Light, easy-drinking beers used to rule the beer world. In many ways, they still do, which is why plenty of craft breweries are making the pivot toward the category and embracing what was up until recently a verboten realm.
Whether its Miller Lite, Coors Lights, or Bud Light, the top cheap beers in the nation are low-calorie and watery. Then there are beers like Michelob Ultra that are promoted with athletes and for those with active lifestyles. Thankfully, there were always full-flavored, semi-low-calorie options like Guinness, but for the most part bigger, full-flavored beers — most in the craft beer world — are loaded with calories (you need sugar to make alcohol, after all). The session beer craze of a few years ago started the downward trend of caloric values in popular beers. Now, breweries are wising up and hitting the low-calorie beer market en masse.
Here are some of the lowest-calorie beers from craft companies leading the way.
Dogfish Head Slightly Mighty
Dogfish Head is the most vocal leader in this craze, starting with the 140-calorie SeaQuench Ale that’s been lauded several times by Men’s Health. Now the Delaware brewery has a low-cal IPA set to hit the market in April. Clocking in at 95 calories, Slightly Mighty is already making waves among the fitness crowd.
Southern Tier Swipe Light
At 110 calories, Southern Tier’s Swipe Light makes its point clear with tall, skinny 12-ounce cans. The 4% alcohol by volume light lager is a refreshing treat for those looking for a full-flavor lager with low calories.
Boulevard Easy Sport Recreation Ale
Boulevard Brewing is going the route of Mich Ultra and targeting those living active lifestyles — even jazzercisers. Hitting the market in April, the 99-calorie Easy Sport is even brewed with potassium, magnesium, and sea salt to supplement athletes after their exertions. Tangerine peel and Mandarina Bavaria hops help bring out a sports drink-like flavor.
Deschutes Da Shootz
Oregon beer pioneer Deschutes Brewery released the 99-calorie, 4-percent ABV craft pilsner earlier this year. According to the brewery’s website, brewmaster Veronica Vega “had been talking with malt company Breiss for years about a low-protein malt” to help produce the low-calorie but flavorful beer.
Lagunitas DayTime IPA
Lagunitas Brewing’s session IPA DayTime got a refresh and in the process brought down the calories. At 4% ABV and 98 calories, DayTime still brings awesome classic
Lakefront Eazy Teazy
Tea is a perfect and flavorful drink for diets, so it only makes sense Lakefront Brewing turned to tea to help flavor its low-calorie beer. Eazy Teazy brings in green tea with the citrusy Lemondrop hop. The result is a flavorful 99-calorie beauty.
Kona Kanaha Blonde Ale
Kona Brewing’s tagline “Liquid Aloha” is indicative of the Hawaiian spirit the brand is spreading across America. To keep the beach bodies looking solid, Kanaha brings a full-flavored blonde ale with a touch of mango, clocking in at 99 calories.
Saint Archer Gold
Like Southern Tier, Saint Archer is hinting at its skinny beer with a skinny can. Saint Archer — owned by MillerCoors — is bringing it with Saint Archer Gold. The 95-calorie beer is going after a high-end active demographic.
Ballast Point Lager
Big booze companies with craft brands are definitely among those recognizing the need for low-calorie beer offerings. Constellation Brand’s Ballast Point was one of the fastest-growing breweries for several years, becoming a hot national brand and selling for $1 billion. Now they’ve launched Ballast Point Lager, a 99-calorie brew.
Harpoon Rec League
Hopping on both the hazy and low-calorie beer train is Harpoon Brewing’s Rec League. The hazy pale ale is 3.8% ABV and rings in at 120 calories. Rec League is full of flavor and brewed with a variety of healthy ingredients such as buckwheat kasha, chia seeds, and sea salt.
New Belgium Mural Agua Fresca Cerveza
Coming in at 110 calories per can, New Belgium’s Mural Agua Fresca Cerveza is produced in conjuction with Primus Cerverzeria, one of Mexico’s most popular craft breweries. A take on the omnipresent (in Mexico) agua fresca, this beer is made with hibiscus, agave, watermelon, and lime for a crisp, fresh, and utterly crushable taste.
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