health-conscious consumers. From popular commercial brands to innovative craft beers, there is a low-calorie beer to suit every taste and occasion. By understanding what makes a beer low in calories, exploring the best available options, and considering factors like flavor profile and alcohol content, you can enjoy a satisfying beer experience without the guilt. As the industry continues to evolve, the future promises even more



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