The best low-cal brews to feel buzzed, not bloated
Bud Select 55
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Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 2.4%
A 55-calorie beer looks appealing at first glance, but fewer calories means lower alcohol content and very little flavor. A regular Budweiser Select has a higher ABV at 4.3% and still comes in under 100 calories (99 calories per 12oz). Although Budweiser Select is higher in carbs (3.1g), if you’re drinking to unwind, it’s worth the splurge.
*all data is based on one 12-oz serving (about one can)
Miller Genuine Draft “64”
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MGD 64 brews a summer version of the light beer, MGD 64 lemonade, with the same calorie count. It’s perfect for those who haven’t quite acquired a taste for beer– but be aware of gimmicks. The “natural lemon sweetener” is mixed with sucralose, an artificial sweetener. If you can’t stand to substitute your sugar for Splenda, then you may not enjoy this summer drink. The limited-edition beer is only available until Labor Day, so try not to get too attached.
RELATED: 20 Sublime Summer Wines Under $20
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Regular Busch has a whopping two times more carbs than Busch Light without much of an ABV edge (Busch is 4.3% ABV). As far as we're concerned, Busch Light is an easy win!
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Natural Light packs fewer calories and carbs with the same ABV as Anheuser Busch’s other low-cal brew, Bud Light. The only problem: It's often said to lack taste. A favorite among college students on a tight budget, this beer is a good pick if you're headed to a big summer barbecue.
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The original “low-carb beer,” Michelob Ultra is your best bet if you typically prefer fruity cocktails. In addition to the original Ultra, a 12-oz serving of Amber and Lime Cactus Ultras all have 95 calories, but they pack on a few extra carbs (2.6 to 5.5g). The extra flavor may be worth the barter. (Low-carb beers are cool, but when it comes to food, here's why healthy carbs *do* belong in your diet.)
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The original “light beer,” Miller Lite started the "diet beer" trend that now dominates the U.S. beer market. The light pale lager is the most gold-medal awarded light beer at the Great American Beer Festival and it also won the 2016 Gold Award in the World Beer Cup for the light lager category.
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Coors Light wins points for coming in just over 100 calories—45 calories less than a regular Coors. But we’re even more impressed with the can. You'll know when it's cold because the frosty mountains on the label turn blue. Conversation starter? We think so!
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Nothing says summer like an ice-cold Corona. Save calories and drink the light version, then add lemon or limes to flavor. This Mexico-brewed beer is perfect for fiestas!
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Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 4.2%
This American classic dominates the entire beer market, selling more than any other beer in the U.S. Bud Light is easy to drink and on tap nearly everywhere beer is sold. Just remember: 110 calories is the amount in one 12-oz serving. The typical regular-sized beer at a ballpark? 20 ounces!
Photo: Bud Light
Bud Light Lime
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Bud Light Lime packs the same ABV as Bud Light and adds a kick of refreshing lime for only 6 more calories. The downside: The lime version has an additional 1.4g carbs.
Sam Adams Light
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Sam Adams Light is your best choice if your prefer Boston Lager. The slight peach or mango flavor is perfect for a pool or beach-side brew.
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Don’t let the dark color fool you. This Irish stout beer is one of the lightest of its kind. Plus, it's packed with rich, roasted coffee-like flavor. Worried about the 10g carbs? Consider skipping your morning coffee and splurge for a cold Irish beer at night instead.
Fat Tire Amber Ale
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This Colorado-made, Belgian-inspired beer is dark in color but light on the stomach. The sweet malt taste pairs well with a variety of food. Try pairing it with a refreshing summer salad, or use it as a special ingredient in your homemade BBQ sauce.
Photo: New Belgium
Sierra Nevada Summerfest Beer
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This pilsner-style lager’s name says it all—it’s made for summer. Summerfest is one of the lighter Sierra Nevada brews, but it packs more carbs than most of the other brews on our list. But don't think you're doing yourself any favors by avoiding beer in favor of sugary soda at your next barbecue. One 12-oz Pepsi has a whopping 32g carbs! That's more than you'd get from a Quarter Pounder with Cheese from McDonald's. (Conversely, here are the healthiest things you can order from McDonald's.)
Blue Moon Summer Honey Wheat
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The summer version of Blue Moon is made with clover honey, giving it a sweet taste that's perfect for sipping under the sun. Add an orange peel for an extra kick of citrus. Don’t wait to try it; Summer Honey Wheat is only sold from April until September.
Yuengling Light Lager
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Maintaining the rich flavor and character of the traditional lager without giving you a beer gut, you can barely taste the difference in this light version. Plus you’ll be supporting the U.S.A., as Yuengling is America’s oldest brewery.
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If you're looking for the type of beer that you can have while enjoying an al fresco oyster happy hour, the Brooklyn Pilsner is perfect. This German-style golden lager pairs well with everything from shellfish and Thai to pizza and goat cheese.
Omission Ultimate Light Golden Ale
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This gluten-free, under-100-calories beer really is the ultimate. It hits your mouth with citrus flavors, making it perfect for hot days spent in the backyard or at the beach.
Kona Brewing Company Longboard Island Lager
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Longboard Island Lager is a smooth, refreshing lager that will make you feel like you’re on a Hawaiian beach after just one sip. A delicate, slightly spicy hop aroma complements the simplicity and crispness of this beer.
(Related: 10 Brilliant Twists On the Burger)
Photo: Kona Brewing Company
New Belgium Brewing Company Shift Pale Lager
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Easy to drink and crisp, this brew from New Belgium Brewing Company is perfect for the beach. Pair it with a salty summer snack like chips or pretzels during a bonfire or a backyard cookout.
Photo: New Belgium Brewing Company