The best light beers 2018: lose the calories but not the taste

Enjoy a cool and refreshing beer without piling on the pounds with our roundup of the best light beers that still taste good

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Beer is probably one of the most popular drinks in the UK, from IPAs to Malts and Hops, nothing beats a much-needed pint on a Friday down your local.

However, if you’re looking to cut back on the calories, then unfortunately this means beer, or does it? Some might completely turn their noses up at the sound of light beer, but if you really think you can’t go cold turkey, then we urge you to give it a try. 

Admittedly, light beer isn’t going to taste the same as a full-bodied beer, but at around 100 calories each, they’ll provide a refreshing taste for you to enjoy on the weekend and not feel guilty about ruining your diet every week. Naturally, their alcohol content is a little lower, too, with most light beers containing less than 5% volume. 

If you’re still not convinced by the idea of light beer, then opting for a lighter version of an existing beer you drink is a good place to start. For example, Budweiser and Coors both offer a light version of their beers which are very popular and still retain much of the taste drinkers know and love.

If you’re feeling brave, we’ve also picked out a few lesser known, independent brands of light beer that offer a great alternative taste. Check out our list to see what takes your fancy.

The best light beer

1. Bud Light

The classic taste just with fewer calories

Specifications
Best for: Best tasting
Alcohol content: 3.5%
Calories: 127
Taste: Lighter, refreshing version of the original
Reasons to buy
+Balanced, light body+Low alcohol volume
Reasons to avoid
-Naturally tastes a little bland compared to the original  

For those transitioning over to light beers, then Bud Light is a good place to start. Of course it is never going to taste as good as the original, but the hints are there, and many even prefer the lighter bodied, refreshing taste. 

It has a slightly sweet taste to it which some like and others don’t, but it’s low in calories and low in alcohol volume which is favourable for those trying to cut back on drinking.  

Coors Light

2. Coors Light

Crisp, clean and refreshing

Specifications
Best for: Refreshing
Alcohol content: 4.2%
Calories: 116
Taste: Slightly nutty
Reasons to buy
+Easy to drink+Hints of malt and hop
Reasons to avoid
-Dry aftertaste  

Those who have already started trying light beers have said that Coors Light is one of the easiest and most pleasant to drink. You can still taste hints of malts and hops, but it remains lighter-bodied and refreshing to drink – perfect for a summer’s day.

Sam Adams Light

3. Sam Adams Light

Experience a slightly more complex flavour in this light beer

Specifications
Best for: Range of flavours
Alcohol content: 4.9%
Calories: 119
Taste: Fruity
Reasons to buy
+Very flavoursome for a light beer+Bitter finish 
Reasons to avoid
-An acquired taste 

For those who think all light beers are bland and flavourless, then Sam Adams is certainly worth a try. Customers have complemented this beer for its clear spectrum of aromas and flavours that aren’t so distinct in other light beers.

Hints of fruit, caramel, malt and sweetness are said to come through nicely, albeit not as fully as in a standard beer. If you like bitters then you might find Sam Adams to be to your taste, and if you’re looking for a light beer you can still relax with and enjoy drinking, we expect you might enjoy this one.  

Guinness Draught

4. Guinness Draught

The closest you’ll get to the real thing

Specifications
Best for: Guinness lovers
Alcohol content: 4.1%
Calories: 125
Taste: Creamy and malty
Reasons to buy
+Pours and sets just like Guinness+Easier to drink than regular Guinness 
Reasons to avoid
-Not everyone’s type of beer  

Guinness lovers will rejoice at the fact they don’t have to give up their favourite tipple as you can now enjoy Guinness Draught as a lighter version of the beer. Most have been very impressed with the similarities in taste; with some even saying it goes down a lot smoother than regular Guinness, which is usually quite a heavy drink.

It is said to be quite obviously lighter-bodied, but overall it pours and settles the same so you may not even notice the difference! Unfortunately this won’t be of help if you didn’t like Guinness to begin with, but now may be the time to try it. 

Kirin Ichiban Light

5. Kirin Ichiban Light

Citrusy and sweet, this light beer is easy to drink

Specifications
Best for: Sweet taste
Alcohol content: 4.6%
Calories: 127
Taste: Sweet and light with a dry finish
Reasons to buy
+Easy to drink+Aromatic 
Reasons to avoid
- A bit sickly for some

This light beer has a somewhat unique taste, with many commenting on its Japanese aroma which is both fruity and sweet. Similarly to other light beers, the consistency is said to be quite watery, but is favourable when ice cold.

A malty finish can be found in this light beer, with a slightly dry aftertaste but for the most part a sweet taste is prominent which those who don’t like blander beers like Bud or Coors Light find a nice change.  

Chang beer

6. Chang beer

Easy to drink with a light refreshing taste

Specifications
Best for: Easy drinking
Alcohol content: 5%
Calories: 156
Taste: Light and sweet
Reasons to buy
+Light taste+High alcohol volume
Reasons to avoid
- High in calories

If you like Coors Light, then this is another light beer recommended for you. It has a light taste which is best served ice cold and it has one of the highest alcohol contents on the list.

This is far from a full-bodied beer so those who are trying light beer for the first time are unlikely to appreciate it, but on a summer’s day, this beer is said to go down very well.  

Skinny Brands Lager

7. Skinny Brands Lager

A vegan and gluten free beer

Specifications
Best for: Lowest calorie
Alcohol content: 4%
Calories: 89
Taste: Crisp
Reasons to buy
+Gluten free +Lowest in calories
Reasons to avoid
-Tastes best with some added garnish

This new brand of lager has created a game changer in this totally vegan, gluten free beer which comes in at just 89 calories per bottle, and people actually like it! It is said to be very easy to drink and suggested as a good BBQ beer for the summer. 

Recommended to be served ice cold, this beer is said to quench your thirst and give you the pleasure of drinking beer without gaining the belly. The hints of citrus would be complemented by garnishing the beer with lime or orange.