9 'Light' Craft Beers For Summer Slideshow

Don't let swimsuit season keep you from enjoying a craft beer (or a swimsuit bod)

Narrangansett Light

Narragansett Brewing Company, Providence, Rhode Island
Calories: 114
This is a perfect replacement for those bland "lite" beers that normally show up at summer beach parties and barbecues. Actually — it's not so much a replacement as a step up. Narragansett was probably the first brewery to ever make a light beer when they made a similar beer in the 1960s. They changed the formula a bit but it's evolved well. This is a crisp and bubbly beer that will quench your thirst without making you self-conscious about your waist.

Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale

Lazy Magnolia, Kiln, Mississippi
Calories: 135
Lazy Magnolia makes beers geared toward a more genteel southern palate. While this brown ale is on the lighter side, it's still very complex and delicious. The aroma will remind you of sweet roasted nuts and the flavor that follows is sweet but balanced by a very mild hop bitterness. This is possibly the first beer ever made with whole roasted pecans rather than ground up bits of pecan and you can really detect it in the flavor. This is a great one to stock up on since it's tasty, low-cal and low in alcohol as well.

Session Lager

Full Sail Brewing Co., Hood River, Oregon
Calories: 130
Sure, it comes in a short, rotund bottle but this beer is actually pretty low in belly-bulging calories. The name says it all — it's a session lager, meaning that the alcohol is low enough that you can have more than a few in a single session without getting knocked on your butt. An added bonus to a beer like this is that low-cal benefit. Oh — and it tastes pretty good, too. You might smell a hint of grass and wheat as you take a sip but you'll taste a combination of yeasty and citrus flavors. It's a nice beer to drink even on a diet.

UnderDog Atlantic Lager

Flying Dog Brewery, Frederick, Maryland
Calories: 141
From a brewery known for over-the-top artwork and equally extreme brews, this lager is actually quite simply drinkable. This clean and rather mild lager is a great complement to a summery setting, with it's low alcohol and refreshing flavors. It features citrus fruit, hop bitterness and some sweet malt characters, including notes of honey. It can even be a great complement to delicate and diet-friendly foods, such as seafood and simple salads.

D Light Kolsch-Style Beer

Atwater Brewery, Detroit, Michigan
Calories: 135
The Detroit brewery describes their Kolsch-style brew as "easy-going" and that's a great word to use for this one. Generally, this is an easy-to-drink style of beer thanks to its light body and typically refreshing qualities. The D Light falls right into the category with their light and clean brew, punctuated by lemon zest and a bit of mineral. This is definitely something that you can reach for to quench a thirst and you don't have to worry about the calorie count too much.

Pride & Joy Mild Ale

Three Floyds Brewing, Munster, Indiana
Calories: 146
This is a really good beer! Three Floyds makes creative and innovative brews and they usually don't pay much attention to how healthy they are. And their first priority with Pride & Joy probably wasn't to get a relatively low-cal brew but that's what they ended up with. Biscuit and pine join up in the flavor profile of this beer to perfectly balance one another. The result is a refreshing and crisp brew that's also low in alcohol and easy to drink.

Saison Diego

Green Flash Brewing, San Diego, California
Calories: 135
We giggled when we saw the play on words, too. Those brewers at Green Flash have a sense of humor. But they're serious when it comes to making good beer. This saison or farmhouse-style ale has a nice amalgam of flavors, including orange zest, ginger and grains of paradise (a peppery spice). Saisons tend to feature more spice than other brews and that's what you'll find here. While an easy-to-drink beer, it's certainly not boring and it's also pretty low in calories.


Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, New York
Calories: 153
Ommegang makes beers that are inspired by Belgian brewing traditions. This witte, a beer style made primarily with wheat, is one of those Belgian-inspired beers. Not only that, it's a fresh and quaffable brew that fits in really well with outdoor drinking -- a quality we always love. It's pretty low-cal but it's also really delicious. It's spicy quality is underscored by lemon zest and notes of yeast. The mild breadyness of the beer is always nice on a hot summer day and since it's not too rough on the waistline, we definitely recommend more than one.

Schafly Pale Ale

St. Louis Brewery, St. Louis, Missouri
Calories: 132
Schlafly's flagship, this pale ale is the one they've picked to represent their company. It's a low-alcohol brew that pours with a reddish tint and features a mildly piney aroma. It's surprising how low in calories this tasty beer is. The flavors combine the sweetness of caramel with herbal and floral notes. It's well balanced and easy to enjoy when you know it's kind of healthy-ish.