Natural Light vs. Busch Light: Which Light Beer Has More Calories?

Natural Light vs. Busch Light: These two light beers are often compared. Consumers often think that, as both these beers are light, they are the same.

Busch light beer in the can

But can you say this with facts?

If not, read this article to find out the differences between Natural Light and Busch Light to choose the best one to quench your thirst.

Busch Light and Natural Light: Origin and History

The confusion between Natural Light and Busch Light isn’t without reason. These beers share many things in common, including their origin. Both Busch Light and Natural Light are produced by an American brewery located in St. Louis, Missouri. The founder of both these beers is Anheuser Busch. He had an idea to make high-quality beer having the same flavor as regular beers, but lower in calories.

To turn his vision into a reality, in 1977, he introduced Natural Light, which is also famous as Natty Light. Natural Light became a hit as soon as it was introduced to beer consumers. In fact, in 2008, Natural Light won the bronze World Beer Cup for “American-style light lager.”

Natural Light was the pioneer among other light beers that Anheuser Busch produced. Soon after it, Michelob Light and Bud Light were also introduced in 1978 and 1981, respectively.

Busch Light was first introduced as “Busch Light Draft” in 1989. However, later the “Draft” was removed, and the name was changed to Busch Light. Afterward, many other light beer versions were produced. One of these includes Busch Ice, which has a higher alcohol content than Busch Light.

Busch Light vs. Natural Light: What Are the Differences?

These beers are considered similar and often confused because they don’t have many dissimilarities. They have the same light colors and are American-style light lagers. Even their flavor and aroma profile are very close to each other. So, you must be wondering what’s the difference between Natural Light and Busch Light?

The difference is in the alcohol content. Natural Light alcohol content value is 4.2 percent ABV (Alcohol by volume), but for Busch Light, it is 4.1 percent ABV (Alcohol by volume). The percentage of alcohol present in beers affects how you feel after drinking that beer.

On the standard scales, both Natural Light and Busch Light have low alcohol content. Beers having an alcohol content of more than 4.5 percent are known to have moderate ABV. These beers with higher alcohol content get you drunk quicker. In the case of light beers, the only way you can get drunk faster is to increase the number of beers you drink at a time.

Moreover, drinking beers with higher ABV affects your mental and physical health. But if you choose Natural Light and Busch Light, can you relax in this regard due to their low ABV.

How Are Light Beers Different From Regular Beers?

Light beers are extremely popular in the United States. Many surveys reveal that 7 out of 10 top-selling beers in America are light beers. Light beers aren’t popular without reason. Some differences make light beers, including Natty Light and Busch Light, superior to regular beers.

– Affordable

Light beers are cheaper than regular beers. No doubt, there are some differences in taste. If you want quality over quantity, then you should choose a top brand of regular beer. But, if you’re a student or young person and looking for an economical yet flavorsome beer, then a light beer is perfect.

– Different Brewing Process

Natural light beer in a can

According to expert brewers, the brewing process for light beers is more challenging than regular beers. It’s because reducing the calorie count of beer isn’t a simple thing. Brewers use one of these four methods mentioned below to produce a light beer:

  • Diluting

This involves combining the regular beer with water. The addition of water reduces the calorie and alcohol content, resulting in a light beer.

  • Prolonging the Mashing Process

By increasing the time for the mashing process, more carbohydrates in grains are converted to simple sugars. These simple sugars have fewer calories. This beer is then further diluted with water to produce a light beer.

  • Using External Enzymes

During the brewing process, external enzymes are added to increase the breakdown of carbohydrates into simple sugars. These simple sugars containing wort are fermented to alcohol and CO2. Then, water is added to lower the carbohydrate percentage for producing a low-carb beer, light beer.

  • Packaging Beer in Smaller Servings

For the production of a light beer, brewers also reduce the size of the beer bottle. A smaller beer bottle delivers fewer calories than a regular-sized bottle. For example, if a 12-oz bottle of a regular beer has 120 calories, by reducing the bottle size to 6-oz, you’ll get only 60 calories.

– Calories, Carbs, and Alcohol Content

Light beers have fewer calories, carbs, and alcohol content than regular beers. For example, calories in Busch Light are 95 calories per12-oz, which are far less than a regular beer. Similarly, Natural Light and Busch Light alcohol content is also less than regular beers.

The table below shows the calories, carbs, alcohol, and protein percentage present in Natural Light and Busch Light.

BeerAlcohol Percentage


(Per 12-oz)


(Per 12-oz)


(Per 12-oz)

Natural Light4.2953.2 g0.7 g
Busch Light4.1953.2 g0.7 g

Why Is Natural Light So Popular?

Apart from the flavor, here are some reasons why Natural Light is so popular:

– Still a Top-selling Beer

It’s been more than 40 years since Natty Light was introduced, but it’s still a top-selling beer in the United States and worldwide. According to 2018 stats, 6.7 million barrels of Natural Light were sold. This vast number made Natty Light the eighth best-selling light beer in America in the year 2018.

– First Beer in the Space

Natty Light is the first beer that was launched in space in 2011. A can of Natural Light was attached with a helium balloon, known as the “The Aluminium Fullcan.” The balloon traveled to a height of 90,000 feet. Natural Light couldn’t reach the cosmos, but the project won immense recognition, making Natural Light even more popular.

– Excellent Marketing Strategies

Natural Light’s marketing strategies are another reason why this beer is so popular. Natural Light brewery always had eyes on the top events happening across the globe. For example, in 2019, the Washington Nationals baseball team participated in the World Series for the first time.

National Light launched a new product, the National Light Seltzer, at the start of 2019. The National Light’s brewery compared the unexpected arrival of the team in Series to its new product. The campaign instantly gave National Light the response it was expecting.

Are Natural Light and Busch Beer Gluten-free?

No, Natural Light and Busch Beer aren’t gluten-free. Both beers have barley as an ingredient which is a gluten grain. The presence of gluten makes these beers unsuitable if you’re on a gluten-free diet.

Busch Light vs. Natural Light: Which One Is Better?

It’s hard to say which one is better between Busch Light vs. Natural Light comparison. Because these two light beers have many things in common. These include:

  • They have the same ingredients: hops, water, barley, and rice. In addition to the basic ingredients, the adjunct is also the same. Both use cornstarch as an adjunct.
  • Due to the presence of the same ingredients and adjuncts, the color and flavor of Natural Light and Busch Light are exactly similar.
  • Busch Light and Natural Light reviews by expert brewers reveal that they even have a similar smell.

With all these similarities, the difference between these beers occurs when you compare the alcohol content and price. Natty Light has a higher ABV than Busch Light. But Natty Light is also cheaper than Busch Light.

Due to a bit of difference in the alcohol content, Natural Light is slightly heavier than Busch Light. So, if you want to save some money and a somewhat heavier flavor in your beer, then you can choose Natural Light. Otherwise, you should go for Busch Light. The choice of which one is better depends entirely on personal preference.


Is Natural Light a strong beer?

No, Natural Light is not a strong beer. It has a relatively low alcohol content compared to other beers.

What company owns Natural Light?

The Anheuser-Busch company owns Natural Light.

Are Natural Light and Busch Light the same?

No, Natural Light and Busch Light are not the same. They are two different brands of beer, although both are owned by the same company.


Now, as you know everything about Natural Light vs. Busch Light, let’s have a look at the most important points of the article:

  • Busch light vs natural light which one is betterThe same American brewing company produces Natural Light and Busch Light.
  • Both beers have the same calories, carbs, proteins, flavor, and color.
  • The alcohol content of these beers is different. Natural Light has a 4.2 percent ABV and Busch Light has a 4.1 ABV.
  • Light beers are different from regular beers due to less calories, alcohol content, carbs, and price.
  • Natural Light and Busch Light aren’t gluten-free, hence not suitable for a gluten-free diet.

Here we sum up our difference between Natural Light and Busch Light. Now, deciding which one is better for you is all up to you. So, you can go and grab a can of Natural Light and Busch Light, taste them, to decide your go-to beer onwards!

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