So you want to cut back on carbs and be a little healthier. But just because you want to live a healthier lifestyle doesn't mean you have to give up life's pleasures. If you're a fan of craft beer, you can still indulge wisely with low carb craft beer.
Low calorie beer, or light beer, has been around since the 1940s, though it didn't gain popularity until the 1970s when Coors Light and Miller Lite were introduced. Since then, the beer giants have leaned into low carb beers as well as low calorie beers and U.S. beer drinkers have responded by making the top four beer brands all light beers (Bud Light, Coors Light, Michelob Ultra and Miller Lite, respectively). But more and more craft brewers are getting into the low carb game, too, which means if you're into craft beer, you've got some excellent options.
A low carb beer generally means a beer that's lower in alcohol content, since the higher the alcohol content, the more sugar (and thus more carbs) you get in the beer. Getting beer to its lowest carb level tends to mean sacrificing taste and body, so craft brewmasters are looking for innovative ways to keep the flavor in their beers while making them appeal to a more health-conscious crowd. That mostly means focusing on session beers and using fruit to brew a flavorful beer with less sugar.
With craft breweries in almost every part of the country and many beer brands being distributed across their local regions, you should be able to find several beer options with a low carb count. Here are 15 of the best low carb craft beers in the country right now.
1. Yuengling Flight
Yuengling Flight is a great option for a light, low-carb beer. This crisp, refreshing beer has only 95 calories and 2.6 grams of carbohydrates, making it ideal for a refreshing drink.
2. Shiner Ruby Redbird
Shiner is a local Texas favorite, made now by the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas. Ruby Redbird is a low carb craft beer brewed with Texas grapefruit for a light, refreshing taste and comes in 95 calories and 3.1 grams of carbs. It's definitely a poolside sipper, but it's perfect year-round, too. Here's to drinking beer without the carbs.
3. Shiner Light Blonde
If fruity beers aren't your thing and you really just want a low-carb lager, Shiner has another option with Shiner Light Blonde. A 12-ounce serving clocks in at 99 calories, 3.8 grams of carbs and 4.2% ABV, which makes it an easy-drinking, low carb diet-friendly choice.
4. Dogfish Head Slightly Mighty
It's tough to make a good low calorie pale ale, but Delaware brewery Dogfish Head has figured out the secret for their low carb craft beer. Their Slightly Mighty IPA uses monk fruit to brew a beer that balances hoppy bitterness with malty sweetness but doesn't add extra sugar. A 12-ounce serving has only 95 calories and 3.6 grams of carbs.
5. Lagunitas DayTime IPA
California-based brewery Lagunitas revamped their session IPA in 2019 specifically to bring it in under the 100-calorie count mark. It now features 98 calories, a 4% ABV and 3 grams of carbs.
6. Deschutes Brewery Wowza
Another West Coast hazy pale ale, the Oregon-based Deschutes Brewery offers Wowza with 100 calories, 4 grams of carbs and 4% ABV. The brew is crisp, a little citrusy and all tasty low carb goodness.
7. Kona Brewing Co. Kona Light Blonde Ale
Kona Brewing Co. offers a lovely blonde ale with 4 grams of carbs, 99 calories and 4.2% ABV. This Hawaii-inspired ale has a light tropical taste without being a too-fruity beer.
8. Kona Mai Time Light
Mai Time Light is crisp, refreshing Tropical Wheat beer with notes of orange, pineapple and lime. It has 95 calories and 3 grams carbohydrates, making it as low-carb as it is drinkable.
9. Southbound Brewing Company Light Lager
A session lager, this low carb craft beer brewed in Atlanta, Georgia, comes in right at 100 calories, 3.5 grams of carbs and 4.2% ABV. The taste of the beer is as advertised, a light and crisp pilsner lager. You can easily drink more than one, though, like any good treat, they do add up.
10. Michelob Ultra Pure Gold
Michelob Ultra Pure Gold has a crisp, clean taste that makes it perfect for a light refreshing beer. With only 85 calories and 2.5 grams of carbs, you can have a few with no guilt.
11. Blue Moon Light Sky Tropical Wheat
Blue Moon is a classic, and the brewery's light, citrusy brew is no exception. With a refreshing taste of pineapple and orange peel, this beer has only 3.6 grams of carbs and 95 calories.
12. Amstel Light
This craft beer is a perfect balance of sweet and hoppy, the perfectly refreshment for an after-work libation or happy hour drink. Plus, it only has 95 calories and 5 grams of carbs, so you won't feel too full or heavy after enjoying it.
13. Omission Brewing Co. Ultimate Light Golden Ale
Omission's Ultimate Light Golden Ale is more than just low carb and low cal; it's also gluten-free. That means the world to beer drinkers who have celiac disease or are gluten intolerant. This full-flavored beer comes in at 99 calories, 5 grams of carbs and 4.2% ABV.
14. Pittsburgh Brewing Co. IC Light
Pittsburgh Brewing Co., which is also known in its hometown as Iron City Brewing, makes a super-low carb light lager that's tasty and easy to drink. It comes in at 95 calories and only 2.8 grams of carbs, with a 4.2% ABV. This is a low carb craft beer you can definitely indulge in.
This article was originally published on January 31, 2020.