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10 Best Light Craft Beers

10 Best Light Craft Beers


Photo Courtesy of Uinta Brewing Company

Catch that perfect summertime buzz with America’s finest low-cal brews. By: Keith Pandolfi

Drink, Drank, Merry

While craft beers are mighty tasty, most pack a lot more alcohol and calories than their macro-brewed brethren. The good news is there are plenty of less boozy and (dare I say?) "light beer" versions out there to keep you both quenched and conscious during long, beerfueled summer barbecues.

ABV (Alcohol by Volume), written as a percentage, is a standard measure of how much alcohol is present in a given volume of beer.

Brooklyn 1/2 Ale

Photo Courtesy of Brooklyn Brewery

Straight out of Kings County, this is a solid traditional saison with a light hoppy flavor and about as many calories as a Miller Lite.

Brewery: Brooklyn Brewery

ABV: 3.4% Calories: 102

Full Sail Session Lager

Photo Courtesy of Full Sail Brewing Co.

It's believed the term "session beer" is derived from the British penchant for reliable brews that can be enjoyed in large quantities for long periods of time. Oregon-based Full Sail Brewing Company's version fills the bill with its low ABV and refreshing flavor.

Brewery: Full Sail Brewing Co.

ABV: 5.1% Calories: 130

Flying Dog Session India Pale Ale

Photo Courtesy of Flying Dog Brewery

When it comes to alcohol and calories, India pale ales (IPAs) are some of the worst offenders. For those who like big hoppy flavors without all the blackouts, there's Maryland's Flying Dog Brewery's Session IPA, which also boasts notes of grapefruit and biscuits.

Brewery: Flying Dog Brewery

ABV: 4.7% Calories: 141

Sam Adams Light

Photo Courtesy of The Boston Brewing Company

Unlike pale light beers of yore, this Boston Beer Company's take pours a golden amber color. Slightly sweet and hoppy, it has a clean finish that leaves you wanting more, which, with such a low ABV, is just fine.

Brewery: The Boston Brewing Company

ABV: 4.3% Calories: 119

Sierra Nevada Nooner Pilsner

Photo Courtesy of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

While its ABV and calorie count are a bit higher than the average session beer, this German-style pilsner is worth the splurge with its balanced floral notes and beautifully crisp finish.

Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

ABV: 5.2% Calories: 156

Evil Twin Brewing Bikini Beer

Photo Courtesy of Evil Twin Brewing

This Connecticut beer's existence is a minor miracle. With fewer calories than a cup of blueberries and an ABV that makes it more "near" than beer, Bikini Beer still maintains the hoppy, balanced character of the best craft brews, with subtle hints of candied fruit and citrus.

Brewery: Evil Twin Brewing

ABV: 2.7% Calories: 81

Great Divide Nomad

Photo Courtesy of Great Divide Brewing Company

After this Colorado-brewed beer hits you with its lightly lemony punch, the flavors grow more complex with hints of bread and grass characteristic of the best Bohemian pilsners.

Brewery: Great Divide Brewing Company

ABV: 5.4% Calories: 162

Long Trail Ale

Photo Courtesy of Long Trail Brewing Company

In a state known for its proliferation of craft beer in recent years, Vermont's Long Trail Ale is still among the best. The amber ale is slightly bitter, with notes of sweet toffee and caramel.

Brewery: Long Trail Brewing Company

ABV: 5% Calories: 138

Founders All Day IPA

Photo Courtesy of Founders Brewing Co.

One of the first session IPAs to hit the market, this one from Michigan remains among the best. With golden color and bitter, citrusy taste, it's an ideal backyard beer—and it comes in a 15-pack of cans, which means there's plenty to share.

Brewery: Founders Brewing Co.

ABV: 4.7% Calories: 147

Uinta Baba Black Lager

Photo Courtesy of Uinta Brewing Company

Brewed in Utah, this deep, dark lager is creamy, smoky, and sweet—perfect for a long, calm night around the campfire.

Brewery: Uinta Brewing Company

ABV: 4% Calories: 120


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