The Best Light Beer Brands on the Market Today
Look at the legendary names on this list, names like Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Lite and more.
Written by CraftJack | Updated | 9 min read
Don’t let snobs or cicerones (beer sommeliers) tell you otherwise. There’s nothing wrong with a good light beer. On the contrary, light beers are basically the king of all beers (well, Budweiser is the King of Beers). They’re by far the best-selling variety of beer in the country.
The popularity, of course, is precisely the conundrum. There are just so many--which is the best light beer out there? After tireless research and endless sacrifice - aka - drinking light beers, we’ve undertaken the great and terrible burden of trying a bunch of beers and figuring out which ones are the best.
So read on to hear the 25 best light beer brands, you may be surprised to find a few of your favorite craft beer breweries in the list.
- Bud Light
- Busch Light
- Keystone Light
- Amstel Light
- Beck’s Premier Light
- Corona Light
- Coors Light
- Michelob Ultra
- Shiner Light Blonde
- Miller Lite
- Guinness Draught
- Night Shift Brewing Nite Lite
- Dogfish Head Slightly Mighty
- Estrella Damm Inedit
- Kirin Ichiban
- Yuengling Light Lager
- Bell’s Light-Hearted Ale
- Tecate Original
- Sam Adams Light Lager
- Natural Light
- Omission Ultimate Light
You know that the ol’ reliable of the beer world had to show its face on this list. Whether being guzzled at college tailgates, at New York bars, or at home barbecues, Bud Light is a choice for Americans everywhere.
For a good reason, it’s by far the most popular beer in the United States. Available for negligent prices in enormous packages and containing just 110 calories and 4.2% ABV, Bud Light is a middle road for light beers. When you want a full flavor that’s heavy on corn but not too filling or bloating, this is the drink for you.
Bud Light Platinum is for those that want to light up the night. With fewer calories than Bud (Heavy), this lager beer is like plugging a Bud Light into a guitar amplifier, same light beer experience, only higher alcohol content.
Clocking in at just 3.3% alcohol by volume and a calorie count of 99, Heineken is on the lighter side of the Light Beer Continuum (a metric for understanding light beers created by me, just now). It's everything you love about Heineken, just light. Same taste, same green beer bottle.
So next time you’re out about the town, keep an eye out for a red star and green body. No, it isn’t a sign that you’re in the Soviet Union - it means you’re in Heineken country.
If there were a beer that embodied coldness, it would be this one. At a slim 95 calories and a crisp 4.5% ABV, it’s simple math that Busch Light is an excellent light beer. The flavor takes it to the next level.
There are haters out there who will look down their noses at the Busch Light, but they fail to consider one thing: refreshment. Some light beers can give you a blast of flavor, but if they can’t refresh you, then what’s the point, really?
Busch Light is also the staple beer of drinking games. We urge you to play responsibly. Only play responsibly.
Keystone Light bumps up the calories just a tad to 101 but has the lowest ABV on this list so far--a mere 4.1%! If you’re looking for a beer that won’t send you home in a stupor--well, until you’ve had six or seven in a row--then reach for a Keystone Light.
With a bready, malty flavor, Keystone Light has the kind of crisp mouthfeel that you’d expect from a light beer. On top of that, its complex blend of grains gives a distinctive flavor that lingers in your mouth after you’ve had your last sip.
The third import light beer on this list is also one of the best. Amstel Light boasts 4.4% ABV and 95 calories, but the real prize here is its taste, which makes you feel like you’re sipping a Trappist ale out of a giant boot in a Biergarten...or something like that.
With a slightly bitter bite, Amstel Light isn’t the kind of beer that tastes exactly like water. However, that’s a good thing because it slows you down and keeps you appreciating the subtle exotic malt of its flavor profile.
This beer is absurd. In a weird way, it’s almost not a beer. At 3.8% ABV and 64 calories, it’s nearly as close to being an NA beer as to being Amstel Light.
Yet, don’t let that fool you. For one, it has 3.9g of carbohydrates and 1 gram of protein per bottle, which is a bit more than competitors. It also means that if you drink about 50 of these, which we sincerely advise against, you will get your daily protein intake.
Again, please, please do not do that. Instead, responsibly enjoy a few bottles of Beck’s, luxuriating in their light, slightly fruity pilsner flavor.
Corona Light is undoubtedly the cerveza to rule them all when it comes to beers south of the border. It boasts a relatively average ABV (4%) and calorie count (99), not counting the microscopic change that’ll come when you add lime to your bottle.
The Corona is the signature drink of the Fast & Furious franchise, and for a good reason. Whether you’re looking out onto the sapphire waters of a tropical sea or thinking about launching a car into space, Corona Light’s sharp flavor will be your companion along the way.
And, in the same way that Grupo Modelo has the Corona Extra & Coronita pairing, there is a Corona Light & Coronita Light pairing available for purchase. Coronita is the same light-bodied pale lager, just a smaller version.
Coors Light is if water decided to get an upgrade. That might sound like an insult, but it’s not. Coors Light is the quintessential light beer with an easy mouthfeel and a sharp taste that wakes your tongue up as soon as you take a sip.
On the back-end, Coors’ brewers are famous for using water-saving Moravian barley and for making a brew that has just 102 calories, 4.2% ABV, less than 1 gram of protein, and zero grams of fat.
With 4.2% ABV and 95 calories in every 12-ounce bottle, Michelob Ultra is one of the lightest among the old guard of light beers (Miller Lite, Bud Light, and Coors Light).
Although it’s become the favorite beer of partying college kids since it debuted in 2002, Mich Ultra shouldn’t be written off as a child’s beer. No, quite the contrary: Michelob Ultra is a beer for everyone with a slightly sweet flavor and smooth mouthfeel.
A gold medalist at the Australian International Beer Awards, the Shiner Light Blonde has earned a reputation as being a cut above the rest. Well, it’s true.
It’s certainly a distinct light beer. Its taste is fizzy but not too sharp, and its aroma is that of malt and corn rising under the hot Texas sun and both floral hops and bread.
In addition, the Shiner Light Blonde boasts a calorie count of 99, 3.8 grams of carbohydrates, no fat, and a 4.2% ABV.
You know that Miller Lite was going to make it on this list. After all, this is one of the light beers--one of the original light beers, in fact!
Miller Light is famous nationwide because of three plain and simple facts:
- It’s dependable
- It’s tasty
- It’s cheap
This is not a light beer that will break the bank by any means, but it also offers the one-two punch of crispness and sweetness to complement its 96 calories. If you’re trying to decide what light pilsner to go for, make sure this is a contender. As they say, it’s Miller Time.
I hear you crying out in confusion. Guinness? By George, that isn’t a light beer at all! Look at its shimmering ruby hue, its pearly head, its bursting body!
Well, you’re right about the second part but wrong about the first. Guinness is 4.2% ABV and has 125 calories, comparable to the other light beers on this list. In fact, it’s even lower than some of them!
If you have any Irish in you, this should be music to your ears. Rejoice, dear friends, in knowing that whether you’re trying to slim down or enjoy a night on the town, it’s always a lovely day for a Guinness. Sláinte!
Night Shift’s Nite Light Craft Light Lager is a bit of a mouthful--figuratively and literally. We prefer to abridge the name to the simple Nite Lite, but we’ll keep the excellent flavors of this tasty lager, which includes citrus, corn, and hints of baked treats like biscuits.
This beer, which brings 4.3% ABV and 120 calories to the table, should also be appreciated for its color, which may be the most beautiful lite beer I’ve seen. It’s gold that shimmers like the sun over fields of wheat. It's also likely to pop up in your recommendations in Drizly, if you're the type to buy beer online.
The Dogfish Head Slightly Mighty is the first IPA to appear on this list, and it’s well worth it. IPAs are famous for being the beers that help people get into beers--and this one is the best-selling light IPA in the United States. It's also one of the best low calorie beers available on the market.
Dogfish Head is most famous for its craft brews, and that sensibility is reflected in the Slightly Mighty. Though it’s just 95 calories, don’t take that to mean it’s flavorless. On the contrary, the Slightly Mighty hits the spot with its monk fruit-infused sweetness.
The Damm Inedit is, by far, the fanciest light beer on this list. Crafted by Michelin-starred chef Ferran Adrià and his high-class team of world-class brewmasters, the Damm Inedit is a light beer like no other. Plus it comes in a 750ml bottle.
An extra lager in style, the Damm Inedit is like the lovechild of wheat ale and a pilsner and sports enough complex flavors to compete with so-called “real” beers. Just one sip lets you into a world of creamy, fruity, semi-spicy delight that’ll make you rethink whatever you thought you knew about light beer.
Kirin Ichiban is another first. This beer is the first on this list from the eastern hemisphere. Brewed in Japan, Kirin Ichiban Light is an import through and through. It is flavorful, high-quality, and often challenging to find.
The Kirin Ichiban light has 95 calories and a 3.3% ABV, making it another of those beers just on the precipice of being an NA beer. Nonetheless, this is still an excellent beer for those looking for something dry and medium-light.
On top of that, the company’s unique mash-pressing method gives the beer a distinct flavor profile that evokes both bready and floral flavors.
Like Guinness, Yuengling Light is deceptive. With its 4.5% ABV, amber color, and caramel notes, it’s not the kind of light beer you’d expect to be, well, light. The only asterisk on the beer is that it’s one of the higher-calories options on this list, clocking in at 140. In reality, that probably won’t make a huge difference for most folks drinking beers, but if you’re looking to be merciless with your calorie counting, then this rich beer may not be for you.
As an aside, Yuengling is America's Oldest Brewery, just in case you didn't know.
Another light India Pale Ale for the beer lovers, Bell’s Brewery's Light-Hearted Ale, is just 3.7% ABV and has tasting notes of citrus and pine - giving you the feeling of wandering through a mysterious forest overlooking the Pacific Ocean with every sip. We think.
Bell’s is known for producing high-quality iterations of a wide variety of beers, so you can expect that they knocked it out of the park with this one. On top of its ludicrously low ABV and delicious taste, the citrusy Light-Hearted Ale is a mere 110 calories and one of the best low calorie beers your money can buy. That’s a nutritional steal by any definition.
Last, but most certainly not least, is Tecate Original. If you want a slightly juiced-up alternative to the Corona, then Tecate can be your stand-in. With a somewhat high 141 calories and 4.5% ABV, this isn’t the lightest of light options, but it’s still serviceable.
This is especially true given Tecate’s reliable flavor, which gives a hint of sweet corn that isn’t cloying and doesn’t stick in your mouth. It’s brief and wispy, like the memories of a great summer night.
A light version of their Boston Lager, this 4.3% ABV American Beer should please craft beer drinkers looking to scale back on carbs and calories. Is it the best beer Sam Adams brews? Not even close. One only need look toward the Utopia series to prove that wrong - a series that is also among the highest ABV beers produced in America.
Seriously, that's all that needs to be said about Natural Light. It's under 100 calories. You could say that too. But is there really a need to further explain the glory that is Natty Light? No.
Actually, there's one thing. Natty Lights are often used when playing the waterfall card game.
Omission Brewing Company brews some of the best gluten-free beer on the market today. Their Ultimate Light Golden Ale is brewed with Citra and Galaxy hops, giving the drinker a taste of the tropics while remaining crisp and possessing a clean, dry finish. If you're making a list of summer beers, it should be on it.
* Editors Note - Omission Ultimate Light Golden Ale is a gluten-reduced beer
Here are a few examples, measured in pints of CO2 per pint of beer.
- 2.55 pints of CO2 per pint: Coors Light
- 2.46 pints of CO2 per pint: Bud Light
- 2.2 pints of CO2 per pint: Estrella Damm
Well, there you have it. Whether you’re looking for a cerveza or a stout, an IPA, or a pilsner, there’s a high-quality light beer out there for you. Now, it’s just the hard part. Pick which of these delectable guilt-free indulgences you want to drink first.