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Aug 24, 2007 09:25 AM

Lower Calorie beer with actual TASTE

Do these exist? My wife loves the idea of drinking these lo-cal beers, a la Becks Light, and it makes me sick to have to watch this. She really can appreciate the taste of a Sunset Wheat, Sea Dog, etc.. but gets turned off by the high calorie content.

Is there anything you would suggest for her? It really is hard to watch someone you love drink a watered down, awful excuse for a brew.

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  1. Guinness is pretty low in calories. I believe it's 210 calories per pint.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Josh

      Actually even less and I am personally a Guinness fanatic. I have seen their ads saying they are like 140 or somewhere like that in a pint. Unfortunately, too heavy for my wife. I know, shes a pain in the ass.

      1. re: yankeefan

        Maybe your wife just thinks its heavy because of its dark color? Guiness is really a light bodied beer. Kind of watery too if you ask me.

        1. re: LStaff

          Yeah, I was going to make the same comment. The color is deceptive.

    2. Sam Adams light is really tasty and does not feel like it's low cal.


      1 Reply
      1. re: bosanova99

        second sammy light...can't really comment on searching out other low cal beers, all I know is it tastes like beer and has light in the name.

      2. There is no need to drink any "Lite" beer including Sam. Hefe Weizen (i.e. Paulaner Hefe Weizen, Tucher Hefe Weizen, etc) is relatively low in calories too have plenty of flavor. English milds and bitters (e.g. Conniston Bluebird, Adnam's, Young's Dirty Dick) are also lower in calories.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Chinon00

          Why would hefeweizen have fewer calories than another beer of similar strength?

          1. re: Jim Dorsch

            IIRC Paulaner hefeweizen has under 110 calories per 12 oz serving. Again IIRC your lowest light beers are around 90 calories per 12 oz. You simply can't close that gap and retain much flavor. So I'd suggest hefe for lower calorie beer.

            1. re: Chinon00

              I'd have to research this, but it makes no sense that a wheat beer would have appreciably fewer calories than, say a pilsner of like strength. But let me see if I can find some information before spouting off further.

              1. re: Jim Dorsch

                According to that chart that Mojoeater offered on his reply below, heffes do tend to be on the lower end of the caloric scale - in the 150s. Maybe wheat has less starch than barley? Less starch might equate to less uncoverted starch in the beer? Whatever the case, it's great news for me. About all I've been drinking are Belgian/Belgian-styles and heffes with an occasional Japanese brew here and there.

                1. re: bulavinaka

                  It appears to me, from the chart, that calories are roughly proportional to alcohol content, which is what one would expect. Strong wheat beers are more caloric; same for barley beers.

              2. re: Chinon00

                I like the way you think - lower cals, higher alcohol content, german tastiness.

          2. If you can get it, New Belgium (Fat Tire) has a summer seasonal beer, Skinny Dip that only has 110 calories and has some actual flavor.

            1. Gotta say, I never really understood the concept of "low calorie" beer, especially in light <g> of the fact that, unlike soda where the calorie different between the diet and regular was "0" to "100" (and that's using their unrealistic "8 oz. serving"), light beer is only 20-33% less.

              If you like the taste of your current beer, why not just pour beer from a 12 ounce bottle into an 8 ounce pilsner glass if you want 1/3 less calories? (And, in this case, since Yankeefan's drinking with his wife, he can be drinking from an imperial Nonic pint, and use that extra 4 ounce to top off his pour.)

              Seems to me that a LOT of light beer is consumed in this country by folks who just want a relatively tasteless, ice cold beverage and aren't really concerned with calories as such (judging by what's on their plates and/or their waistlines). Light beer brands, after all, are 4 of the 5 best selling beers in the US, and those 4 brands alone (Bud Light, Miller Lite, Coors Light and Natural Light) are 40% of all beer consumed in the US- throw in all the other "lights" and it's probably close to half.

              For many years, there was a "common wisdom" belief in the brewing industry that "20% of the beer drinkers buy 50% of the beer" (with varying percentages, but you get the idea- supposedly it was never factually proven, just a "gut <g> feeling" by brewers) and many breweries tried to appeal to those "beer drinkers". Thus the famous "Schaefer is the one beer to have when you're having more than one" slogan, etc. The concept is also discussed by A-B brewers (as "palate fatigue" from stronger tasting beers) in that article LStaff discusses in the "Domestic beers- then and now" thread.

              And, while "diet beers" had been tried for several decades before Miller got a hold of the "Lite" beer formula (most famously, and supposedly the same formula as Lite, Rheingold's Gablingers), Miller's success with the "style" was emphasizing not "low cal" (too feminine) but "Less Filling" - i.e., one could drink a LOT of it (MACHO to the max).

              4 Replies
                1. re: yankeefan

                  My father made me try Michelob Ultra something, claiming that Consumer Reports (his bible) rated it #1 lite beer. I must admit, it wasn't terrible, it just wasn't particulalry tasty, which I imagine is the problem with all light beers (I wouldn't know--I'm still young and drinking ales, guilt free).

                  1. re: abu applesauce

                    Michelob Ultra Amber? My dad likes it too and it is usually what he has on tap when I go down to visit. Personally, I'd rather drink real beer and spend an extra 20 minutes on the eliptical machine.