Michelob Ultra is the beer that definitely comes somewhere in the list of favorite beers of the people. Beer in its organic form, this is the reputation which Michelob Ultra Gold has acquired. When it is about Michelob Ultra Pure Gold, most people recognize it as a USDA certified organic light lager that has a pure and refreshing taste. But what about the calories and the alcohol content in it, have you ever thought about it?


Michelob Ultra Alcohol Content

When you want to know the alcohol content of Michelob Ultra, it is important that you should consider knowing the Michelob Ultra ABV percentage. ABV is the alcohol by volume percentage which is an important value to know when you consider knowing the alcohol content of any liquor.

The Michelob Ultra beer lovers should be aware of the fact that the ABV per 12 oz. of this beer is 4.2% with an efficiency of 85.8%.

Michelob Ultra Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 bottle (12oz)
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 0
Calories 95
% Daily Values*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 2.6g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 0g
Protein 0.6g
Vitamin A – Vitamin C –
Calcium – Iron –
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

How Many Calories Are Present In Michelob Ultra?

For all those who love spending their weekends, chilling with their friends and Michelob Ultra, here’s the good news. All those who had been wondering how many Michelob Ultra carbs, to their surprise; the beer has 2.5 carbs and 85 calories.

Now you can enjoy the brewed and triple-filtered Pure Gold, which is free of artificial flavors and colors. Surprisingly, the Michelob ultra calories are lower than the best selling beer, Bud Light. The Bud Light contains 6.6 grams carbs and 110 calories per serving, which is quite higher than Michelob Ultra.

The fan of ultralight beer must be looking forward to knowing how many calories are there in Michelob Ultra Light. To their satisfaction, carbs in Michelob Ultra Light is 2.6 grams with 95 calories per serving.

Other Variants of Michelob Ultra

Another unique thing about Michelob Ultra is that it even offers some refreshing variants to the people who prefer drinking beer with a fruity touch.

Michelob Ultra Dragon Fruit Peach Beer is one such loved beer which is usually preferred by the cocktail lovers. With every sip, you can unleash ferocious flavors. Being a unique, low-carb beer, this is becoming the choice of the people.

The beer has the mythical rich blends of rich malts and select hops, which is complemented by sweetness and subtle flavors of succulent dragon fruits and the mouth-watering flavors of peach. The best thing is that the beer has quite a low-calorie level and has 4.0% ABV.

Michelob Ultra Lime Cactus Beer is another refreshing variant for the beer lovers, who love a fruity tint with the drink. The beer has the exotic and refreshing fruity aroma, along with a clean citrus finish. The drink is most preferred along with some bold ethnic dishes like a spicy chorizo-based dish or other spicy dishes.

This pair of preferred due to the reason that this beer has the tendency to balance the heat of the dish and bring out some amazing blend of flavors. The beer also goes well with the seafood and it has 4.2% ABV.

Raise your hand if you’re even fatter now than you were on New Year’s Day. No, your other hand, the one that isn’t strangling a donut. Oh, I see. Well, do you have a third hand? Never mind, the tear tracks carved through your powdered-sugar beard are affirmation enough.

You’ve put on a couple. Me too. It’s been a hell of a winter. But spring training’s here, which means it’s time to drink ourselves back into shape. I know it’s still freezing out, but dignity demands that we put away the mayonnaise hot toddies and the pulled pork stouts, because March is the month we get simultaneously liquored up and slimmed down. Maybe we’ll switch to light beer?


It’s tough to define what qualifies a beer as “light” (different countries and regulatory agencies have different criteria), but for our purposes we’re basically including any beer that labels itself as such. Broadly speaking, this means it has fewer calories than the regular version of the same beer. Here’s a ranking of all the nationally distributed light beers I found at my local liquor stores.

Flavor was the predominant factor in the proprietary algorithm used to compile this list, but when the taste was a toss-up I added and subtracted points based on alcohol content, since booze provides the bulk of both a beer’s calories and a person’s reason for drinking.

24. Bud Light Lime, 116 calories per 12 ounces, 4.2 percent alcohol by volume

Woe be to the human tongue that’s touched anything nastier than this sinister shit. Last July I said Bud Light Lime tastes like green Froot Loops soaked in thigh sweat. It’s too cold to muster enough sweat for a retest, but I’m confident that Bud Light Lime is still the world’s worst light beer.


23. Miller 64, 64 calories, 2.8 percent ABV

The label says it’s “perfectly balanced” but makes no reference to what balance is being struck. The urge to die versus the urge to tear your mouth off and throw it into the ocean? Miller 64 tastes like a cardboard cup of sour limeade left overnight on a subway car.


22. Beck’s Premier Light: 64 calories, 2.3 percent ABV

I’ve heard good things about this one, but it’s been skunked both times I’ve tried it. There’s no excuse for this, especially now that Beck’s is brewed in the U.S. by Anheuser-Busch InBev.


21. Amstel Light, 95 calories, 3.5 percent ABV

Amstel Light tastes like rotten fruit.

20. Bud Light, 110 calories, 4.2 percent ABV

Bud Light is the best-selling beer in America. For shame, because it always tastes like fermented cardboard, no matter how fresh it is. You could suck Bud Light straight from the stainless steel teat and it would still taste like regular Budweiser infused with the filters of a thousand discount cigarettes.


19. Bud Select 55, 55 calories, 2.4 percent ABV

Tastes like an old hard-taco shell, which, I know, sounds decent, but for whatever reason the experience doesn’t translate well to superlight beer.


18. Sapporo Light, 119 calories, 3.9 percent ABV

Sapporo Light smells like caramelized skunk-meat. The taste isn’t quite as grim, because the initial blast of necrotized game fades quickly into a more generic light beer flavor, but the first impression is tough enough to keep this one just outside of drinkable.


17. Busch Light, 95 calories, 4.1 percent ABV

And we’ve finally reached the “Sure, if that’s all you’ve got. I’m thirsty and free beer don’t grow on trees” portion of the list.


16. Natural Light, 95 calories, 4.2 percent ABV

Did you know Natural Light was introduced by Anheuser Busch in 1977, five years before Bud Light? And that it’s the sixth most popular beer in the United States? What you probably did know is that tastes a little bit like hay but mostly like nothing, and that’s good enough if you’re on a tight budget.


15. Keystone Light, 104 calories, 4.1 percent ABV

Keystone Light is much, much better than Keystone. I guess the easiest way to extract calories from a standard ‘Stone is to remove the brown banana peels from the fermentation tank?


14. Corona Light, 99 calories, 4.1 percent ABV

I despise regular Corona, but the Light is better. It smells—and to a lesser extent tastes—like stale beer, which isn’t as bad as it sounds in the context of this shit list. Whereas the lesser competitors resemble stale beer polluted by this or that other terrible flavor, Corona Light is just a regular old shoddy keg-party brew. It’s a bit sweeter than an honest doctor would order, but it dries out on the slightly feral finish.


13. Michelob Ultra: 95 calories, 4.2 percent ABV

Michelob Ultra is familiar to any road racer too dumb or dedicated to cherry pick only those races sponsored by reputable local breweries. If you’re not careful, your semi-competitive Sunday morning jog is going to be rewarded with a 9-ounce plastic cup of Ultra, a sugary malt juice that sours just enough on the quick finish to make it grudge-chuggable in a pinch.


12. Genny Light, 100 calories, 4 percent ABV

Genny Light has a good, clean brewski smell that’s undercut somewhat by a sugary corn taste and a hint of rusty lemon. But it’s a decent, straightforward beer that manages to fly under the radar and into the shopping cart due to its low price and manageable ambitions. Genny Light’s not trying to impress you; it’s just trying to skate by, and there’s an ugly honor in that.


11. Bud Light Platinum, 137 calories, 6 percent ABV

Not sure what to do with this one. The flavor is fair—clean, sweet malt, and one-note hops—but 137 calories is awfully high for this category. But so is 6 percent alcohol. Let’s move on.


10. Coors Light, 102 calories, 4.2 percent ABV

9. Medalla Light, 83 calories per 10 ounces, 4.0 percent ABV

This another tough one to rank. I love Medalla Light, but I’ve only had it on the beach in Puerto Rico. I understand you can also get it at gas stations in Florida, which I have to imagine degrades the experience. I realize this is very unscientific of me, but I really do think context matters in evaluating taste. How do you think a $7 ballpark hotdog would go over in your work cafeteria? Like cotton candy in prison.


8. Michelob Light, 122 calories, 4.3 percent ABV

The label says “Our full-flavored light lager features a malty sweetness and aromatic hop profile” and boasts of Hallertau, Strissel, Spalt, and other hop varieties. All that hopping doesn’t add up to a ton, but Michelob Light comes across as balanced and bitter relative to the competition. Michelob Light sales declined 70 percent between 2007 and 2012, which makes sense given that Anheuser-Busch has cannibalized it with the Mich Ultra line, but it’s still a decent light beer.


7. Mich Ultra Lime Cactus, 95 calories, 4 percent ABV

You know how when you snort green Runts dust you can taste it a little bit in the back of your throat? Mich Ultra Lime Cactus reminds me of what your mouth’s left with right after you dispatch a green candy loogie, but in the best possible way. It’s not too sweet and the aftertaste is only ever so slightly chemical tasting, plus it gets bonus points for novelty and ambition.


6. Heineken Light, 99 calories, 3.2 percent ABV

Last year Heineken reworked this slow-seller by adding Cascade hops, and it seems to have worked. Funky and skunky regular-strength Heineken is my least favorite beer in the world, but the nearly odorless Light makes a strong first impression by making very little impression at all. It tastes like basic-ass beer with a hint of sour metal, which is a welcome addition to this artificially sweetened list.


5. Miller Lite, 96 calories, 4.2 percent ABV

This is the best American macro-light.

4. Sam Adams Light: 119 calories, 4.3 percent ABV

This is a disappointing showing for a beer that should have been a ringer. The Boston Beer Company is the only legitimate craft brewer that makes a nationally distributed light beer, and while Sam Light is fine, it should be better. Despite the label’s claim that it’s a whole different beer, it resembles a limp, watered-down version of the flagship Boston Lager, which is to say it resembles Yuengling. It’s very sweet, with a strong suggestion of candied orange peels and very little discernible hops. Its greatest strength is its lack of glaring weaknesses.


3. Labatt Blue Light: 108 calories per 11.5 ounces, 4 percent ABV

Blue Light is surprisingly ambitious and assertive, showing enough bite to resemble a credible Czech pils. There’s a slightly off-putting soapiness on the finish, but Labatt Blue Light is still one of my world’s best light beers.


2. Kirin Light: 95 calories, 3.3 percent ABV

It turns out that this Japanese impostor is brewed domestically by Anheuser-Busch, which likely contributes to its superfresh taste. Kirin Light is so crisp and lively it reminds me of prosecco that’s been open for an hour at an all-you-can-mimosa brunch place. The tart apple and biscuity yeast character are unusual for a light lager, but slightly faded prosecco is better than most light beers.


1. Molson Canadian Light: 120 calories, 3.9 percent ABV

The best light beer I’ve ever had is floral, dainty, and a tiny bit grapey up front, with a clean, dry finish. Molson Canadian Light is merely a good beer, which makes it a great light beer.


So there’s your list. What does it all mean? Well, it means Canadians have another reason to show off their unique blend of smug humility. But since I’m an easy grader who struggled to find anything good to say about most of these beers, it might also mean we shouldn’t drink so damn much light beer. Six of the eight best selling beers in America are light lagers, but market share is starting to fall as we gravitate toward better beers and other liquors. Even dedicated beer drinkers looking to slough off enough donut padding to fit into their button pants have better options.


Guinness has 125 calories per 12 ounces, compared to Bud Light’s 110 and Michelob Light’s 122. Wouldn’t you rather have 98 percent of a Guinness than all of a Mich Light? A beer’s calories correlate very strongly to its alcohol percentage (which is why Bud 55 and Miller 64 are half-strength), so the tastiest way to cut down on beer calories is to seek out low-alcohol offerings from good breweries.

The Drunkspin archive: Cheap beer rankings | Wedding drinking | Margarita | Drinking games | MacGyver tailgating | Booze pricing | Cheap bourbon rankings | Bloody Mary | Bartender tipping | Shots | February survival drinking | Bar game rankings | Russian beer rankings


Will Gordon loves life and tolerates dissent. He lives in Cambridge, Mass., and has visited all of the other New England states, including, come to think of it, Vermont. Find him on Twitter @WillGordonAgain.


Image by Sam Woolley.

Mich Ultra and Michelob Family

One year after its introduction, Michelob ULTRA became the fastest-growing new brand in the industry and was a phenomenal hit among adult fitness enthusiasts, adult consumers living an active lifestyle and those looking for a great-tasting beer with lower carbohydrates and fewer calories.

Mich Ultra Website

Michelob Ultra

ABV: 4.2%

Less is truly more. Light golden in color with light notes of citrus, this low-carb, American-style light lager is made from two-row Munich malts and European select hops for a clean, refreshing body and finish.

Michelob Lager

ABV: 5%| IBUS: 18

Michelob Original Lager is a malty, full-bodied European-style premium lager. From its inception to today, it stands out as a distinctive, high-quality beer for connoisseurs.

This Original Lager is brewed traditionally, using European noble aroma hop varieties and a 100-percent-malt blend of the finest two-row and caramel malts. It is fermented and aged with Anheuser-Busch’s classic lager yeast strain, and cold-matured for balanced crispness.

Michelob Light

ABV: 4.2%| IBUS: 19

Michelob Light is a full-flavored, rich-tasting light lager with surprisingly low calories and carbohydrate content. Traditionally brewed with European hops and a blend of the finest two-row and caramel malts, Michelob Light is fermented and aged with Anheuser-Busch’s classic lager yeast strain and cold-matured for balanced crispness.

Michelob Ultra Pure Gold

Made with organic grains from the country’s finest fields, Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold is a light lager with a superior, golden taste.
With only 2.5 carbs and 85 calories, Pure Gold is triple filtered and brewed free of artificial colors and flavors.

Michelob AmberBock

ABV: 5.2%| IBUS: 19

Smoothness, deep-dark color and a roasted malt taste that finishes clean are the hallmarks of this distinctive brew.

Brewed using 100-percent malt – including dark-roasted black and caramel malts and all-imported hops – Michelob AmberBock has a unique, rich amber color and smooth, full-bodied taste.

Michelob Ultra Lime and Prickly Pear Cactus

ABV: 4%

Michelob ULTRA Lime Cactus: a squeeze of fresh lime with a southwestern twist. This fruit-infused light pilsner wets the palate with a hint of a natural lime, while floral undertones derived from the cactus offer deep refreshment.

I would like to think I’m an equal opportunity beer drinker so when I saw that National Beer Day was coming up on April 7 (Saturday this year, y’all!), I knew that we had to do something special to celebrate one of our favorite holidays of the year. After all, is there a better way to celebrate National Beer Day than by taste-testing endless cans and bottles of light beer? If you’re a purist and a beer enthusiast that enjoys craft over corporate, or even just unique flavors over the macro-lagers out there, you probably are thinking that nothing could sound worse than light beers. You might be right, but Americans don’t agree.

As the Chicago Tribune reported in January 2018, the top three best-selling beers in America are light beers. With the craft beer market turning towards saturation, it seems that Americans are showing up for Miller Lite, Coors Light, and Bud Light. So what that in mind, I took it upon myself (no one had to twist my arm) to determine my favorite light beers. I got a little drunk, mostly bloated, and very sleepy but it was all worth it.

There are two things of note before we break into the rankings. The first is that I actually tasted 15 light beers, but chopped the list to 10. The five that didn’t make the list are: Natural Light, Keystone Light, Busch Light, Labatt Blue Light, and Michelob Light. The second note is that I didn’t discriminate between American and European-made, or regional American choices. If that’s something you’d like to read, let me know in the comments and I’ll gladly taste-test 15 beers again!

10. Michelob Ultra

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Grilling season 😍 #Grilling #Beer #MichelobUltra #Kebabs #Dinner #Spring

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Growing up, I thought Michelob Ultra was the beer. It was what my mom ordered at Baltimore Orioles games and what they stocked for family BBQs. And it very well may be why I didn’t sneak so many beers when I was a kid. While it tasted better than Michelob Light (read: less like gym socks), Michelob Ultra just takes like water with a hint of caramel coloring and a touch of barley. I am so glad I don’t think it’s the beer anymore, and my tastebuds are, too. When it comes to low-calorie light beer, I’ll place my bets elsewhere.

9. Bud Light Lime

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Take me back already. 😫 #beachgirl #tybeeisland #budlight #budlightlime #iprefercorona

A post shared by Morgan Marie (@hair.with.morgan.xo) on Mar 31, 2018 at 3:26pm PDT

I chose the above photo because I agree with hair.with.morgan.xo’s hashtag: #IPreferCorona.

I knew this would be low on the list, but I wasn’t expecting it to rank in the Top 10. Honestly, I’d probably pick up Keystone Light before I grabbed a case of Bud Light Lime. Lots of people enjoy this bright yellow beer, so much so that AB InBev has even spun off other flavors that are just as terrible. The aftertaste of lime hits me like the smell of urine in the street on a hot Texas day. How did it edge out Michelob Ultra and the five left off the list? Well, at least you can taste it.

8. Dos Equis XX Special Lager

Dos Equis isn’t one of my go-to beer brands, so I was pleasantly surprised that the XX Special Lager wasn’t a trash can fire in a bottle. It’s refreshing alright, but it smells like hay in a bad way and I just cannot get behind this aroma. While it’s easy to drink because there’s so little taste, that is actually the problem. There’s too little taste and the worst part is that the aftertaste hits you like a whiskey shot dumped inside. Normally I love boilermakers, but on my own terms, please.

7. Sam Adams Light

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I tend to prefer Sam Adams’ seasonal flavors, like the Summer Ale and the Blueberry Hill Lager, over their year-round releases and this beer reminded me just why that is. The flavor was a little sweeter than the previous beers, but where Dos Equis XX had too much of an aftertaste, this beer had none at all. It’s the kind of beer your kooky aunt will let you sip at family functions because even she thinks it tastes harmless. Overall, it’s so-so, which just wasn’t enough to push it into the top.

6. Bud Light

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#budlight #dillydilly bud light bottles !!!

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Oh, the festival beer. If you’ve been to a concert, stadium, or festival in the last five years, chances are you ordered a blue-bottled Bud Light and happily went on your way to choke down the $8 beer. Comparable to the following beers but just slightly underwhelming, Bud Light is there for you when you don’t want any surprises or carbonation because that is certainly where this beer falls flat in the competition.

There aren’t enough dilly dillies in the world to bring this light beer up to snuff.

5. Heineken Premium Light

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ビール飲んだ🍻 #ビール #heinekenlight #heineken #夜飲み

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The disclaimer here is that I tend to hate Heineken, there’s just something about the malt and hop blend that turns me off from the iconic green bottles. However!

I was pleasantly surprised by Heineken Premium Light. It finishes refreshingly crisp and holds its carbonation, something that most of these beers lost as I drank my way through them. After having sworn off Heineken, this ranking has made me reconsider my own beer opinions and from now on, I’ll be ordering Heineken Lights more often when I’m in the mood for something easy and simple. It’s hard for me to even believe Heineken makes this beer, y’all.

4. Corona Light

Remember when I said I’d rather have a Corona? I also meant Corona Light. This is, without a doubt, the light beach beer and listen, I know beach beer well. In fact, the best tasting beach beers are typically light because who wants something so heavy when you’re in the hot sun and swimming all day?

One of the lowest calorie beers on this list at 103, it proves that fewer calories means less taste. At about one-quarter of the strength of Corona, the light version’s flavors are more diluted, but it still drinks easier than the rest of the beers on this list and it comes away with a fresh aftertaste. Hand me one with a lime and I’m poolside in my head.

3. Shiner Light Blonde

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Ranch days are the best days. @sidelineswagger @shinerbeer #sidelinswaggergear #shinerlightblonde #wreckem #clarendontx

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I wouldn’t expect a wildly good craft brewery to put out a good light beer because that’s just not what craft does. Spoetzl Brewery, however, proved me totally wrong with Shiner’s Light Blonde Ale. The smell isn’t too grassy or sweet, but a nice blend of the two. The taste is where Light Blonde earns its keep on this list: the hint of pale malt and slight taste of wheat pair amplify the sorghum flavor which brings out the inherent sweetness of the beer.

Pass this to me with a lime inside and I’ll happily oblige without complaint. It does lose its carbonation easily and falls flat without a warning, but it tastes way better than the average (and Bud Light, the festival standard). Also, brownie points for the witty name!

2. Yuengling Light Lager

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Bye Florida 👋🏼👋🏼👋🏼 #yuengling #americasoldestbrewery

A post shared by Elaine (@eatitallelaine) on Mar 16, 2018 at 1:13pm PDT

Because I went to Penn State before the craft brewery boom began, I was chugging Yuengling Lights (Mom, it was a little more ladylike than chugging, I promise) at tailgates and house parties. It seems that everyone else in Pennsylvania knew it was a step up from Natty Light and Keystone Light, too.

So why is Yuengling Light in the second spot of this list? I kid you not, this tastes nearly identical to Yuengling. Show me a light beer that mimics its full-bodied sister this well and I’ll gladly take you to task (Anheuser-Busch, what happened with Bud Light). The carbonation stands through the whole can and the effervescence brightens the pleasant malt and barley flavor instead of overwhelming it.

Perhaps the best part about Yuengling Light is that it’s around $10 for a 12-pack, making it one of the cheapest on this list so it’s a good thing that it tastes great. While it’s not the best light beer, it’s damn close and one of my favorite beers. There, I said it.

1. Miller Lite

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I like Miller Lite💕 #snowboarder #snowboard #miller #lite #millerlite #beerday #맥주 #맥주파티 #밀러 #밀러라이트 #killington #꽃보더 #스노우보더 #스노우보드

A post shared by Kim Shino Minzy (@kim_shino) on Apr 5, 2018 at 1:30pm PDT

After waxing poetic about Yuengling Light, you might wonder how Miller Lite could ever top it. There are a few reasons, but the fact that Miller Lite is readily available nationwide helps. I won’t fault America’s oldest brewery for that, though. Here’s how Miller Lite pulled ahead of my old Pennsylvania favorite.

It’s perfectly complex, and while the flavor profile isn’t as strong as IPAs out there, it certainly holds its own. Factor in that it’s a light beer and that statement matters even more. It has a simple and familiar flavor profile, I know I’m drinking a beer, but I’m also not feeling the typical bloat or heaviness that’s associated with beer.

It’s also one of the lightest on this list, but for a pilsner, it’s pretty damn good. The taste and finish is clean and when it comes to other light beers on the market, it completely blows away the competition. Except for Yuengling Light, which remains a close second.

This post was originally published on April 6, 2018.

Watch: Meet These 11 Award-Winning Texas Breweries

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“Better-for-you” beers with lower calories, carbohydrates, and alcohol by volume (ABV) are out in full swing. VinePair gathered a panel to blind-taste and rank more than 30 beers marketed to consumers as having “healthier” ingredients and calorie counts. Given the vast array of options, we divided them into two categories: lagers and ales.

Our criteria: The beers had to have 150 calories or less per 12-ounce serving, and less than 5 percent ABV. All 18 of our picks ended up under 145 calories, equivalent to a PBR. All but three are less caloric than a Miller High Life (141 calories per 12 ounces), and eight fall equal to or under Bud Light’s 110 calories. One even sneaks in at 95 calories, a single calorie less than Miller Lite. To determine whether these beers are actually tastier than the macro light lagers and health-conscious options they mimic, we also blind-tasted Michelob Ultra Light and Michelob Ultra Pure Gold.

Here are 18 of the best low-alcohol, low-calorie lagers and ales, tasted and ranked.

8. Ballast Point Lager

San Diego, CA
Calories: 99
Carbs: 3.5
ABV: 4.2%

This all-day sipper was neither flavor-packed nor boring, a reverse-engineered marvel of malt-forward simplicity with a touch of hop character. At just 99 calories, one panelist said, “that’s hard to beat.”

7. Boston Beer Sam Light

Boston, MA
Calories: 119
Carbs: 9.6
ABV: 4.3%

Shoppers may be surprised when this “light” beer lands in their glasses due to its amber hue, a contrast to the bottle’s Bud Light-like label. Far from the typical light lager, Sam Light “smells like fall,” one taster said. Others chimed in “Oktoberfest” and “a mild festbier, or a pumpkin beer light.”

6. Deschutes Da Shootz!

Bend, OR
Calories: 99
Carbs: 4.2
ABV: 4%

Pale and cloudy with a slight sulfur note on the nose, this pilsner improved with each sip. “The flavor makes up for the smell,” said one taster, noting that most will likely sip this from a can, rather than sniffing it in a tulip glass. “It’s very light and herbal, like a hoppy pilsner,” said another. Its lightly bitter finish was crisp and refreshing.

5. Zelus Beer Company Lyte Fest Festbier

Medfield, MA
Calories: 150
Carbs: N/A
ABV: 4.8%

Initial reactions spanned “smells like college” to having a “salty, pickled” note, but our panel unanimously agreed on one thing: This did not taste like a light beer. “I forgot we were tasting low-cal lagers for a second,” one panelist said. Lyte Fest’s hoppy flavor, medium body, and bitter finish made it one panelist’s favorite.

4. Full Sail Session Light Premium Lager

Hood River, OR
Calories: 100
Carbs: 6
ABV: 3.6%

This yellow-gold light lager “looks like a cartoon-colored beer,” one taster said. It also “smells like bread” and has a frothy texture on the palate, “like marshmallows,” said another panelist, who concluded, “This is a really decent light lager.”

3. Uinta Baba Black Lager

Salt Lake City, UT
Calories: 120
Carbs: 11
ABV: 4%

Coffee and subtle chocolate aromas surprised us at first, so delighted were we with this 120-calorie black lager’s stout or porter flavors in a feathery light package. Panelists described this beer as “delicious for a light stout or low-cal porter.” Smoky notes and a roasty finish pleased some tasters, although one wished the finish were crisper.

2. Shiner Ruby Redbird

Shiner, TX
Calories: 95
Carbs: 3.1
ABV: 4%

Citrus and baking spice on the nose drew in curious panelists, who eventually called out their origins: grapefruit and ginger. One taster said this beer would make a perfect pairing with Japanese fare, especially sushi.

1. Jack’s Abby Blood Orange Wheat

Framingham, MA
Calories: 130
Carbs: 11
ABV: 4%

This beer said “citrus” from start to finish, from its pinkish hue to its grapefruit, orange, and, finally, blood orange aromas and flavors. Like “pink Champagne” with a softer texture, this radler’s slightly sweet flavor was both satisfying and thirst-quenching. “I would crush this,” one panelist said. Another summed it up as an “elevated Corona and orange juice,” which is definitely something we need to try ASAP.

10. Sufferfest Repeat Kolsch With Bee Pollen

San Francisco, CA
Calories: 95
Carbs: 5
ABV: 3.5%

This kolsch pours “very clear, like a lager,” one panelist said. Herbal, floral notes seesawed with citrus until one taster said “it tastes more like plants than fruits.” This beer is made with bee pollen, which could explain its grassy, dandelion-like flavor.

9. Zelus Beer Company Long Run Apricot Pale Ale

Medfield, MA
Calories: 141
Carbs: N/A
ABV: 4.7%

Hazy, full-bodied, and malt-forward with a bitter finish, Long Run Apricot Pale Ale is “both sweeter and more bitter” than tasters were expecting. “It tastes like straight-up IPA.” Although the apricot was subtle, one panelist picked up on a lychee-like aroma.

8. Boston Beer Marathon Brewing 26.2

Boston, MA
Calories: 120
Carbs: 9
ABV: 4%

Fans of this newcomer from Boston Beer’s Marathon Brewing label applauded its malt-forward flavor and “iced-tea-like” citrusy sweet note. “It’s like the Arnold Palmer of beers,” one panelist said. “This is exactly what I want in a beer,” said another.

7. Boulevard Easy Sport Recreation Ale

Kansas City, MO
Calories: 99
Carbs: 4.5
ABV: 4.1%

This beer made with tangerine peel and sea salt starts with cereal flavors, “like Cheerios,” then lifts the senses with a zingy acidity. Its citrusy, salty flavor reminded one taster of yuzu. “I feel like this is a good beer to drink on its own, without food,” another panelist said.

6. Harpoon Rec. League

Boston, MA
Calories: 120
Carbs: N/A
ABV: 3.8%

Harpoon nails the low-alcohol hazy IPA with Rec. League. It’s lightly hoppy with pineapple and tropical aromas, and has clementine and tangerine flavors. On the palate, it’s dry and pleasantly pithy, with a refreshing finish. However, some tasters found it “too hoppy,” “less beachy,” and not ideal “to drink after sweating” compared to other beers we tasted.

5. Southern Tier Swipe Light

Lakewood, NY
Calories: 110
Carbs: 6.5
ABV: 4%

Swipe Light emerged a favorite for its simple refreshment. At first, tasters detected “something earthy” and “funky, but in a good way,” on the nose. It also has “a nice, crisp mouthfeel,” “hydrating” refreshment, and a crisp finish. “I’d pound this on the beach with a greasy burger,” said one panelist.

4. Avery Brewing El Gose

Boulder, CO
Calories: 142
Carbs: 11.6
ABV: 4.5%

Tasters found this beer’s bright, golden color and fruity aroma inviting, “like lemonade.” “It smells very pleasant,” one taster said. Another fan called it “quintessential American gose — salt, coriander, lemon-lime flavor, and just a little overly tart.”

3. Firestone Walker Easy Jack IPA

Paso Robles, CA
Calories: 120
Carbs: N/A
ABV: 4%

“This has a floral thing going on,” one panelist said. She was also struck by its “beachy” aroma, “like a sea breeze.” A fruity hop finish that “lingers just right” made this a quick favorite.

2. Uinta Saddleback Brut IPA

Salt Lake City, UT
Calories: 113
Carbs: 3.9
ABV: 4%

“It’s a little fruity, but doesn’t hit you over the head with it,” one taster said of this brut IPA’s tropical passionfruit aroma. “Nice color, nice body, good flavor mid-palate — this is a top contender,” said another panelist. “I could drink this alone or with food.” It also has a gradual, nuanced finish that one taster described as “excellent.”

1. Lagunitas Daytime Ale

Petaluma, CA
Calories: 98
Carbs: 3
ABV: 4%

This ale’s citrusy, herbal, and lemongrass aromas transported one taster to a summer barbecue. Light yet flavorful like the best kind of session IPAs, “the flavor is not compromised at all,” another panelist said. “Wow, this is good. This is really good,” one taster, who is a hazebro, concluded.

SYRACUSE, NY — Bud Light is still the “king” of American draft beer. It’s followed by Miller Lite, Coors Light and perhaps the lightest of all — Michelob Ultra.

Those are the top-selling beer brands in this year’s annual survey from BeerBoard, a Syracuse-based company that uses tech and data research to monitor beer sales at more than 60,000 taps in thousands of locations across the country.

Overall, BeerBoard found, American draft beer sales increased 7.1 percent in 2019 over the previous year. Sales were up in seven of the eight regions tracked by BeerBoard — only the Northeast (including New York state) saw a drop in sales.

Some beers and styles, of course, are more popular than others. Once again, light lagers lead the way, followed by regular lagers, then IPAs.

Domestic beers continued to grow as a segment, reaching 53.1% of sales in 2019 after weighing in at 51.5% in 2018 and filling just below 50% in 2017. Craft beers had 32.7%,of sales in 2019, followed by imports at 14.2%.

Here are more facts and figures from its 2019 pour report, based on year-to-year, same-store sales:

Top brands

(Rank/brand/year-to-year sales change)

1. Bud Light +5.5%

2. Miller Lite +7.9%

3. Coors Light +10.8%

4. Michelob Ultra +12.8%

5. Blue Moon -2.7%

6. Dos Equis -9.1%

7. Modelo Especiál +11.2%

8. Budwesier -5.3%

9. Lagunitas IPA +13

10. Stella Artois -10.6%

Note: The top three brands remained unchanged from 2018.

Top styles

#1 Light Lager

#2 Lager

#3 IPA

#4 Belgian Wit / White Ale

#5 Wheat/Hefeweizen

Note: Light lagers now account for 48.5% of the “pour volume” across the country, BeerBoard reports.

What about IPAs?

The top seller among IPAs is Lagunitas IPA, from a California brewer that is now owned by Heineken. Its sales grew 13% for the year overall. Bells Two Hearted jumped from the #4 IPA in 2018 to #2 in 2019, despite a 10.5% sales drop. Ballast Point Sculpin IPA fell to the #3 beer in the IPA category after losing 28% in sales for the year.

About BeerBoard

BeerBoard, headquartered at 225 W. Jefferson St. in Armory Square, monitors more than $1 billion in beer sales. Its clients include national chains like Buffalo Wild Wings, Hooters, Applebee’s, Twin Peaks, Mellow Mushroom and BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse. It’s also been adding breweries to its client list, and offers services to brands like Heineken, Diageo (the parent of Guinness), Genesee, Labatt USA, Lagunitas, Stone Brewing and Founders.

BeerBoard’s products include SmartBar, which generates real-time data insights on what the bar is pouring; BeerBoardTV, big screen digital menus visible from the bar or dining area; BeerBoard Menu, automated print and website menus; and BeerBoard Mobile, a mobile application designed for consumers.

All that gives BeerBoard the data it can use to determine the most popular beers, and beer styles, for the accounts it serves.

BeerBoard periodically mines its date to produce special reports, such as beer sales for Super Bowl Sunday, market rankings for Thanksgiving Eve, and the most popular beers for Dad on Father’s Day.

Don Cazentre writes about craft beer, wine, spirits and beverages for NYup.com, syracuse.com and The Post-Standard. Reach him at [email protected], or follow him at NYup.com, on Twitter or Facebook.

Thanks for visiting Syracuse.com. Quality local journalism has never been more important, and your subscription matters. Not a subscriber yet? Please consider supporting our work.

Among Anheuser-Busch’s top brands, to paraphrase a recent Bloomberg report, Budweiser may be “the King of Beers,” but Michelob Ultra is the crown jewel.

Michelob Ultra is a relative newcomer to Anheuser-Busch’s suite of light lagers. Launched in 2002, it now accounts for 10 percent of Anheuser-Busch’s U.S. business. The fast and furious success of this “superior light beer” can be attributed to its strongest trait: marketing to athletic, calorie-counting conservatives.

Pumped to learn more? Here are 11 more things you should know about Michelob Ultra.

Michelob Ultra is an anomaly.

Anheuser-Busch (A-B) introduced Michelob Ultra in 2002, and it’s sold like marketing magic ever since. As A-B market share declines, Michelob Ultra market share grows.

According to market research firm IRI, dollar sales of Mich Ultra siblings Budweiser and Bud Light both declined during the first four months of 2019 (4.4 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively). Michelob Ultra dollar sales increased 15.5 percent in the same period. By July 2019, “the brand in on $1 billion in sales,” Brewbound reports.

Michelob Ultra is a top-tier beer.

When Anheuser-Busch announced its first-quarter results to industry members in 2019, it brought another win to light: Michelob Ultra became the third-largest beer brand in the U.S. That put it behind No. 1 and No. 2, Bud Light and Coors Light; leap-frogging over Budweiser and Miller Lite, which were previously No. 3. and No. 4, respectively.

Michelob Ultra is a family of four.

Currently, there are four Michelob Ultra recipes in the brand family: The original Michelob Ultra “Superior Light Beer” launched in 2002. In 2018, innovations started ramping up.

In February 2018, A-B launched Michelob Ultra Pure Gold, an organic version of the light lager billed as the first USDA-certified organic beer from a national brewer.

A little over a year later, the brand launched Michelob Ultra Infusions, a new version of the beer flavored with “exotic fruit.” The first label, Lime & Prickly Pear Cactus, launched in March 2019; and Pomegranate & Agave is expected to be next.

Finally, in 2019, it also launched Michelob Ultra Amber Max, a gluten-reduced version of the beer made “with three ancient grains with notes of blue agave and rye,” in select markets, according to Fortune. Michelob Ultra Amber Max is “crafted to remove gluten,” according to the company.

Michelob Ultra is the Gatorade of beer.

In a 2019 interview with Bloomberg TV, AB InBev chief executive officer Carlos Brito said of Michelob Ultra: “If you work out and go out, no need to compromise, because it’s a great-tasting beer with less carbs, less calories, less alcohol for you to be able to have that active lifestyle.” For more than a decade, Michelob Ultra has been marketed as a sports drink, with ads featuring the likes of Lance Armstrong in 2010, and three-time Olympic gold medalist beach volleyball star Kerri Walsh Jennings in 2019.

Speaking to Fortune, Spiros Malandrakis, head of alcoholic drinks at research firm Euromonitor International, said Michelob Ultra capitalized on the rising trend of health and wellness more than any other premium lager. “Running, marathons, and a healthy lifestyle — that wasn’t typically focused on beer,” Malandrakis said.

Michelob Ultra was originally made for seniors? OK Boomer.

So, the message is clear: This light lager is for youthful, active types and marathon runners, right? Not so fast. It turns out the young, sporty audience Michelob Ultra enjoys today was an accident. According to AdAge, Michelob Ultra launched with a different target in mind: baby boomers. The brand and its tagline — “Lose the carbs. Not the taste.” — was meant to resonate with Atkins-dieting seniors.

Michelob Ultra is fad-diet-friendly.

Although Atkins may be out of style, Michelob Ultra drinkers are still celebrating its low-carb count. The latest dieters’ accolade? It’s keto-friendly. “Michelob Ultra is making dreams come true for keto dieters,” Women’s Health reported in March 2019. It referred to Michelob Ultra Infusions, a new line of fruit-flavored light lager. Women’s Health’s Marissa Gainsburg also referred to Michelob Ultra as a “beloved keto-friendly, low-calorie light beer.”

This is because “the keto diet requires consuming fewer than 50 net carbs per day (and ideally no more than 20) in order to encourage the body to burn fat for energy, in a state called ketosis (hence the name),” Gainsburg wrote. While that typically means beer is a no-no — and fruit, too — Michelob Ultra Infusions “is truly giving keto dieters the best of both worlds,” she wrote.

It’s the calories and carbs that count.

Michelob Ultra keeps its stats low. The 4.2-percent-ABV beer has just 95 calories per 12-ounce serving. That’s less than the calorie count in almost every competitor, including Bud Light (110 calories), Coors Light (102 calories), and Miller Lite (96 calories). Michelob Ultra has the same amount of calories as Natural Light and Busch Light, but beats the other two in the carb department — Michelob Ultra has 2.6 grams of carbohydrates per serving, while Natural Light and Busch Light have 3.2 grams each.

Meanwhile, Michelob Ultra Organic dips even lower, to 85 calories per 12-ounce serving.

Republicans love Michelob Ultra.

A 2019 study on alcohol preferences among American voters revealed that Republicans’ beer of choice is Michelob Ultra, followed by other light beers such as Miller Lite, Coors Light, and Bud Light.

Republicans also reach for diet sodas, according to the report. Democrats, meanwhile, reach for Mexican lagers such as Corona, Modelo, and Tecate.

Many people take Michelob Ultra personally.

Many consumer publications, blogs, and websites have felt the need to define Michelob Ultra as something other than what it is: a light lager made with malted barley, rice, hops, water, and yeast.

In a Fox News article titled, “What a Man’s Choice in Beer Reveals About His Personality,” Michelob Ultra is defined as “The Guy Drinking Low-Cal Beer: Besides his ultra-strict diet … there’s nothing really ultra about this guy. He might be young and beautiful, but he’s a bit conceited. He has a strong, confident opinion, but can also be confrontational and controlling. Perhaps he’s into you, but he’s probably more into himself.”

A similar article in AdAge, “What Your Taste in Beer Says About You,” based on an actual study, says: “Michelob Ultra drinkers rate high in superiority; that is, they think highly of themselves and can be a little bit conceited. They care what other people think about them and want to appear perfect. They also tend to be take-charge types with strong opinions, and can even be confrontational. Michelob Ultra drinkers are 43 percent more likely than the average person to consider sustainability a priority, and 34 percent more likely to buy life insurance.”

Michelob Ultra ads are fun, and made fun of.

Michelob Ultra ran two Super Bowl ads for the first time ever in 2018. Both starred Chris Pratt, the first a “meta,” tongue-in-cheek ad following Pratt as he “trains” for his big role as the Mich Ultra spokesperson; and a second, “real” ad featuring Pratt, along with golfer Brooks Koepka and surfer Kelly Slater.

Perhaps a more memorable Super Bowl ad was the spoof commercial for Michelob Sport, a “healthy” light beer targeting outdoorsy bros who want to be better hikers.

You can drink Mich Ultra and wear it, too.

Michelob Ultra is a longtime supporter of running events. It’s the official beer of the Turkey Trotters. At the 2020 New York City Marathon, Michelob Ultra will debut Michelob Ultra-branded shoes from Newton Running. Not a fan of racing or fancy sneakers? You can also enjoy Michelob Ultra workout playlists on Spotify.

Different Types of Beer

With over 3,000 craft breweries in the United States, it’s safe to say that craft beer is bigger than ever. Knowing about the different types of beer can help your employees and bartenders make recommendations and suggestions about the best food and beer pairings. Additionally, knowing about the different types of beer can help you choose the right glass for each beer and potentially upsell customers to boost profits.

Different Styles of Beer

Click on the links below to learn more about your favorite style of beer:

How is Beer Categorized?

All beers are either lagers or ales, and that’s determined by the type of yeast used during the fermentation process. Lagers are made with yeast that ferments at the bottom of the beer mixture, and ales are made with yeast that ferments at the top. There are also spontaneously fermenting yeasts, which make wild or sour ales.

Once you’ve figured out if your beer is a lager or an ale, there is further differentiation determined by the flavor, color, and aroma of the beer. These determine what style family a given beer falls into. Within that style family, there are varieties, which have even more distinct characteristics.

For example, an American Lager and a German Helles are both lagers that belong to the “pale lagers and pilsners” style family. They are two different varieties of beer, however, and while they are similar, they are also distinctly different. Think of the different varieties like brothers; they have definite similarities, but ultimately, they are each their own person.

Read on to learn more about the three different ways beer ferments:

What is Top Fermentation?

The yeast that is used in ale production ferments throughout the beer and settles at the top of the liquid. It has a higher tolerance to alcohol and ferments at warmer temperatures when compared to the yeast that’s used to make lager.

Top Fermenting Styles of Beer

Here are some examples of top fermenting beers:

  • Brown Ale
  • Pale Ale
  • India Pale Ale (IPA)
  • Porter
  • Stout
  • Belgian Style Beer
  • Wheat Beer

What is Bottom Fermentation?

The yeast used in lager production is more fragile than what’s used to make ale, and it settles at the bottom of the liquid vessel after fermentation. It needs to ferment more slowly and at cooler temperatures than the yeast that’s used in ale production, and it has a lower tolerance to alcohol.

Bottom Fermenting Styles of Beer

Here are a few examples of bottom fermenting beers:

  • Pale Lagers and Pilsners
  • Dark Lagers
  • German-Style Bocks

What is Spontaneous Fermentation?

Lambics and sour beers are made with a process called spontaneous fermentation. This type of fermentation occurs when beer is exposed to wild bacteria and yeast. These beers originated in Belgium, but brewers all over the world have found ways to manipulate this process to create sour, funky-tasting beers of their own.

Spontaneous Fermenting Styles of Beer

Here are a few examples of spontaneous fermenting beers:

  • American Sour
  • Belgian Fruit Lambic
  • Flanders Red Ale
  • Belgian Gueuze

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Different Styles and Varieties of Beer

Check out the tables below to learn about the different styles and varieties of beer.

Types of Pale Lagers and Pilsners

Pale lager and pilsners are golden-colored beers that are lighter in flavor and lower in alcohol content. This style of beer became popular in what is now modern Czech Republic and Germany.

American Lager

American lager is light in flavor, color, and alcohol content, and is often produced in large quantities.

ABV: 3.2-4.0% IBU: 5-15

Examples: Budweiser, Coors, Pabst Blue Ribbon

Pairs With: American cuisine, spicy food

Serving Temperature: 30-40 F

German Helles

German helles is maltier than a traditional pilsner and features a bright gold color.

ABV: 4.8-5.6% IBU:18-25

Examples: Victory Helles Lager, Stoudt’s Gold Lager

Pairs With: German cuisine, pork, brie

Serving Temperature: 40-45 F

German Pilsner

German pilsner is pale gold in color with a medium hop flavor and a slight note of maltiness.

ABV: 4.6-5.3% IBU: 25-40

Examples: Tröegs Sunshine Pils, Sierra Nevada’s Nooner Pilsner

Pairs With: German cuisine, poultry, fish, spicy cheese

Serving Temperature: 40-45 F

Czech or Bohemian Pilsner

Czech or bohemian pilsner is a straw-colored beer with a noticeably bitter hop flavor. These beers can sometimes have a floral aroma.

ABV: 4.1-5.1% IBU: 30-45

Examples: Lagunitas PILS, Dogfish Head Piercing Pils

Pairs With: Spicy food, Asian cuisine, sharp cheddar cheese

Serving Temperature: 40-45 F

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Types of Dark Lagers

Dark lager is malty and smooth, with toasted caramel flavors. These beers tend to have mid-range alcohol content and lower bitterness profiles.

Amber American Lager

Amber lager features prevalent malt flavors with varying levels of hoppiness. This beer is also characterized by a darker color, caramel aroma, and smooth taste.

ABV: 4.8-5.4% IBU: 18-30

Examples: Yuengling Lager, Samuel Adams Boston Lager

Pairs With: American cuisine, poultry and beef, cheddar

Serving Temperature: 45-50 F


Named for the celebration in Munich, Oktoberfest is a full-bodied beer with a rich, toasted flavor and a dark copper color.

ABV: 5.1-6.0% IBU: 18-25

Examples: Paulaner Oktoberfest-Märzen, Victory Brewing Company Festbier

Pairs With: German cuisine, meat and vegetables, spicy cheese

Serving Temperature: 45-50 F

German Schwarzbier

Schwarzbier is a dark beer that is surprisingly light in flavor. Schwarzbiers are less malty than would be expected, but still boast a slight sweetness.

ABV: 3.8-4.9% IBU: 22-30

Examples: Shiner Bohemian Black Lager, Guinness Black Lager

Pairs With: German cuisine, spicy food, muenster cheese

Serving Temperature: 40-45 F

Vienna Lager

Vienna lager is reddish in color with a sweet malty flavor. These beers boast a subtle hop flavor and crisp drinkability.

ABV: 4.5-5.5% IBU: 22-28

Examples: Dos Equis Amber Lager, Great Lakes Eliot Ness, Blue Point Toasted Lager

Pairs With: German cuisine, Mexican cuisine, pork, spicy cheese

Serving Temperature: 40-45 F

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Types of German Bocks

Bocks are heavy on malty flavor, making them sweet and nutty. Bocks have lower alcohol levels, while doppelbocks, weizenbocks, and maibocks move up the alcohol scale.

Traditional Bock

The bock is a malty, sweet beer with a toasty flavor and a dark copper color.

ABV: 6.3-7.5% IBU: 20-30

Examples: Samuel Adams Winter Lager, Great Lakes Rockefeller Bock

Pairs With: German cuisine, meat and vegetables, chocolate, Camembert cheese

Serving Temperature: 40-45 F


Doppelbocks are stronger than the traditional style and boast a higher alcohol content and a fuller body.

ABV: 6.6-7.9% IBU: 17-27

Examples: Tröegs Troegenator Double Bock, Samuel Adams Double Bock

Pairs With: Heavy foods like red meat, pork, or ham, and sharp cheeses

Serving Temperature: 40-45 F


Weizenbocks are wheat bocks and can take on fruity, malty flavors.

ABV: 7.0-9.5% IBU: 15-35

Examples: Victory Brewing Company’s Moonglow, Southern Tier Brewing Company’s Goat Boy

Pairs With: German cuisine, meat and poultry, chocolate

Serving Temperature: 40-45 F


Maibocks are more pale and hoppy than traditional bocks, although the malt flavor is still present.

ABV: 6.0-8.0% IBV: 20-38

Examples: Capital Maibock, Hofbräu Maibock, Smuttynose Maibock

Pairs With: Italian and German cuisines, fish and shellfish, asiago and swiss cheese

Serving Temperature: 45-50 F

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Types of Brown Ales

Brown ales feature malty overtones and tend to have toasty, caramel flavors. They typically feature mid-range alcohol content and hop bitterness.

American Brown Ale

American brown ale is a dark beer without the bitterness of porters and stouts. This style boasts a dark caramel color and a medium to full-bodied profile.

ABV: 4.2-6.3% IBU: 25-45

Examples: Brooklyn Brown Ale, Sierra Nevada Tumbler Autumn Brown

Pairs With: American cuisine, heavy foods like beef stew, red meat

Serving Temperature: 45-50 F

English Brown Ale

English brown ale features a nutty malt flavor with a caramel aroma.

ABV: 4.0-5.5% IBU: 15-25

Examples: Newcastle Brown Ale, City Star Brewing’s Bandit Brown

Pairs With: American cuisine, heavy foods, red meat, poultry, gouda cheese

Serving Temperature: 40-45 F

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Types of Pale Ales

Pale ales are generally hoppy but lower in alcohol content than IPAs. They are typically light, drinkable beers.

American Amber Ale

American amber ale is a malty, medium-bodied beer with a caramel flavor and amber color.

ABV: 4.4-6.1% IBU: 25-45

Examples: Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale, Stone Brewing Company’s Levitation Ale

Pairs With: American cuisine, meat, fish, bleu cheese

Serving Temperature: 40-45 F

American Pale Ale

American pale ale is a medium-bodied beer with a noticable hop flavor and a light copper color.

ABV: 4.4-5.4% IBU: 30-50

Examples: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s Pale Ale, Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale

Pairs With: Fish and seafood, poultry, cheddar cheese

Serving Temperature: 40-45 F

Blonde Ale

Blonde ales balance the flavors of malt and hops nicely, and they often have a fruity aroma.

ABV: 4.1-5.1% IBU: 15-25

Examples: Victory Brewing Company’s Summer Love, Flying Fish Brewing Company’s Farmhouse Summer Ale

Pairs With: Italian cuisine, spicy food, fish, pepper jack cheese

Serving Temperature: 35-40 F

English Bitter

English bitters are named for the bitter flavor that the hops present. They have fruity flavors and lower alcohol content.

ABV: 3.0-4.2% IBU: 20-35

Examples: Sharp’s Brewery’s Doom Bar Bitter, Surly Brewing Company’s Bitter Brewer

Pairs With: Fried food, fish, feta cheese

Serving Temperature: 45-50 F

English Pale Ale

Also known as “extra special bitters,” English pale ales have a strong hop flavor that is balanced by sweet malt.

ABV: 4.5-5.5% IBU: 20-40

Examples: Black Sheep Ale, Flying Fish Extra Pale Ale

Pairs With: American and English cuisines, meat, and English cheeses

Serving Temperature: 40-45 F

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Types of India Pale Ales (IPAs)

IPAs (short for India pale ales) boast strong hop bitterness with piney and floral flavors. These beers also have high alcohol content.

American IPA

American IPAs have more hops, big herbal or citrus flavors, and high bitterness compared to pale ale.

ABV: 6.3-7.5% IBU: 50-70

Examples: Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA

Pairs With: American and Indian cuisines, meat, poultry, fish, and gorgonzola cheese

Serving Temperature: 40-45 F

Imperial or Double IPA

Imperial or Double IPAs are American IPAs, but with a stronger flavor, hop bitterness, and a higher alcohol content.

ABV: 7.0-14.0% IBU: 65-100

Examples: Russian River Brewing Company’s Pliny the Elder, Lagunitas Maximus

Pairs With: American cuisine, meat, fish, and sharp cheddar

Serving Temperature: 45-50 F

English IPA

English IPAs are similar to the American style, but with a weaker hop flavor and lower alcohol content.

ABV: 5.0-7.0% IBU: 35-63

Examples: Goose Island India Pale Ale, Shipyard IPA, Samuel Smith’s India Ale

Pairs With: American and Indian cuisines, fish, and parmesan cheese

Serving Temperature: 40-45 F

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Types of Porters

Porters are all dark in color, and they feature flavors reminiscent of chocolate, coffee, and caramel. They tend to be more chocolatey than brown ales, and less coffee-like than stouts.

American Imperial Porter

American imperial porters are dark in color, but lacking in burnt malt taste. They also boast a malty sweetness.

ABV: 7.0-12.0% IBU: 35-50

Examples: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s Porter, Stone Smoked Porter

Pairs With: American cuisine, barbecue, meat, and asiago cheese

Serving Temperature: 40-45 F

English Brown Porter

English brown porter is similar to the American style, but usually with a lower alcohol content and less malt sweetness.

ABV: 4.5-6.0% IBU: 20-30

Examples: Shipyard Longfellow Winter Ale, Arcadia London Porter

Pairs With: American and English cuisines, meat, chocolate, and fontina cheese

Serving Temperature: 50-55 F

Robust Porter

Robust porters are stronger and more bitter than a brown porter with a subtle caramel flavor.

ABV: 5.1-6.6% IBU: 25-40

Examples: Smuttynose Robust Porter, Thomas Hooker Imperial Porter

Pairs With: American and English cuisines, heavy foods like stew, and colby cheese

Serving Temperature: 40-45 F
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Types of Stouts

Stouts are dark beers that are similar to porters, but with stronger roasted flavors. This style also features mid to high alcohol levels.

American Stout

American stouts feature malt flavors working to create strong chocolate and coffee notes, but without overpowering hop bitterness.

ABV: 5.7-8.9% IBU: 35-60

Examples: Highland Black Mocha Stout, Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout

Pairs With: Heavy foods, meat, oysters, chocolate, and brie cheese

Serving Temperature: 45-50 F

American Imperial Stout

American imperial stouts are strong dark beers with a malty flavor and a deep black color.

ABV: 7.0-12.0% IBU: 50-80

Examples: Dogfish Head Brewery’s Worldwide Stout, Stoudt’s Fat Dog Imperial Stout, Bell’s Java Stout

Pairs With: Heavy foods, poultry, aged cheddar

Serving Temperature: 45-50 F

Oatmeal Stout

As their name suggests, oatmeal stouts feature oatmeal in their malt blend. This adds smoothness and sweetness to the beer.

ABV: 3.8-6.0% IBU: 20-40

Examples: Young’s Oatmeal Stout, Tröegs Java Head Stout

Pairs With: Meat, shellfish, chocolate, camembert cheese

Serving Temperature: 50-55 F

Milk Stout

Lactose sugar adds a sweet caramel or chocolate flavor to milk stouts.

ABV: 4.0-7.0% IBU: 15-25

Examples: Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, Lancaster Brewing Company’s Milk Stout, Samuel Adams Cream Stout

Pairs With: Mexican cuisine, beef, chocolate, ice cream, and cheddar or goat cheese

Serving Temperature: 50-55 F

Irish Dry Stout

Irish dry stouts are dark beers; black in color with a bitterness that comes from roasted barley.

ABV: 3.8-5.0% IBU: 30-40

Examples: Guinness Draught, Murphy’s Irish Stout, Beamish Irish Stout

Pairs With: Heavy food like beef and stew, barbecue, burgers

Serving Temperature: 45-50 F

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Types of Belgian Styles

Belgian beers are known for their spiced, sweet, and fruity flavors and high alcohol content. Despite their high alcohol content, belgians are usually low in bitterness.

Belgian Pale Ale

Belgian pale ale contains a toasted malt flavor that is subtle enough to not overpower the taste of the hops.

ABV: 4.0-6.0% IBU: 20-30

Examples: Weyerbacher Brewing Company’s Verboten, Samuel Adams Belgian Session

Pairs With: American cuisine, fried food, fish, salad, and tangy cheeses

Serving Temperature: 45-50 F

Belgian Dubbel

Belgian dubbels feature rich and malty flavor with a spicy, fruity note.

ABV: 6.3-7.6% IBU: 20-35

Examples: Chimay Premiere, Blue Moon Winter Abbey Ale, Flying Fish Abbey Dubbel

Pairs With: American cuisine, barbecue, meat, and Limburger cheese

Serving Temperature: 50-55 F

Belgian Tripel

Belgian trippels are lighter-bodied beers with a slight hoppy bitterness and a high alcohol content.

ABV: 7.1-10.1% IBU: 20-45

Examples: Victory Golden Monkey, Weyerbacher Merry Monks

Pairs With: Pasta dishes, meat, poultry, gouda cheese

Serving Temperature: 45-50 F

Belgian Quadrupel

Belgian quadrupels are dark brown, full-bodied beers that exhibit flavors like brown sugar and fruit. They also have a very high alcohol content.

ABV: 7.2-11.2% IBU: 25-50

Examples: Weyerbacher QUAD, Brewery Ommegang Three Philosophers

Pairs With: Smoked meat, goose, brie cheese

Serving Temperature: 50-55 F

Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Belgian strong dark ale features a very high alcohol content with complex fruity flavors.

ABV: 7.0-15.0% IBU: 20-50

Examples: Bell’s Brewery’s Hell Hath No Fury Ale, Dogfish Head Brewery’s Raison D’Être

Pairs With: American cuisine, barbecue, bleu cheese

Serving Temperature: 45-50 F

Belgian Saison

Saisons (also known as farmhouse ales) have earthy notes and a medium hop flavor.

ABV: 4.4-6.8% IBU: 20-38

Examples: Samuel Adams Rustic Saison, Dogfish Head Brewery’s Noble Rot, Victory Brewing Company’s Helios

Pairs With: Indian and Asian cuisine, poultry, seafood, and parmesan cheese

Serving Temperature: 45-50 F

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Types of Wheat Beers

As you might have guessed, wheat beers use wheat as their malt. They are generally lighter in color and alcohol content. Their tangy flavors go great with fruit, and brewers often add seasonal fruits to wheat beer.

American Pale Wheat

American pale wheat beer is pale in color, lower in alcohol content, and with a light bready flavor.

ABV: 3.5-5.6% IBU: 10-35

Examples: Blue Moon Summer Honey Wheat, Shipyard Summer Ale

Pairs With: Mexican cuisine, spicy food, poultry, and mozzarella cheese

Serving Temperature: 45-50 F

Belgian Witbier

Witbier gets its name from its white color, and has a light, fruity flavor to match.

ABV: 4.8-5.6% IBU: 10-17

Examples: Hoegaarden White Ale, Dogfish Head Brewery’s Namaste, Blue Moon Belgian White, Victory Brewing Company’s Whirlwind Witbier

Pairs With: Seafood, poultry, pork, salad, and soft cheeses

Serving Temperature: 45-50 F

Berliner Weisse

Berliner Weisse is tart, sour beer with a pale color. Sometimes raspberry syrup is added to dull the sour taste.

ABV: 2.8-3.4% IBU: 3-6

Examples: Dogfish Head’s Festina Peche, Freetail Brewing Company’s Yo Soy Un Berliner

Pairs With: German Cuisine, ham, salad, and soft cheeses

Serving Temperature: 45-50 F


Dunkelweizen is a darker version of a Hefeweizen. These beers have a malty flavor with hints of banana.

ABV: 4.8-5.4% IBU: 10-15

Examples: Samuel Adams Dunkelweizen, Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse Dunkel

Pairs With: German and Indian cuisines, fish, and goat cheese

Serving Temperature: 40-45 F


Hefeweizen is a light colored wheat beer with a crisp taste that can sometimes have hints of cloves or apples.

ABV: 4.9-5.6% IBU: 10-15

Examples: Sierra Nevada Kellerweis Hefeweizen, Magic Hat Circus Boy

Pairs With: German cuisine, seafood, fish, and brick cheeses

Serving Temperature: 45-50 F

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Types of Wild & Sour Ales

Wild or sour ales are typically very low in alcohol, and feature tart, sour flavors that come from (safe) bacteria in the brew mash.

American Sour

American sour beer packs a wild punch from certain bacteria that are introduced during the fermentation process.

ABV: Varies IBU: Varies

Examples: Samuel Adams American Kriek, Weyerbacher Riserva

Pairs With: Fruit and strong cheese

Serving Temperature: 45-50 F

Belgian Fruit Lambic

Belgian fruit lambics are brewed with fruit to make an intense sweet and sour flavor.

ABV: 5.0-8.9% IBU: 15-21

Examples: Upland Brewing Company’s Raspberry Lambic, Dogfish Head Festina Lente

Pairs With: Fruit, salad, chocolate, and soft cheese

Serving Temperature: 45-50 F

Flanders Red Ale

Flanders red ale evokes a malty, fruity flavor underneath a strong sour taste brought on by Lactobacillus bacteria during fermentation.

ABV: 4.8-6.6% IBU: 5-18

Examples: New Belgium Lips of Faith La Folie, The Lost Abbey’s Red Poppy Ale

Pairs With: Meat, blue cheese, and cheddar cheese

Serving Temperature: 45-50 F

Belgian Gueuze

Gueuzes are aged beers that give off a very strong sour flavor.

ABV: 6.2-8.1% IBU: 9-23

Examples: Brouwerij Boon’s Boon Gueuze, The Bruery’s Rueuze

Pairs With: Strong cheeses

Serving Temperature: 50-55 F

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Types of Specialty Beers

Specialty beers can be any type or style. The differentiating factor is usually the addition of a specific ingredient, like honey or pumpkin, that can be added to most styles of beer.

American Black Ale

American black ales are dark in color and feature a malty, roasted flavor with medium to high hop bitterness. This style is sometimes called a black IPA.

ABV: 6.0-7.5% IBU: 50-75

Examples: Lagunitas NightTime, Founders Dark Penance, Victory Yakima Glory

Pairs With: Aged cheeses, seafood, and chocolate

Serving Temperature: 50-55 F

Barrel-Aged Beer

A barrel-aged beer is any type of beer that has been aged in a wooden barrel. Sometimes these barrels have been used to hold bourbon, wine, or other spirits, adding to the flavor of the beer.

ABV: Varies IBU: Varies

Examples: Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel), Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout, Narwhal Imperial Stout (Barrel Aged)

Pairs With: Varies

Serving Temperature: 50-55 F

Chocolate Beer

Chocolate or cocoa can be added to any style (lager or ale) to form a delicious chocolate beer.

ABV: 2.5-12.0% IBU: 15-40

Examples: Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock, Shenandoah Chocolate Donut Beer, Boneyard Beer Company Backbone Chocolate Espresso Stout

Pairs With: Varies

Serving Temperature: 50-55 F

Coffee Beer

Coffee beer is typically a porter or stout with added coffee flavor. This flavor can be achieved by steeping coffee beans in water or in the beer mixture.

ABV: 2.5-12.0% IBU: 15-45

Examples: Samuel Adams Black & Brew Coffee Stout, Sierra Nevada Coffee Stout, Stone Brewing Company’s Coffee Milk Stout

Pairs With: Meaty stew, hard cheeses

Serving Temperature: 50-55 F

Fruit and Vegetable Beer

Any type of beer can be infused with fruit and vegetable flavors, so flavors will vary greatly.

ABV: 2.5-12.0% IBU: 5-50

Examples: Samuel Adams Rebel Grapefruit IPA, Modern Times Beer’s Fruitlands Sour Cherry Gose, Weyerbacher’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Pairs With: Salad, brie cheese

Serving Temperature: 50-55 F

Gluten Free Beer

Gluten free beer is brewed with fermentable sugars and grains that do not contain gluten. These beers vary in color, flavor, and alcohol content.

ABV: Varies IBU: Varies

Examples: Wicked Weed Brewing’s Gluten FREEk, Widmer Brothers Brewing Company’s Omission IPA, Lakefront Brewery’s New Grist Gluten-Free Pilsner

Pairs With: Varies

Serving Temperature: Varies

Herb and Spice Beer

Herb and spice beer is any lager or ale that has added flavors from roots, herbs, or other spices. Pumpkin spice and holiday spice beers are examples of this style.

ABV: 2.5-12.0% IBU: 5-40

Examples: Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch, Rogue Ales’ Juniper Pale Ale, Small Town Brewery’s Not Your Father’s Root Beer

Pairs With: Varies

Serving Temperature: 45-55 F

Honey Beer

Honey beers are ales or lagers that are brewed with honey to add sweetness and unique flavor.

ABV: 2.5-12.0% IBU: Varies

Examples: Boulder Beer’s A Honey of a Saison, Samuel Adams Honey Queen, Burial Beer Company’s The Keeper’s Veil Honey Saison

Pairs With: Salad, light creamy cheeses

Serving Temperature: 50-55 F

Pumpkin Beer

Pumpkin beer is brewed with fresh pumpkin and common fall spices. These beers are increasingly popular, and can be made with lagers, ales, and sour beers.

ABV: 2.3-5.0% IBU: 5-70

Examples: Elysian Brewing Company’s Night Owl Pumpkin Ale, Weyerbacher Brewing Company’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale, Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale

Pairs With: Poultry, soft creamy cheeses

Serving Temperature: 50-55 F

Rye Beer

Rye beer often features malty, roasted flavors, with lower hop bitterness. Rye beers can be made as ales or as lagers, and will either take on a sweet or spicy flavor.

ABV: Varies IBU: Varies

Examples: Founders Red’s Rye IPA, Great Lakes’ Rye of the Tiger IPA, The Bruery’s Sour in the Rye

Pairs With: Spicy meat, creamy cheese

Serving Temperature: 45-55 F

Session Beer

Any style of beer can be brewed as a session beer, as sessions are simply less strong, more drinkable beers that are perfect for summertime consumption.

ABV: 3.5-5.0% IBU: 10-35

Examples: New Belgium Brewing’s Slow Ride Session IPA, Samuel Adams Rebel Rider Session IPA, Victory Brewing Company’s Swing Session Saison

Pairs With: Varies

Serving Temperature: Varies

Smoke Beer

Smoke beer is any beer that is brewed with malt that has been kilned over an open fire. The smoke adds a noticeable, but not overpowering flavor, which is inspired by traditional German rauchbier.

ABV: Varies IBU: Varies

Examples: Ithaca Beer Company’s Gorges Smoked Porter, Goose Island Beer Company’s Prairie Smoke, Denver Beer Company’s Smoked Lager

Pairs With: Roasted vegetables, hard cheese

Serving Temperature: 50-55 F

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Now that you know more about the different types of beer that are out there, hopefully you are inspired to add something unique to your beer list. Use this guide to help you and your servers feel more confident about recommending beers to customers, or maybe even create a menu that is centered on perfect beer pairings.

You can also share some of the health benefits of beer with your customers. In moderation, beer can actually help prevent kidney stones, improve brain function, and even boost bone health. Contributing to these benefits is a range of healthy compounds found in beer’s hops and malt, including antioxidants, silicon, and potassium. For more information about the ways beer can make you healthier, check out our infographic below:

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Is Light Beer a Healthier Choice?

Want to imbibe, but don’t want the extra calories? Next best option is to grab a light beer… right? Not so fast— before cracking open that ice cold Natty Light, consider this lighter option may not really be a healthier choice.

The New King of Beers — Why It Matters

Photo by Marissa Angell

When Coors Light knocked Budweiser from it’s place as the second most popular beer in America, for the first time, light beer held the top two spots in the best-beer competition (Bud Light is still numero uno). Created out of people’s concern that beer makes them fat, light beer boomed onto the scene in the 1970s when Miller Brewing Co. developed a low-calorie brewing method. Now, light beer makes up almost half the total market share. Re-named Miller Lite and marketed alongside the slogan “great taste, less filling,” light beer was promoted as the answer for avoiding that beer belly.

But the medical community isn’t ready to raise a glass to that just yet. Instead, they’re concerned people may be confusing low-carb with low-alcohol beers, or they believe light and low-carb beers have fewer health risks (thus drinking more). Others may drink even drink light and low-carb beer when they shouldn’t be consuming any alcoholic beveragesThe growing popularity of “low-carb” beers: good marketing or community health risk? Miller, P.G., McKenzie, S.P., de Groot, F.P., et al. The Medical Journal of Australia, 2010 Feb 15;192(4):235..

No Beer Is Created Equal — The Answer/Debate

Before ordering a light draft over regular, it’s important to note the differences between light, low-carb, and low-alcohol or non-alcoholic beers. Light beer has been brewed to be lower in alcohol, lower in calories, or lower in both (depending on the brand), while low-carb beer has only been brewed to remove carbohydrates (but could have the same alcohol content). And since higher levels of alcohol means more calories, there is little difference in calorie content between low-carb and regular beersThe growing popularity of “low-carb” beers: good marketing or community health risk? Miller, P.G., McKenzie, S.P., de Groot, F.P., et al. The Medical Journal of Australia, 2010 Feb 15;192(4):235.. Similarly, if a light beer is lower in alcohol, people may knock a few more back than if they’d stuck with the original— in the end, consuming more calories and possibly more alcohol.

In addition, light beer— albeit lower in calories— is only lower in comparison to a brewery’s leading brand of regular beer. Even when comparing Bud Light to Coors Light, Bud Light has 110 calories and 6.6 grams of carbohydrates per 12 oz. versus. Coors Light with 102 calories and 5.0 grams of carbohydrates. So the meaning of “light” varies between brands.

Similar to wine, a moderate consumption of beer may have some health benefits, but those pluses might not all extend to light versions. Studies have linked the highest antioxidant activity to lagers and dark ales, as opposed to light or non-alcoholic beers, so looks like we’re out of healthy luckPhenol antioxidant quantity and quality in foods: beers and the effect of two types of beer on an animal model of atherosclerosis. Vinson, J.A., Mandarano, M., Hirst, M., et al. Department of Chemistry, University of Scranton, Scranton, Pennsylvania. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2003 Aug 27;51(18):5528-33.. Likewise, dark beers also contain more iron than light colored or low-alcoholic beersFree iron in pale, dark and alcohol-free commercial lager beers. Sancho, D., Blanco, C.A., Caballero, I. et al. Dpto. Ingenieria Agricola y Forestal (Area de Technologia de los Alimentos), E.T.S. Ingeniarias Agrarias, Universidad de Valladolid, Palencia, Spain. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 2011 Apr;91(6):1142-7..

So while research has yet to show specific health benefits in choosing a low-carb beer, the jury is also out on light beerThe growing popularity of “low-carb” beers: good marketing or community health risk? Miller, P.G., McKenzie, S.P., de Groot, F.P., et al. The Medical Journal of Australia, 2010 Feb 15;192(4):235.. But at the end of the night, a moderate consumption of regular beer is probably (okay, definitely) still a safer bet than a 12 pack of the “light” stuff.

The Takeaway

Well, not necessarily. While light beer can be lower in calories, carbs, and alcohol, that slightly smaller buzz may cause drinkers to consume even more (and thus more calories) than if drinking heavier beer!

Do Dark Beers Have More Alcohol Than Lighter Beers?

August 6th by Glacier Design Systems, Inc. 0 0


You can’t judge a beer by its color. It’s a common myth that dark beers have more alcohol, are heavier on the palate, and have more calories than their lighter counterparts.

It’s hard to say how this myth began, but the idea that a dark beer is somehow heavier or higher in alcohol than a lighter colored beer might come from the “meal in a glass” marketing concept that Guinness came out with years ago. At 126 calories per 12 ounces of Guinness, it is actually lower in calories than a lot of beer. American lagers like Bud, Miller, and Coors actually have closer to 145 calories for the same serving. Most of the calories in beer actually come from alcohol, which is 9 calories per gram. Guinness is around 4.2% ABV, while a golden-colored Belgian triple can weigh in at as high as 11% ABV!

Some dark beers like Schwarzbiers are very light-bodied, easy-drinking lagers. They tend to get their color from a special darkening agent called Sinamar, which is actually a very dark extract made from concentrated dark malt. The alcohol content for Schwarzbier ranges from 4.4% to 5.4% ABV. Don’t fear the dark beer!

Calories in light beer

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