What is Light Beer?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 10 February 2020
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Light beer is beer that has been brewed in a special way to reduce the overall alcohol or caloric content, and in some cases both. Many people drink it because they enjoy the flavor, or because they believe that it is less unhealthy than regular beer. Other beer consumers are dismissive of light beer, arguing that it has a disagreeably thin flavor and it is not, in actuality, that much healthier than ordinary beers.

Most light beers are brewed as pale lagers like Pilsner, a traditional Czech lager. Originally, these beers were meant to have a lower alcohol content so that people could enjoy several without feeling intoxicated. They were often designed for casual drinking; some people call them “lawnmower beers” in a reference to the habit of drinking one or two after a day working in the yard. Over time, people began to demand low calorie versions of beer, and those in the sense of “light on calories” arose.


There are several ways to make beer light. Higher fermentation temperatures tend to cut down on alcohol content, as will various techniques for handling the barley mash that is fermented to make the beer in the first place. Some brewers also use ingredients like rice and wheat in their beers to make them lighter. The other option is the addition of enzymes that will break down substances in the beer known as dextrins. Dextrins are not fermentable; they retain their structure through the brewing process, adding mouthfeel, texture, and a rich aroma. By breaking the dextrins down, brewers can reduce the caloric content of the beer.

These steps may not always make much of a difference in the caloric content of beer. As a result, some brewers actually water down their beers to dilute the caloric value and alcohol content. Nutritional comparison between regular pale lagers and light beers as they are brewed reveals little difference between the two, in many cases. As one might expect, however, the practice of watering down the beer causes the flavor to become watered down as well, giving the brews a bad reputation.

Critics claim that the flavor of this type of beer is often lacking as a result of the practices used to make it light in the first place. Light beers can seem very watery, especially when they actually are watered down, and their flavors tend to be more subtle and less brassy than those of more conventional ales and lagers. Some people do genuinely enjoy this flavor, however, and drink the beer out of personal preference, rather than the perceived health value. For people who want a low-calorie alternative to beer, simply cutting down on beer consumption might be a better way to go.


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Post 5

If you consider Bud Light a beer, than you have no clue what drinking beer is all about. And if that's the case then you should continue on drinking the pseudo beers. In order to lower calorie content, a chemical process is used, thus not making a light beer any more healthy to drink.

Post 4

For me, drinking light beer is all about the taste and doesn't have anything to do with the low-calorie content. Beer is a very strong beverage I've never liked the darker beers. Many of my friends tried before, and have never been successful in getting me to drink consistently dark or stout ales.

I like the taste of light beer, it goes down easy, and it's cheap. These three reasons are probably why I will always stick to drinking light beer and I suggest that other people do to.

Post 3

Hands down, the best light beer that is available on the market is Bud Light. This classic all-American beer has been consumed for a long time and the light version of it is just as good.

Why do you think there are other tasty beers available on the market, I always drink Bud Light because it is consistently tasty. It doesn't have anything to do with the amount of advertisements that they put basically in every sport and everywhere we look, in is truly the taste of the light beer that I enjoy.

Post 2

Because of the calories than regular beer has contained inside of it, I always drink light beer. While some beer aficionados will say that light beer is a diluted and watered-down version of the real thing, in order to save myself from getting a beer belly is the only option available to.

When it comes to the best kind of light beer I've always turned to light beer reviews that are available in different types of brewing magazines period. While some light beers have the best options are looking for the lowest amount of calories, there are other light beer that are still low in calories but they actually taste a lot better than other light beer.

Post 1

When I was younger and in my days of youthful indiscretion, one could say that I was known for drinking beer. My favorite beer of yonder years was always the heaviest dark stout beers that were on the market. I always wanted something with a kick that could actually get me intoxicated in a couple of beers.

When I moved in with some other guys I found out that they were all light beer drinkers and I just shook my head. Finally I convinced them to try a dark beer and most were disgusted by the taste. By making a few smart selections on the beer isle, I was able to identify some quality beers that would still fit the taste that they could handle and we gradually worked toward darker beers. Light beers are a was of time and despite any benefit low carb light beer might give you, you can never go wrong with a dark beer.

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