Low-calorie beer: 15 brands with fewer than 150 calories per serving

Low-calorie beer options are a great way to enjoy this refreshing drink without compromising on your goals this summer

Two women clinking glasses of low-calorie beer on the beach
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Low-calorie beer can be the perfect middle ground between enjoying a refreshing drink in the sun this summer and keeping to your health goals. From alcoholic options under 150 calories to the top-rated non-alcoholic alternatives, these are the beers to order at the bar and add to your shopping cart.

While many people believe that giving up alcohol is the first step to losing weight or maintaining any kind of health goals, that doesn't have to be the case. Food and drink is so much more than nutritional value. It's also about picnics in the park, barbecues in the sunshine, and enjoying time with friends and family. Alcohol in moderation, just like anything else, can be included as part of a varied and balanced diet. Low-calorie beers are a good alternative for those looking to stay in a calorie deficit or keep their levels of sugar intake low during these kinds of events. 

Low-calorie beers are also among the lowest-calorie alcoholic drinks. To help you find your pick of the best and discover new favourites, we've revealed the calories in the most common types of beer and ones you might like to try. 

The best low-calorie beer 

Best low-calorie beer with alcohol

Low-calorie beer without alcohol

What beer has the least calories? 

The beers that contain alcohol with the least number of calories are Bud Light (110 calories), Coors Light (102 calories), and Brewdog's Lightspeed (99 calories). Non-alcoholic beers with the least calories include the Big Drop Brewing Co.'s Citrus IPA (10 calories), Lucky Saint (53 calories), and Skinny Brands (87 - 89 calories).  

"One of the main benefits of non-alcoholic, light beverages is that they contain fewer calories. For example, beer can range between ~140-170 kcal, low-calorie beer is about ~100 kcal, while non-alcoholic beers can be well below 100 kcal," says Gabi Zaromskyte, a registered nutritionist and holistic health coach. 

"However, it’s not all just about calories," she warns, reminding us that there's no such thing as healthy alcohol after all. "The downside is that non-alcoholic drinks are made by separating the alcohol from the drink and adding more sugar to improve the taste. Overall, non-alcoholic drinks can be a better choice if you want to feel fresh the next day, but they should not be seen as something entirely healthy. Alcoholic or not, moderation remains the key aspect when it comes to caloric beverages." 

Does alcohol free beer have fewer calories?

Yes, alcohol-free beer will have fewer calories than regular beer that contains alcohol. The highest-calorie part of any alcoholic drink does tend to be the alcohol itself as studies by the Eastern Ontario Research Institute reveal that alcohol contains 7.6 calories per gram, so once you cut this out, the calorie count immediately drops.

Overall, the best non-alcoholic low-calorie drinks in a can will have the least calories though, always. This includes seltzers, gin and tonic mixers, and mocktails, along with some beers.  

Alcohol and weight loss 

The impact of alcohol is often undervalued when it comes to learning how to lose weight without dieting excessively. Whether you're counting calories or trying to stick to a regime, ignoring the effect of alcohol (even aside from pure calories) on the body is one of the biggest weight loss mistakes out there. 

"Alcoholic beverages are composed of ethanol, water, and different amounts of sugar. When it comes to weight loss, one needs to be aware that one shot of spirits or a glass of wine can range from ~100-150kcal, which is equivalent to a light snack. Sweeter cocktails amount to more," says Zaromskyte, who developed the Honesty Method, a framework for making non-diet lifestyle changes. "Considering that alcohol is often consumed in combination with some extra nibbles, which you wouldn’t always have if you weren’t drinking, it can all add up to a full meal’s worth of extra energy or more."

A systematic review and meta-analysis by the University of Cambridge also found that the additional calories consumed from alcohol are not compensated by eating less as a result. In fact, people were eating more when drinking, she adds. 

Another one of the ways excessive drinking can prevent healthy, sustainable weight loss is blood sugar imbalance. "Many know the feeling of cravings kicking in when drinking. This is because sweet alcoholic drinks raise blood sugar levels, which is followed by a sharp decrease," explains the nutritionist. 

However, that doesn't mean that alcohol needs to be off the table entirely if you're trying to lose weight. "As a non-diet nutritionist, I believe that nothing is off limits, meaning that no food or drink needs to be completely banned from the diet," says Zaromskyte. "Worrying about how bad a certain food or drink is can do more harm than the food or drink itself. When there is stress and guilt around food, your healthy choices are no longer that healthy. An 80/20 rule is something I apply myself and recommend to my clients, where 80% of the time you try to make nutritious and balanced choices, while the other 20% is for enjoyment, travel, or situations when you haven’t made a plan and reach for convenience."

Looking for more great low-calorie alternatives?  "Some regular alcoholic beverages that are lower in sugar and calories include spirits, like whisky, gin, tequila, and low-calorie vodka. Pair it with soda water and fresh lime juice," says Zaromskyte.

"Then again, if you are enjoying a drink occasionally and are not having multiple drinks in a row, I wouldn’t worry too much about this and just pick something you truly fancy." 

Grace Walsh
Health Channel Editor

Grace Walsh is woman&home's Health Channel Editor, working across the areas of fitness, nutrition, sleep, mental health, relationships, and sex. She is also a qualified fitness instructor. In 2024, she will be taking on her second marathon in Rome, cycling from Manchester to London (350km) for charity, and qualifying as a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach. 

A digital journalist with over six years experience as a writer and editor for UK publications, Grace has covered (almost) everything in the world of health and wellbeing with bylines in Cosmopolitan, Red, The i Paper, GoodtoKnow, and more.