These Are the Best Low-Calorie Beers to Reach for According to Pros


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We updated this article in December 2022 to ensure all picks were in stock and accurately priced. We also added more information about each featured product based on testing done by the Good Housekeeping Institute Nutrition Lab.

It’s a common misconception that cutting calories automatically means cutting flavor. “Opting for low-calorie beer absolutely does not mean compromising on taste. Beer is such a diverse beverage that brewers have a number of tools to use,” says The Beer Bible author Jeff Alworth.

Curious as to how exactly low-calorie beer is made? Lucy Burningham, the author of My Beer Year, explains that brewers do this by reducing the carbohydrates which come from malt and grains. The alcohol content is also reduced. “One gram of alcohol contains about 7 calories, which is a very concentrated form of calories,” Burningham explains.

When choosing a low-calorie beer, Alworth says to start by narrowing it down to what you already enjoy. For example, if you like hoppy IPAs, look for session IPAs, which he says are lower in alcohol and therefore lower in calories. More into lagers? Look for a low-calorie lager, which just so happens to be the best-selling beer category in the U.S.

To pinpoint the very best low-calorie beer out there, food and nutrition experts in the Good Housekeeping Institute tested multiple options, taking into account taste as well as ingredients. Here are the 10 they deem the very best.

Our top picks:

Looking for ways to eat and drink healthier? Check out our roundups of protein-packed snacks, the healthiest fast food orders and the best keto-friendly wines.

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Best Overall Low-Calorie Beer


Heineken Light

Calories 99
Carbs 7g
ABV 3.3%
Style Lager
Brewer Heineken

Lowest Calorie Beer


Michelob Ultra Pure Gold

Calories 85
Carbs 2.5g
ABV 3.8%
Style Lager
Brewer Michelob Ultra

Best Tasting Low-Calorie Beer


Corona Premier

Calories 90
Carbs 2.6g
ABV 4%
Style Lager
Brewer Corona

Best Low-Carb IPA

Dogfish Head

Dogfish Head Slightly Mighty Lo-Cal IPA

Calories 95
Carbs 3.6g
ABV 4.0%
Style IPA
Brewer Dogfish Head

Best Low-Calorie Lager


Michelob Ultra Superior Light Beer

Calories 95
Carbs 2.6g
ABV 4.2%
Style Lager
Brewer Michelob Ultra

Best Low-Calorie Pilsner


Miller Lite

Calories 96
Carbs 3.2g
ABV 4.2%
Style Pilsner
Brewer Miller Lite

Best Low-Calorie Ale

Kona Brewing Co.

Kona Brewing Co. Light Blonde Ale

Calories 99
Carbs 4g
ABV 4.2%
Style Ale
Brewer Kona Brewing Co.

Best Value Low-Calorie Beer


Guinness Draught Stout

Calories 126
Carbs 9.6g
ABV 4.2%
Style Stout
Brewer Guinness

Best Low-Calorie IPA


Lagunitas DayTime IPA

Calories 98
Carbs 3
ABV 4%
Style IPA
Brewer Lagunitas

Best Low-Carb IPA

Oskar Blues

Oskar Blues One-Y IPA

Calories 100
Carbs 5
ABV 4%
Style IPA
Brewer Oskar Blues

Why trust Good Housekeeping?

A senior editor in the Hearst Health Newsroom, Kaitlyn Phoenix has over 10 years of experience reporting on healthy food and beverages and has interviewed countless top medical professionals.

Our team of food and nutrition experts evaluated a variety of low-calorie beers to find ones with the best flavor profiles. We also consulted experts in the industry for their feedback. Our top picks offer a variety of options, from ales to lagers, so there is something for everyone and every occasion.

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