Many types of low calorie beers exist, but there is some in calorie count and flavor. In this broadly defined group, there are conventional light beers and ultra-light beers, each marketed specifically because of their low calorie content. It is also worth considering non-alcoholic beers and beers which are known for their flavor but are actually quite low in calories.
Beer contains alcohol, and alcohol contributes the majority of calories that a beer has. This means that there is a direct relation between the alcoholic content of a beer and the number of calories it has. There are additional factors, such as how sweet or full-bodied the beer is, that can influence its caloric content, but generally it is possible to estimate a beer's caloric content by learning its level of alcohol. In many countries, beer manufacturers are required to list the alcohol by volume (ABV) on each bottle or can of beer. Since alcohol is the main contributor of calories, those with a lower ABV will normally contain fewer calories.
Non-alcoholic beers are amongst the lowest calorie beers because they do not contain alcohol. Some of these beers range between 70 and 96 calories. These levels rival any of the heavily marketed low calorie beers that contain alcohol, so if drinking alcohol is not a priority but counting calories while enjoying the taste of beer is, non-alcoholic beers can be a good choice.
With calorie levels similar to non-alcoholic beers, ultra-light beers are an option for beer drinkers who want alcohol in their beer but are willing to sacrifice flavor. The low calorie levels in these beers was essentially accomplished by lowering their alcoholic content and stripping away any residual sugars that provide flavor but also hold extra calories. It is common to find beers in this category with as little as 64 calories per 12 ounce serving. A recent emphasis on lowering the amount of calories consumed has increased the popularity and availability of ultra light beers.
Since the low calorie beers boom, many brands have released their own version. It may be helpful to ask for low calorie beers at a local beer store or outlet. Beer distributors or brewing companies nearly always provide information on caloric content and can be another helpful source of information on low calorie beers.