If you’re following the keto diet, or just eating fewer carbohydrates, beer (aka liquid carbs) was probably one of the first things you cut out. But there may be days when you just have to have a cold one, and in those instances, low-carb beer is the way to go.
Lucky for you, there’s a plethora of options out there. Hoppy craft beers, and deep, dark stouts are typically brimming with carbs (and sometimes calories, too), so focus on the “light” beers. They’re always lower in carbs than their regular counterparts.
That said, some have more carbs than others. And they vary in calories too. “To be labeled as ‘light’ the product needs to have one-third fewer calories compared to the full-calorie version,” explains Taylor C. Wallace, PhD, principal and CEO of the Think Healthy Group and adjunct professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at George Mason University.
To help you choose a brew, we’ve rounded up eight low-carb beers that clock in at less than 100 calories per serving. Plus, they’re easy to find on store shelves. Enjoy!
Amstel Light Lager
95 calories, 5g carbs, 3.5% ABV
At 5 grams carbohydrate per serving, Amstel Light is about middle of the road for this category. It’s also light on the palate and quite refreshing.
Budweiser Select 55
55 calories, 1.8g carbs, 2.4% ABV
With an aroma of toasted malt and subtle hops, this beer is the lowest of the low when it comes to calories and carbs. And also the only Budweiser brew that’s under our 100-calorie cap.
90 calories, 2.6g carbs, 4.0% ABV
A little pricier than other light beers, this recently-launched line from the famous Mexican company actually clocks in at fewer calories and carbs than Corona Light (which is 99 calories and 5 grams carbohydrate).
99 calories, 7g carbs, 3.3% ABV
The lighter version of the famous Dutch-brewed Heineken still delivers on taste. But f you don’t care about the booze, Heineken’s brand new non-alcoholic beer—Heineken 0.0—will give you that same classic taste for only 69 calories and 4.8 grams carbs.
92 calories, 2.4g carbs, 4.0% ABV
This ultra-light lager has 20 fewer calories and 5.5 fewer grams of carbohydrate than Labatt Blue Light.
95 calories, 2.6g carbs, 4.2% ABV
You won’t automatically get fit drinking this brew, but thanks to its few calories and even fewer carbs, it won’t derail your fitness goals. If you really want to cut back, pick up their 7-ounce bottle: It’s 55 calories and 1.5g carbs.
96 calories, 3.2g carbs, 4.2% ABV
The “original light beer” (brewed first in 1975), this light pilsner ranks higher than most other light beers on Beeradvocate. Want even fewer calories and carbs? Try Miller Geniune Draft 64, which has just 64 calories per serving and 2.4g carbs.
Yuengling Light Lager
99 calories, 8.5g carbs, 3.8% ABV
If you’re new to light beer, this brew might be the one to start with, as it seems to sweep the category: Its Beeradvocate rating is the highest of the light beers, and tasters dole out plenty of praise for it.
Don't see a low-carb beer you like?
Unfortunately, there’s no good indicator—such as bitterness from hops—that can help you ID other low-carb beers. “Obviously if the product tastes sweet, it likely has more sugar and carbs,” says Wallace. “But in general, quantities can vary between even similar products.”
But it will get easier soon: “Beer industry leaders Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, HeinekenUSA, Constellation Brands Beer Division, North American Breweries and Craft Brew Alliance—which produce more than 81% of the beer sold in the U.S.—have agreed to implement labeling of total calories, carbohydrates, protein, fat, and ABV by 2020 to help consumers choose healthier options,” says Wallace. Cheers to that.
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