Catch that perfect summertime buzz with America’s finest low-cal brews. By: Keith Pandolfi
June 09, 2015
1 of 11Photo: Robbie Caponetto
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.
2 of 11Photo Courtesy of Brooklyn Brewery
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.
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.
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.
5 of 11Photo Courtesy of The Boston Brewing Company
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.
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.
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.