High Alcohol Low Calorie Beer

High alcohol low calorie beer is a type of beer that contains much fewer calories compared to regular beers. Alcoholic beverages are always high in calories because alcohol itself has 7 calories/gm, so the higher the ABV, the higher the calories will be.

High alcohol low calorie beers

Say goodbye to high-calorific beers and hello to diet-friendly ones with our ultimate list of high-alcohol, low-calorie beers that are full of flavor and perfect for enjoying with your besties without worrying about your waistline!

Guilt-Free Beers

It’s one of life’s pleasures sipping on a cold one while enjoying the summer sun or festivities that the fall brings.

Though with many people counting the calories to stay in shape, drinking a few beers at the local pub may not seem like the best idea, but it just so happens that there are plenty of low-calorie beers out there to enjoy that provide enough alcohol content to get you merry without packing on extra pounds. 

Most people associate calories with beers, and rightly so! In general, the vast majority of beers have 160+ calories per 12oz bottle, which is a no-go for people watching their waistline. But making a healthier choice doesn’t necessarily mean giving up beer, as you’ll realize in this article. 

Many beer companies nowadays produce light versions of their refreshing ales without compromising on the alcohol percentage to help people stay in shape, with beers containing less than 100 calories, perfect for people who enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. 

Enticing brews, like Guinness, Miller, Budweiser, and Coors, are known for their low-calorie inspired beers around the world, and we’re exploring them and more in this detailed article of the best high-alcohol beers with low calories to drink. So stay tuned! 

How the brewmasters achieve the feat of high-alcohol low-calorie beers

While you can find many of these refreshing beers listed above in bars, breweries, and grocery stores throughout the 52 states, brewing them isn’t as straightforward as one would seem, hence why few low-calorie beers are being produced today.

Here’s what the expert brewers have to say on the topic:

Enzymatic Approach to Reduced-Calorie Beer

Ivan Dedek, Brewmaster and Food Scientist, Meier’s Creek Brewing Company

Achieving a high-alcohol beer with fewer calories is challenging. Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram, while carbohydrates and protein have only 4 calories per gram. To reduce the calorie count, add amyloglucosidase, which breaks down most of the carbohydrates in the beer, thus eliminating those calories from the total. 

While the alcohol calories will remain, as they are the primary contributors to the calorie count, the end product’s flavor will mainly be that of alcohol and may not be as enjoyable. This is the same process used in “ultra-light” beers.

Strategic Fermentables for High Alcohol, Low Cal

James Cunningham, Senior Coach, Total Shape

Achieving a high alcohol content while keeping the calorie count in check is a bit of a tightrope walk, but we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves at Total Shape. We focus on using high-attenuating yeast strains. These little guys munch through more sugars during fermentation, leaving less residual sweetness and ultimately resulting in higher alcohol content.

We’re big fans of adding fermentables that are light on calories but heavy on fermentable sugars. Think of it like getting the most bang for your buck. Corn and rice are our go-to choices, as they provide the fuel for the yeast to produce alcohol without piling on the calories.

We keep a watchful eye on our fermentation temperatures. Controlling the heat helps us guide the yeast to produce more alcohol and fewer of those calorie-laden byproducts. It’s a bit like creating the perfect environment for a boozy party without inviting too many extra guests in the form of extra calories.

Most Popular High Alcohol Low Calorie Beers

Low-calorie beers typically contain 100 to 110 calories per 12 ounces and can be enjoyed guilt-free by fitness enthusiasts or individuals trying to lose weight. Low-calorie beers are made of light malt. Even the brewing process for these beers is different from the regular ones.

Let’s deep dive into the list of top low-calorie beer options available in America.

Bud Light

Arguably the most in-demand light beer in America and one of Anheuser Busch’s best sellers, it offers an ABV of 4.2% and contains only 110 calories per 12-ounce bottle.

What sets this beer apart from its peers is its combination of malted barley, water, hops, and yeast, giving it a crisp and clean flavor profile. Bud Light is popular among all ages, but mainly among youths and chefs who can indulge in a few bottles without worrying about intoxication. 

The beer sponsors a wide range of sports events, promoting its low ABV, carbohydrates, and calorie count for sports enthusiasts worldwide. If you want a zero-carb beer, their Bud Light Next might be more your style! 

Beer information:

  • Ingredients: Barley malt, rice, water, hops, yeast
  • ABV: 4.2 percent
  • Calories: 110
  • Carbs: 7

Miller Lite

Next up is a refreshing and slightly sweet, crisp lager produced by Molson Coors, the company that owns Miller Brewing Company, known for producing many Miller beers, such as Miller Genuine Draft, Miller Fortune, and Miller High Life.

It was one of the first light beers introduced into the US market back in 1975 and has been a mainstay ever since due to its hop-forward flavor and light body, making it perfect for sports enthusiasts. Plus, it’s pretty affordable compared to other beer brands on the market and goes hand-in-hand with BBQ food.

At 4.2 percent ABV and a measly 96 calories, it’s arguably one of the best high-alcohol, low-calorie beers on our list! If you love beer with a hint of lime similar to Corona, try their Miller Chill with a similar ABV and calorie count.

Beer information:

  • Ingredients: Barley malt, freshwater, hops, yeast
  • ABV: 4.2 percent
  • Calories: 92
  • Carbs: 3.2 grams

Guinness Extra Stout

Guinness is without a doubt one of the most famous stout beers in the world with its dense and creamy texture and velvety, smooth mouthfeel! Their extra-stout version is similar to their flagship Guinness draught but is surprisingly stronger with an alcohol volume of 5.6, which is pretty amazing considering it has just over 100 calories.

You’ll notice notes of dark chocolate, mocha, and biscuit from the first sip with a roasted barley hit and creamy finish that is ever-so-enjoyable. You can pick up a can of Guinness Extra Stout throughout the US in most bottle shops.

If you’re looking for something a bit stronger, give their Foreign Extra Stout a go at a whopping 7.6 percent and 176 calories. It’s not as calorie-friendly, but perfect if you’re not planning on having a few.

Beer information:

  • Ingredients: Malt, Irish Barley, Hops, Yeast, Water
  • ABV: 5.6 percent
  • Calories: 108
  • Carbs: 25 grams
Kona light blonde ale

Kona Light Blonde Ale

The Kona Blonde is a light beer popular across the USA and Switzerland for its sweet fruity taste. This smooth, easy-drinking light beer has only 99 calories, making it great for health-conscious people. Speaking about the flavors, this particular beer has a crisp tropical flavor with a sweet mango taste.

The brewing process involves pale and caramel malt along with hops like Millennium, Amarillo, and Mosaic. Mango is a special ingredient that gives it a distinctive fruity flavor.

Kona beers are widely available in the USA and other markets such as Brazil, Canada, Japan and Australia. These island-inspired beers can be paired well with grilled fish, shrimp and salads and can be enjoyed at the beach or post-surfing sessions. However, the finish of these beers is a little dry and balanced. Individuals looking for a quality light ale to pair with seafood and salads can definitely go for this beer.

Beer information:

  • Calories per serving: 99
  • ABV: 4.2 percent
Natural ice

Natural Ice

Brewed with a combination of premium high-quality American and imported hops, along with barley and corn, Natural Ice is a true American Lager with a malty sweetness and balanced flavor. 

Yet another masterpiece by the Anheuser Busch Brewery, this refreshing lager boasts a generous alcohol content of 5.9 ABV and a moderate calorie serving of 130, which, considering how strong it is – is pretty awesome. 

The addition of corn in the recipe gives it a lovely sweetness to marry with the bitter malts. It also has a high carbonation level, which makes it feel extra refreshing on a hot day with all that fizz on your tongue. You can’t go wrong with a cold bottle of Natural Ice!

Beer information:

  • Ingredients: Water, corn, corn syrup, barley malt, rice, and malt extracts
  • ABV: 5.9 percent
  • Calories: 130
  • Carbs: 8.9
Michelob ultra

Michelob Ultra

Apart from being one of the best keto-friendly beers on the market with a praiseworthy 2.6 grams of carbs and 95 calories per serving, Michelob Ultra is a quench-thirsty beer with a subtle hop character and clean, dry finish that’s adored by fitness fanatics and sports professionals alike.

The light beer uses a select group of hops, like Herkules and wholesome grains – and has a subtle citrus flavor, aiding its sweetness and refreshing, revitalizing mouthfeel.

Beer information:

  • Ingredients: Water, finest barley malt, rice, hops, and a pure-cultured yeast strain
  • ABV: 4.2 percent
  • Calories: 95

Carbs: 2.6

Busch Ice

Upon pouring a glass of Busch Ice, you’ll notice its striking golden straw color with a foamy white head and fine bubbles. Flavorwise, it’s quite sweet with grainy notes and has a smooth, malty tart finish. 

The beer has quite a large following in the US for its high ABV of 5.9 and moderately low-calorie count of 136, making it one of the go-to beers for dieters who enjoy a full-bodied beer with a kick. 

It’s a much better alternative than some of the lighter beers from the Anheuser Busch Brewery.

Beer information:

  • Ingredients: Hops, barley malts, cereal grains, water, yeast
  • ABV: 5.9 percent
  • Calories: 136
  • Carbs: 4.2

Coors Light

The second best-selling beer in the US, Coors Light is slightly different from other light beers on the market as it uses corn adjuncts rather than rice to give it a light body and easy-to-drink profile. 

Though many light beers use similar ingredients, Coors Light is slightly more watery and is way more refreshing – which is why it’s voted “The World’s Most Refreshing Beer” by many beer experts.

With its iconic bottle of three mountain tops on the label that turn blue when the beer is ripe for serving, Coors Light is a desirable beverage for low-calorie beer lovers around the world! 

Beer information:

  • Ingredients: Water, barley malt, hop extract, yeast, corn syrup
  • ABV: 4.2 percent
  • Calories: 102
  • Carbs: 5.2
Keystone light

Keystone Light

Keystone Light is the lightest beer on our list, with an ABV of 4.1 percent. It’s a triple-filtered, light-bodied American lager with a crisp, refreshing taste that first made its public appearance in 1989. 

Though it doesn’t offer many aromas compared to some of its counterparts, it’s one of the go-to beers to drink any time of the day because it’s scarily squashable and very affordable. 

There’s not too much difference between Keystone Light and Coors Light when it comes to the flavor profile and alcohol content. Plus, they’re both owned by the same brewing company, so it’s definitely worth picking up a 6 pack next time you’re in the bottle shop.

Beer information:

  • Ingredients: Corn syrup, malt barley, water, hop extract, yeast
  • ABV: 4.1 percent
  • Calories: 101
  • Carbs: 4.7

IC Light Mango Beer

Known as the Summer Drink of Pittsburgh, IC Light Mango is a light beer packed with tropical flavors and malt aromas produced by Pittsburgh Brewing Company. 

Similar to Hard Seltzers with a fruity punch, heavily carbonated, and a slight amount of alcohol,  

The IC Light Mango Beer is brewed with summer beach days in mind and for those who still want an alcoholic beverage without counting the calories. 

There are apple and cherry flavors also available of this classic beer from Pittsburgh Brewing, so you can mix and match at your next BBQ or beach day. 

Beer information:

  • Ingredients: Malt, hops, yeast, mango, water
  • ABV: 3.8 percent
  • Calories: 95
  • Carbs: 4

Pacifico light

Meet Pacifico’s younger brother! 

This light variation of the popular Mexican pilsner-style lager from the Modelo Brand is a crisp, refreshing lager with a mild sweetness and grainy mouthfeel. 

What’s surprising about Pacifico Light compared to nearly all light beers on the market is that Grupo Modelo has managed to make this beer just as tasty as its older brother – yet it has ZERO carbs, nearly 40% reduced calories, and contains the same alcohol content. The same great taste of Pacifico just got even healthier!

Beer information:

  • Ingredients: Water, hops, malted barley, yeast, corn
  • ABV: 4.5 percent
  • Calories: 93
  • Carbs: 0
Slighty mighty ipa

Dogfish Head Slighty Mighty IPA

Dogfish Slighty Mighty is a low-calorie IPA that is loved by many beer lovers all over the world. It has zesty citrus notes along with a bready malt finish which gives it a distinctive taste altogether. The beer is brewed with monk fruit, which is actually a low-calorie sweetener.

The beer offers a balanced flavor, which makes it highly drinkable. You can try it with grilled or roasted meats, spicy cuisines and seafood.

Beer Information

  • Calories: 95
  • ABV: 4 percent
Budweiser select

Budweiser Select

This is a lager-style beer that is brewed by Anheuser-Busch, a large American brewery. It is described as a full-bodied beer with a smooth taste and a crisp, clean finish. Some people may detect a slightly sweet, malty flavor, as well as hints of caramel and toasted grains.

The overall flavor is intended to be balanced and refreshing, with a moderate level of bitterness and a moderate to low level of ABV. It is generally considered a fairly standard, mainstream lager beer that is widely available in the United States. It can also be paired well with grilled or roasted meats, spicy Mexican or Thai food, cheese and crackers, pizza, or light salads.

Beer Information

  • Calories: 55
  • ABV: 2.4 percent

Best Guilt-Free Craft Beers

Jai Low

Cigar City Brewing is one of the best breweries in Florida, known for its creative IPAs and welcoming atmosphere. Their beers strike a harmonious balance of flavor and hoppiness, and the Jai Low is no expectation!

It has all the ingredients of a classic IPA with a tropical zesty twist of flavors, such as orange, clementines, and tangerine, followed by a bread-like maltiness and a moderate bitterness. It’s also heavily carbonated, which makes it all the more refreshing on a hot summer beach or BBQ day.

Jai Low is one of the best low-calorie IPAs on the market, and you’ll no doubt enjoy it if you’re an IPA hophead looking for something lighter and calorie-friendly!

Beer information:

  • Beer Style: Session IPA
  • ABV: 4%
  • Calories: 100
  • Carbs: 14.9 grams

Nite Lite

This light American lager by Nightshift Brewing in Boston is redefining the standards of light beer with Nite Lite! 

Forget watered-down beer and say hello to a full-flavored beer brewed with real corn, premium two-row barley, and German hops. It’s crisp, refreshing, and contains ZERO additives and preservatives, so you know you’re getting the best quality in this can.

At only 4.3%, it’s squashable any time of the day or year. Grab a 6 pack from their Boston locations or order online.

Beer information:

  • Beer Style: American Light Lager
  • ABV: 4.3%
  • Calories: 120
  • Carbs: 8.1 grams

Fit Bits 

Next up on our list is debatably the best of them all – Fit Bits by Weldwerks Brewing Company. An IPA that competes with the best on the market but without the high calories associated with one.

Featuring notes of papaya, peach, and mango, it’s fruity, flavorful, and deliciously hoppy with a selection of El Dorado, Citra, and Sabro hops. 

The hazy IPA was produced for the fitness folk – hence the name Fit Bits – but it’s a favorite among craft beer lovers of all kinds due its creamy, smooth mouthfeel, tropical flavors, and crisp finish.

Beer information:

  • Beer Style: Session IPA
  • ABV: 4.2%
  • Calories: 130
  • Carbs: 5 grams

Light Hearted Ale

Last but certainly not least is a well-known craft beer produced in the Midwest by Bell’s Brewery. Bell’s produces many award-winning stouts and IPAs, such as Kalamazoo Stout, Two Hearted IPA, Double Two Hearted IPA, and Hazy Hearted IPA.

Their light version – Light Hearted IPA, uses a mixture of Centennial and Galaxy hops to give the low-cal beer a lovely aroma of pine and citrus. Its light body is a contribution of the specialty malts used in the brewing process, producing the incredibly low 110 calorie count and 4% ABV per 12-ounce serving. 

Beer information:

  • Beer Style: Session IPA
  • ABV: 4%
  • Calories: 110
  • Carbs: 11 grams

Frequently Ask Questions

Do low-calorie beers taste the same as regular beers? 

Not exactly! The main difference in taste between a regular beer and a light one is that they’re more watery and not as strong but still equally as enjoyable. In some cases, like Natural Ice and Busch Ice, they have a higher alcohol content and taste just as good as normal beers without the added calories. 

Is it possible to get drunk on low-calorie beers?

Absolutely. The alcohol content, not the calorie count, affects your level of intoxication. Though it may take longer to get drunk drinking a low-calorie beer, depending on the brand of beer you buy, it is still possible. 

Are low-calorie beers healthier than regular beers?

In terms of calories and carbs, yes! However, just because they’re lower in calories and carbs than regular beers, you still need to drink in moderation to enjoy their benefits. 

Related Light Beer Articles

Learn more about light beers reading these related detailed articles below.

Wrapping up

So there you have it, 17 amazing low-calorie beers that can well and truly get you merry without looking down to see if you have a beer gut. We’d love to hear about your experiences trying these healthier beer options – feel free to share your thoughts and any other beers you might recommend in the comments below!

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