10 Of The Healthiest Beers You Can Drink

An alcoholic beverage might not seem like the healthiest of drink choices. After all, excessive drinking can be harmful to your health. But for centuries, beer was considered one of the healthiest drinks around. In colonial America, everyone (including toddlers) drank beer every day. That's because fresh, clean water could be hard to come by. People who drank beer or tea — both of which are boiled — were less likely to die of waterborne diseases like dysentery. Beer was even praised by one of the most esteemed doctors of the time as a nutritious drink (but only when consumed responsibly).

Modern research backs the practical wisdom of our forbearers: Beer has more protein and B vitamins than wine and just as many healthy antioxidants. The antioxidants in beer, called phenols, come from malt and hops — two of the main ingredients in beer. Drinking beer in moderation — one or fewer drinks per day for women and two or fewer drinks per day for men — is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Hops have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. And compared to sugary non-alcoholic drinks like punch and soda, beer is associated with a lower risk of kidney stones.

From stouts to pale ales and everything in between, there's a flavorful, healthy beer waiting for you. Cheers to that!

What to look for in a healthy beer

Today, the healthiest beers deliver all the benefits of a brew in the fewest calories, with the lowest carbs, and the most taste. Healthy beers are primarily light in color and have a light, refreshing taste. Generally speaking, the lower the calorie content, the lower the alcohol content and the lighter the taste. You can still find healthy dark beers — like stouts — but the reverse also tends to be true: The darker the beer, the more calories and the more alcohol it contains. Light beers are often thin-bodied, too, providing the refreshment you seek — not a full-bodied beer that might make your eyelids start to droop.

Healthy beers are also usually classified as light beers, meaning they have less than 5% alcohol by volume (ABV). "You can generally find a few good tasting beers around 95 to 120 calories per 12-ounce serving at this ABV level," registered dietician Erin Palinski-Wade told Prevention.

Serving size also plays a role in how much beer is a healthy amount. While cans and bottles usually stay closer to a standard serving (12 ounces), Palinski-Wade adds, "If you will be drinking draft beer, remember that the average size is around 20 ounces. Choosing a bottle over a draft can be helpful in sticking to a true portion size."

Beck's Premier Light

Slightly sweet, malty, and fruity, with a firm, crisp finish, Beck's Premier Light is an ideal warm-weather beer. At just 64 calories and a hearty 4.8% ABV, this dry German-style light lager has the highest alcohol by volume on this list. It stands out from other low-calorie, low-carb beers because it retains much of the taste the brand is known for. The original Beck's is made under Reinheitsgebot rules. These 16th-century German purity laws dictate that the only ingredients that can appear in beer are yeast, water, hops, and malted grains. Beck's Premier Light provides a refreshing and less filling version of the traditional European flavor.

One reviewer on Beer Advocate agrees: "This beer hits it out of the park. If you lined up 10 other light beers along with this beer in a taste test, this beer would stand alone as real beer flavor." Still, the reviewer acknowledges, "[...] if you did the same comparison with 10 other non-light German-style beers, it would finish last, but that would be unfair because this is a light beer." But, they continued, "For what this is [...] this is, by far, the best beer I have ever tasted."

It's not always easy to find Premier Light. The Safeway line of grocery stores carries this version of Beck's in some locations, but it may not be available near you.

  • Calories: 64
  • Carbs: 3.9 grams
  • ABV: 4.8%
  • Type: Lager

Corona Premier

Debuting in 2018, Corona Premier was the newest product added to the Corona line in 29 years. Two other Corona beers are considered "light," but not to the extent of Corona Premier. Corona Extra has a modest but admittedly not light 148 calories with 13.9 grams of carbohydrates. And Premiere's predecessor, Corona Light — a favorite among light beer drinkers — packs a lot of taste into 99 calories and 4.8 grams of carbs. Premier reduces that still, delivering classic Corona crispness with the fewest carbs and fewest calories (90 and 2.6 grams, respectively). With a sweet, fruit-like scent and a smooth, bright taste, Premier isn't just your average light beer.

A reviewer on Influenster agreed: "It has great flavor in comparison to other light beers. It's not watery tasting or disappointing. I used to drink Michelob Ultra when I wanted a beer, but after having Corona Premier, there's no going back." As a lager imported from Mexico, Premiere is also well-priced. To get the best taste from your Premier, squeeze some lime in and drink it while it's cold. The beloved clear-glass Corona bottles heat up quickly in the sun, adding to the beer's sweetness.

  • Calories: 90
  • Carbs: 2.6 grams
  • ABV: 4%
  • Type: Lager

Crooked Stave Sour Rosé

For a healthy beer that's off the beaten hiking trail, try Colorado-brewed Crooked Stave Sour Rosé. The secret behind this low-calorie, low-carb sour beer? Wild yeast. Particular yeast strains provide Sour Rosé with its signature flavor. Each can of ale contains a tiny bit of yeast to keep your brew at its freshest wherever and whenever you enjoy it. And while sour may be the dominant taste, you'll still find familiar beer flavors like hops and malt.

As a proper sour beer, Sour Rosé is fermented in oak casks with blueberries and raspberries. Consequently, this wild ale brew has more carbohydrates than most of the beers on this list. Still, it's one of the lowest-calorie sour beers around. Bright, bubbly, and sweet, a reviewer on Beer Advocate wrote, "This is flat out a great wild ale. Light and refreshing to the palate, it is fully berry flavored, reasonably tart, and just sour enough to keep everything in good balance."

  • Calories: 110
  • Carbs: 8 grams
  • ABV: 4%
  • Type: Wild Sour Ale

Dogfish Head Slightly Mighty Lo-Cal IPA

Since the 2010s, IPAs (India pale ales) have dominated the beer market. Fans love the rich taste and smell of citrus and pine — signature IPA flavors that come from higher concentrations of hops. But with more hops comes more harshness. Brewers use sugary carbs to counteract this bitter taste, which is why so many popular IPAs have about 200 calories per serving and around 20 grams of carbohydrates.

Dogfish Head Slightly Mighty Lo-Cal IPA clocks in at less than half the calories and over 75% fewer carbs. By using monk fruit instead of citrus juice, Slightly Mighty retains the tropical sweetness the beer needs to create that classic IPA flavor. Not only does the monk fruit give Slightly Mighty its delightful flavor, but this ancient Chinese fruit also builds the body for the pale ale. No watery light beer here. Drift away with this fruity, aromatic, and dynamic low-cal brew. You won't believe the taste or the label.

  • Calories: 95
  • Carbs: 3.6 grams
  • ABV: 4%
  • Type: India Pale Ale

Guinness Draught

There are many beers in the Guinness family, but only one Guinness Draught. Guinness is the darkest brew on this list, known for its unmistakable thick and creamy ruby-red body. Dark beer fans have long touted the light qualities of this iconic Irish stout. Sure, it has more calories than many of the other beers on this list, but for that hearty, bready Guinness experience, it's worth the splurge. Unlike many traditional light beers, Guinness Draught retains its dark, filling, full-bodied quality with less than 10 grams of carbs. It's on the higher end of alcohol content but light enough to enjoy with a daytime meal.

Guinness may even be healthier for you than other light beers. Professor of brewing sciences Charlie Bamforth told CNN that even compared to other stouts, Guinness has one of the highest levels of fiber and contains the most folate — a type of B vitamin associated with a lower risk of stroke — of all the imported beers Bamforth analyzed. Everyone can say, "Sláinte!" to that.

  • Calories: 125
  • Carbs: 9.4 grams
  • ABV: 4.2%
  • Type: Stout

Kona Light Blonde Ale

Kona Light Blonde Ale evokes the peaceful feeling of watching the sunset on a warm Hawaiian island. Made with amarillo, millennium, and mosaic hops blended with pale and caramel malts, this blonde or golden ale also contains a special ingredient: mango. Pair it with light foods like salads or cold soups, or wind down with this beer after an activity-filled day. Kona Light Blond Ale provides the bready taste you want sans that full feeling for under 100 calories.

Reviewer after reviewer remarks upon the excellent tropical taste of this low-carb beer. The light golden color, substantial head, and medium carbonation make it widely appealing, especially for a light brew. One reviewer on Beer Advocate called it "Ridiculously good for 99 calories." Another described Kona Light Blond Ale as "A nice thirst quencher. Ale flavor and bite without the heaviness." 

If you're looking for a go-to day-drinking beer, you've just found it.

  • Calories: 99
  • Carbs: 4 grams
  • ABV: 4.2%
  • Type: Ale

Lagunitas DayTime IPA

Love a crisp, light beer without the sweet taste? Crack open a Lagunitas DayTime, an understated but very drinkable IPA. Topped with notes of citrus, tropical fruits, herbs, and eucalyptus, this hop-forward beer is underscored by a blend of weightless oats and malts. The taste of DayTime is as bright as the coast of Northern California, home to Lagunitas Brewery. Fans agree that this IPA offers a lot of flavor "and still feels light and crushable," writes a reviewer on Beer Advocate.

DayTime is an American session-style IPA, meaning it was designed to be consumed during working hours. Like other drinkable, low-alcohol session beers, DayTime contains 4% ABV and is light enough to let you imbibe (slowly) all day without getting sauced while on the job. Another Beer Advocate reviewer raves that DayTime is "incredibly refreshing and chuggable [...] You could drink these all day in the heat with ease." Scratch your IPA itch with this reduced-calorie, reduced-carb beer.

  • Calories: 98
  • Carbs: 3 grams
  • ABV: 4%
  • Type: India Pale Ale


One of the most popular healthy beers around, Miller64 is the lightest of the light. You may recognize it from its pre-2012 name, MDG 64. This extra light lager stands toe-to-toe with its closest competitor, Bud Light, and does so using 16 fewer calories. Recognizable for its golden color, the aroma of straw and sweet corn, and high carbonation, Miller64 is a beer made for people who want to toss a few back without feeling guilty for overindulging.

Unsurprisingly, a beer with so few calories has a number of flavor critics. Draft Mag notes Miller64's "diluted nut-like taste" adding, "Those who enjoy drinking more robust beer flavors won't be impressed with the Miller64 alcohol percentage and light taste, as it is a bit washed down [compared to] other options." But beer lovers looking to reduce calories or carbs can't get enough. "This beer is so light and tasty," wrote one reviewer on Drizly, "not to mention that I've lost 8 pounds, and I can still have my beer." Cheers to that!

  • Calories: 64
  • Carbs: 2.4 grams
  • ABV: 2.8%
  • Type: Light lager

Shiner Weisse 'n' Easy

Since 2020, Texas-based Spoetzel Brewery has bestowed upon beer lovers a rare gift: a full-flavored, unfiltered wheat beer. True to its name, Shiner Weisse 'n' Easy is a light, sweet-and-sour beer, sweetened with Texas dewberries, cousins to blackberries. And like other wheat beers, it makes a delightful drink on a summer afternoon. It's rare to find wheat beers on a low-calorie, low-carb list because most commercially available wheat beers clock in around 170 calories. Weisse 'n' Easy offers this German-style brew at almost half the calories. 

Reach for this American-brewed pale wheat ale if you love a fruity beer. The dewberries give Weisse 'n' Easy an almost candy-like berry aroma, flavor, and taste. At the crispy, dry finish, you can also taste hints of malt and hops, making this easy-to-drink, low-calorie, and low-carb beer irresistible. A reviewer on Total Wine adds that, "if anything, it goes down way too smoothly on a hot day working outside!"

  • Calories: 95
  • Carbs: 2.9 grams
  • ABV: 4%
  • Type: Wheat

Yuengling FLIGHT

From America's oldest brewery comes Yuengling FLIGHT, the Pennsylvania company's latest reduced calorie, reduced carbohydrate beer. As with other extra light lagers, Yuengling smells and tastes a bit sweet, like corn and apples. But FLIGHT takes wing when its solid malt base mixes with "notes of lemon peel, a grind of white pepper, and a note of dried flowers [to] give the otherwise cracker-crisp beer a light lift," wrote Christopher Null of Drink Hacker.

Thanks to its clean, refreshing taste and ample carbonation, FLIGHT goes down easy. So easy, it might shock you as it did a reviewer on Beer Advocate: "Being an IPA drinker [...] FLIGHT caught me by surprise. For me, it is the most satisfying light I have ever tasted." Another reviewer warned, "Before I knew it, I had downed six while mowing the grass." Whether you're working or relaxing, choosing a healthy beer like FLIGHT means you can down a few fizzy drinks without paying for them later.

  • Calories: 95
  • Carbs: 2.6 grams
  • ABV: 4.2%
  • Type: Lager