10 Best Light Craft Beers
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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