Life

These Light Beers Will Help You Start 2021 On A Healthy(ish) Note

When a fresh calendar year begins, it’s natural to start talking about resolutions. You know, the kind designed to make you a smarter, kinder, leaner, healthier version of yourself. New year, new you and all that noise. But 2020 was a doozy and 2021 arrived with the world still in the weeds.

So give yourself a break. Skip “dry January” and just sip on lighter beers this month. (We’re still drinking stouts, sorry-not-sorry.)

Historically, the word “light” in relation to beer was an alarm bell that screamed “no flavor!” But in recent years, the pendulum has swung in the other direction. Many of your favorite craft breweries are creating refreshing, full-flavored light beers that prove that low calorie doesn’t always need low flavor.

Check out some of our favorite light beers below.

Avery Pacer IPA

Avery

ABV: 4.5%

Calories: 100

Average Price: $10.99 for a six-pack

The Beer:

Proving that light beer doesn’t have to be flavorless, Avery Pacer IPA is low in calorie and alcohol, but high in taste. It’s hazy, juicy, and filled with wheat and oats to create a full-body. Meanwhile, Southern Hemisphere Hops offer a citrus-forward, piney base.

Tasting Notes:

This lightly carbonated, fresh beer is loaded with mango, guava, and other tropical fruit flavor notes. These are heightened by the addition of grapefruit, orange zest, and resinous pine.

Bottom Line:

This is the perfect light beer for IPA fans. It’s refreshing, light, and filled with flavors well suited for hop heads looking for a lighter option.

Night Shift Nite Lite

Night Shift

ABV: 4.3%

Calories: 120

Average Price: $7.79 for a 4-pack of 16-ounce cans

The Beer:

This isn’t your usual yellow, fizzy light beer. While it is a light lager, it’s highly crushable, refreshing, and flavor-forward. Designed to pair with a night of fun (or relaxation), it’s a great beer for a quarantined January house party with your cluster.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find the scent of baking bread and sweet caramel. The first sip is filled with sharp citrus flavors and crisp, refreshing notes. It’s light, highly drinkable, and thirst-quenching.

Bottom Line:

If you’re usually a fan of Miller Lite or one of the other well-known macro brews, Night Shift Nite Lite is a good substitute with a more complicated flavor profile.

Lagunitas Daytime IPA

Lagunitas

ABV: 4%

Calories: 98

Average Price: $8.99 for a six-pack

The Beer:

It’s not easy to make a great tasting beer under 100 calories, but the folks at Lagunitas pulled it off. This brew is hoppy, refreshing, and perfect for IPA fans looking to enjoy a low-calorie, low alcohol option. If you’re a fan of Lagunitas IPA, you won’t be disappointed by this beer.

Tasting Notes:

This beer starts juicy and full of tropical fruit flavors but quickly moves into piney, resinous, citrusy notes with hints of orange, lime, and grapefruit.

Bottom Line:

For a light beer, this is a surprisingly well-balanced IPA. The best part? It’s under 98 calories so you won’t feel bad having a few.

Boulevard Easy Sport

Boulevard

ABV: 4.1%

Calories: 99

Average Price: $8.99 for a six-pack

The Beer:

A few years ago, Michelob Ultra was released as “the beer for people with active lifestyles.” Since then, many great craft beers have been launched that taste a lot better than that macro brew. One is Boulevard Easy Sport, a fresh, citrusy blonde ale with electrolytes and tangerine.

Tasting Notes:

On top of being like the beer equivalent of Gatorade (unconfirmed), Easy Sport is crisp, light, thirst-quenching, and full of tart orange, salty, sweet flavors. This one is so good you’ll want to crack a can open after pretty much any strenuous athletic activity.

Bottom Line:

This is the beer for the athlete (or wannabee athlete) who enjoys a beer or two after a workout, run, bike ride, or simply an afternoon spent shoveling snow.

Firestone Walker Fly Jack

Firestone Walker

ABV: 4%

Calories: 96

Average Price: $8.49 for a six-pack

The Beer:

When you crack open a beer for Firestone Walker, you know what you’re going to get. There’s no corner-cutting with this California brewery. This crisp, hazy, New England-style IPA only has 96 calories, but it’s full-flavored and hopped up with Cascade, Callista. Dry Hop: El Dorado, Chinook, Mosaic, Strata, Sabro, Idaho 7 hops.

Tasting Notes:

If you nose this beer, you definitely won’t expect it to be light. It’s filled with fresh, citrus hop aromas. The taste mirrors the nose, with hints of tropical fruits and fresh, crisp citrus.

Bottom Line:

If you’re a fan of New England-style IPAs, but you’re looking for something lighter, this is the beer for you. If it didn’t list the calories on the can, you wouldn’t even know this is a light beer.

Harpoon Bush League

Harpoon

ABV: 4%

Calories: 115

Average Price: $16.99 for a Fantasy League 12-pack

The Beer:

When it comes to light beer (especially in the craft world) it seems like the only options are lager or IPA. Bush League (which is part of the Fantast League mix pack) is a cold fermented American pilsner that was brewed with flaked corn and Mandarina Bavaria and Hüll Melon hops.

Tasting Notes:

This golden color beer is full of sweet cereal notes along with a whole heap of resinous, piney hop-driven flavors. It’s crisp, light, and highlighted by hints of fresh lime zest, orange, and grapefruit.

Bottom Line:

This light, crisp pilsner is perfect on its own. But pick up the whole Fantast League 12-pack and also enjoy Rec League (pale ale), Farm League (farmhouse ale), and Night League (Black IPA).

Abita Hop 99

Abita

ABV: 4.2%

Calories: 99

Average Price: $8.99 for a six-pack

The Beer:

Abita set out to create an IPA that was low in calories and ABV but high in flavor fresh, citrus-filled flavor. They did it by combining Mosaic and Citra hops to create a bright, flavorful, light beer.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll be met with hints of mango, guava, as well as fresh citrus zest. The first sip is filled with fresh berries, ripe oranges, and juicy, tropical fruits.

Bottom Line:

When it comes to light beers, this is one of the best. It’s well-rounded, refreshing, and perfect for literally any day of the year whether it’s the high heat of summer or the chilly depths of winter.

Bell’s Light-Hearted Ale

Bell

ABV: 3.7%

Calories: 110

Average Price: $9.99 for a six-pack

The Beer:

Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale is one of the most popular IPAs in the country. It should come as no surprise that its lighter counterpart is fresh, aromatic, and filled with citrus and pine flavors that would appeal to the most enthusiastic IPA drinker.

Tasting Notes:

One of the Michigan brewery’s newest releases, Light-Hearted is filled with lemon, lime, and orange flavors along with pine, resin, and sweet cereal notes.

Bottom Line:

If you’re a fan of the immensely popular Two-Hearted Ale and you’re looking for lower alcohol, lower caloric alternative, grab a sixer of Light-Hearted. You won’t be disappointed.

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