While low-carb beer gets a bad rap for being watered down and flavorless, these craft beers pack zest in every ounce — without turning your six-pack into a beer belly. As a general rule, the higher the ABV (alcohol by volume) in a drink, the higher the calorie and carb count. So if a healthier buzz is what you’re after, consider craft beer six percent or under. Just remember that women should stick to no more than one 12-ounce drink a day, and men up to two.
Whether your favorite style of beer is chocolaty, full-bodied stout or a crisp and fruity IPA, we’ve got the best low-calorie beer for you. (Seriously, all of these beers are 200 calories and under!)
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9 Best Low-Carb Beers for Craft Brew Lovers
1. If you want a sour…
Anderson Valley Brewing Company’s Blood Orange Gose
Calories: 126; ABV: 4.2 percent
If you’re not a fan of hoppy beers, go for a gose (pronounced goza). A German-style beer that’s brewed with ground coriander seeds and salt, goses are typically low ABV, so it’s perfect for sipping on something light and flavorful. In this refreshing sour, the beer is fermented with blood orange to impart a citrusy, tart flavor.
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2. If you want an IPA…
Founders Brewing Company’s All Day IPA
Calories: 140; ABV: 4.7 percent
Love the hoppy, floral flavors of a New England-style IPA? Then you’ll appreciate the crisp and aromatic taste of Founders’ All Day IPA. Simcoe and Amarillo hops infuse this session beer with a punch of sweet and bitter flavors, while keeping calories and alcohol content low. Crafted for the “active” beer lover, you can go from a hike to the party with this award-winning brew.
3. If you want a stout…
Left Hand Brewing’s Fade to Black Stout
Calories: 157; ABV: 8.5 percent
Stouts are, by definition, boozy, full-bodied beers, which is why they’re so high in ABV. The average stout is upwards 300 calories, so this under-200-calorie beer is a true anomaly in the world of imperial drinks. But this wonderfully rich and delicious brew doesn’t skimp on bold flavor. It’s got a silky mouthfeel with hints of licorice, espresso, molasses and black cardamom. We’ll toast to that!
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4. If you want a Belgian wheat beer…
Allagash Brewing Company’s Allagash White
Calories: 159; ABV: 5.1 percent
Spiced with a special blend of coriander and Curacao orange peel, this Belgian-inspired wheat beer doesn’t disappoint. And because it’s brewed with oats and malted wheat, you can bet it’s got a creamy finish and foamy top. Since you’ll save extra calories on this award-winning brew, it’s safe to pair it with a lobster roll — staying true to its Maine brewery roots.
5. If you want a pilsner…
Coney Island Mermaid Pilsner
Calories: 160; ABV: 5.3 percent
Pilsners are light-bodied beers, but they’re full of hoppy, floral and spicy tones. This German-style pilsner gets some heat from the rye malt, which is tamed with hints of grapefruit and lemon. While most people believe low-carb beers exist only in mermaid fairytales, we’re so glad we can find this delicious brew beyond its Brooklyn shores.
6. If you want a lager…
Blue Point Brewing Company’s Toasted Lager
Calories: 165; ABV: 5.5 percent
The Toasted Lager is Blue Point’s most popular beer, and for a good reason. Designed for easy drinking, the Toasted Lager is a brew you’ll want to enjoy every day, thanks to its low ABV and crisp and smooth taste. Brewed with six different grains, you’ve got all the sweet, roasted and bitter notes you’d want in an American amber lager — minus the whopping calories.
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7. If you want a farmhouse ale…
Prairie Artisan Ales’ Standard
Calories: 168; ABV: 5.6 percent
Prairie is known for their lip-smacking ales, and this saison is no different. The Standard is dry hopped with Motueka, a New Zealand hop with a lime-like flavor, to pack zest without adding calories. A vibrant mix of fruity, tart and bitter tones, this golden-hued ale is semi-dry. So if you want a low-carb beer closest to the taste of champagne, this is the glass for you.
8. If you want a pale ale…
Sweetwater Brewing Company’s 420 Extra Pale Ale
Calories: 168; ABV: 5.7 percent
Straight from Atlanta, Sweetwater Brewing delivers their version of a West Coast-style beer with the 420 Extra Pale Ale. If its name and golden tint isn’t enough pique your curiosity for a pour, then its refreshingly light carbonation is sure to tickle your taste buds. Packed with Cascade and Centennial hops, a delicious pint of this calorie-conscious pale ale is bursting with grapefruit flavor.
9. If you want a porter…
Calories: 183; ABV: 5.6 percent
When it comes down to it, the main difference with porters and stouts is the ABV count; stouts tend to be much higher in ABV. So if you’re craving the smooth and rich flavors in a stout but don’t want the extra calories, go for a glass of this award-winning porter. Its got hints of chocolate and coffee you’d expect and a surprising touch of bitter hops.
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