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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Research Results on Lite Beers


This is such a strange blog for me. Until I was 22 and in the Peace Corps I had never had a beer I liked. In fact, if asked, I would say I didn't like beer at all. But as a survival tactic in a place where you couldn't drink the water unless you boiled it, I learned to "like" beer. It was either that or Coca Cola...way to sweet for me!

Then when I got back to the States, I went back to just drinking wine. It has been that way for many, many years. On occasion when my adult kids are around who like beer, I will drink one of theirs. That was until I started on this Healthy Lifestyle Journey.

What I have discovered is that there are many light beers that you can drink that have less calories than a glass of wine for more ounces...this is appealing! It is also more filling, so you don't want more. And, it is in a bottle or can which you can hold and walk around with at a party. No one can refill it, as you can a wine glass...and when it is done, it is done. I always end up drinking too much wine...too hard for me to keep track. And, generally, there is less alcohol in a light beer compared to a glass of wine so it is easier to stay in control. Oh, and did I mention light beers are lower in carbs? :)

The challenge is finding a beer you like. Many light beers are tasteless and therefore very unsatisfying.  I decided to go on a taste-testing journey to see if I could find a couple I liked. There are actually a couple of websites on light beers that help describe the different beers, their calories, carbs and alcohol content. One such sight is Lite Beer Comparison. Below is a list it provides of Lite Beers under 100 calories and how they rank. This is their ranking:

20 Under 100 (from lowest calorie to highest):
  1. Budweiser Select 55: 2.4% alcohol and 55 calories
  2. Miller Genuine Draft “64″: 2.8% alcohol and 64 calories
  3. Becks Light: 2.3% alcohol and 64 calories
  4. Pabst Extra Light Low Alcohol: 2.5% alcohol and 67 calories
  5. O’Doul’s: 0.4% alcohol and 70 calories
  6. Coors NA: <0.5% alcohol and 73 calories
  7. O’Douls Amber: 0.4% alcohol and 90 calories
  8. Aspen Edge: 4.1% alcohol and 94 calories
  9. Amstel Light: 3.5% alcohol and 95 calories
  10. Anheuser Busch Natural Light: 4.2% alcohol and 95 calories
  11. Busch Light: 4.1% alcohol and 95 calories
  12. Michelob Ultra: 4.1% alcohol and 95 calories
  13. Clausthaler: 0.4% alcohol and 96 calories
  14. Genny Light: 3.6% alcohol and 96 calories
  15. Miller Lite: 4.2% alcohol and 96 calories
  16. St. Pauli Girl N.A.: <0.5% alcohol and 96 calories
  17. Milwaukee’s Best Light: 4.5% alcohol and 98 calories
  18. Yuengling Light D.G.: 3.8% alcohol and 98 calories
  19. Budweiser Select: 4.3% alcohol and 99 calories
  20. Kipling Light Lager: 3.4% alcohol and 99 calories
Starting with this list and then adding additional sleuthing, I found 4 I like that are in the right calorie range, have an appealing taste and are generally pretty available in the grocery store, liquor store or restaurant. They are, in order of preference:

Bud Light Golden Wheat: 4.1% alcohol and 118 calories (this is my favorite, great taste but a little more calories...I find it worth it)
Becks Light: 2.3% alcohol and 64 calories
Miller Genuine Draft “64″: 2.8% alcohol and 64 calories
Budweiser Select 55: 2.4% alcohol and 55 calories (this I like strictly because of the low calories)

What shocked me the first time I went to buy these light beers is that you can't buy most of them at a liquor store because they are too low in alcohol content (beertutor.com)! This made me smile because buying light beers also turns out to be way more convenient since I can go to the grocery store and do one stop shopping. I am liking light beers more and more!