17 Low-Carb Beer Options That Won't Ruin Your Diet

If you're following a low carbohydrate diet or going completely keto, you will probably have to make some lifestyle adjustments. While food is at the forefront of these changes, what you drink is equally important. Most people are aware that a daily soda habit will raise their sugar and consequently, carb intake, however, alcohol is just as relevant.

Spirits contain fewer carbohydrates than beer according to Everyday Health, but beer drinkers don't have to switch to the hard stuff when they want to imbibe. Thankfully, there is an entire market of low-carb beers to satisfy all types of diets. Although traditional beer is made with malted barley, hops, yeast, and water, many variations exist. Low-carb or light beers are often brewed with distinct enzymes that break down the carbohydrates into alcohol instead of allowing them to stick around as starch.

As more people become interested in reducing their carbohydrate intake and seeking out healthier options when it comes to booze, breweries are no longer only producing these alternatives as an afterthought. The market is rapidly expanding and there is a wide range of low-carb brews available, including classic lagers, amber, wheat, and fruit-flavored styles. According to Healthline, a standard beer clocks in at around 13 grams of carbs. People who follow a restricted carbohydrate diet often aim for under 50 grams per day, Harvard Health explains, which makes the following options more suitable when you're in the mood for a refreshing brew.

1. Corona Premier

Most beer drinkers are familiar with Mexican-based brewery Corona. According to Brand Finance, it is the most valuable beer brand in the world. The classic option is Corona Extra, which counts almost 14 grams of carbohydrates per bottle, according to the brewery's website. In 2018, the company chose to add Corona Premier to its lineup, apparently marketed at men over 35, Fortune explains. Beverage Daily indicates that the brand introduced it as an upgrade, for "the mature, sophisticated consumer." While the beer will surely still find its way into many rowdy college parties, Premier's flavor is a step up from its Light counterpart. Corona describes it as being sweet, crisp, and even-bodied, with fruity flavors, and notes of honey and malt.

Corona Premier certainly checks the boxes as far as having fewer calories and carbohydrates than both the Extra and Light, with 90 calories and 2.6 grams in a 12-ounce bottle (via Fortune). The alcohol content is just slightly lower than the original with 4% ABV, so consumers won't risk feeling compelled to drink more for the same effect. Whether you are just reducing your carbohydrate intake or following a keto diet, Corona Premier is a good option to keep you on track (via Sure Keto).

2. Budweiser Select

Budweiser continues to be a dominant force in the American beer market, and its legendary flagship offering is the best-selling full-strength beer in the country, per USA Today. Nonetheless, their standard beer can't be considered low-carb, so the company has developed a variety of products to cater to more customers. For a truly light experience, Budweiser offers Select 55 (aptly named for its 55 calories per serving) which only contains 2 grams of carbohydrates. However, such a light brew means less flavor and about half the ABV of a regular beer.

This is why beer drinkers looking for a lighter fix will appreciate Budweiser Select, with 3.1 grams of carbohydrates per 12-ounce serving and 4.3% ABV (via Budweiser). If you're used to the flavor of the original Bud, Select will provide all of the same taste while reducing your carb count for the day. With notes of toasted malt and hops, there's no watered-down flavor here.

3. Miller Lite

Sure, Miller Lite isn't exactly a premium beer, but it certainly does the trick when you're looking for a crisp refreshing drink to sip. It does just that while packing in only 3.2 grams of carbohydrates in a 12-ounce bottle and maintaining a standard ABV at 4.2% (via Healthine). In fact, unlike some of the brews on this list which are recent options designed with low-carb diets in mind, Miller Lite is advertised as "the original light beer," around since 1975.

Miller remarks that its aim has always been to produce a great-tasting beer that just happens to be less filling. By using quality ingredients, including "selectively chosen" crystal malt and hops, Miller Lite is light in everything but flavor. Additionally, the brewery reports only using corn syrup as an additional source of sugar for the fermentation process and emphasizes that none remains in the final product. As for flavor, the company proudly describes the pilsner as having a hoppy taste, which is perfect for anyone who loves the taste of beer and simply wants to reduce their carb count.

4. Beck's Premier Light

It's no secret that Germany is known for its above-average beer consumption as evidenced by the World Population Review, so it would follow that the country brews a well-rounded selection of beers. Among the numerous breweries, Beck's has made a name for itself in the international market. Aside from the standard fare, the company produces its Premier Light beer, with only 3.9 grams of carbohydrates and a mere 2.3% ABV per 12-ounce serving.

Keep in mind that the low alcohol level is a good quality if you want to sip on a few of these light beers without getting intoxicated, but not so great if you end up racking up carbohydrates and calories in the search for a little buzz. All the same, if you're looking for moderation on all fronts, Beck's Premier Light is a good option. Bella Online describes it as a refreshing beer, ideal for summertime sipping. Whether you have it with food or on an empty stomach, you probably won't feel the effects too quickly.

5. Michelob Ultra Pure Gold

Michelob Ultra Pure Gold is the country's first USDA-certified organic beer, but that's not the only reason why it is worth seeking out. The company website describes the taste as crisp, fresh, and boasts that there are zero artificial flavors or colors in the beverage. If you're on the low-carb path and also looking for other redeeming qualities, this beer certainly has a few. A 12-ounce bottle will increase your carb tally by a mere 2.5 grams, with a moderate 3.8% ABV.

Men's Health indicates that Michelob did indeed produce the first beer marketed as low-carb. According to Vice President of Michelob Ultra Azania Andrews,Pure Gold has a superior mouthfeel compared with their other low-carb products, giving each sip a little more heft. As Men's Health points out, the organic label might mean that this beer is more expensive than other options. However, if that sort of detail is relevant to you then you'll know organic beer is hard to come by.

6. Amstel Light

Amstel Light has been available in the USA since 1980, according to the brewery's website. The popular beer comes from the Netherlands, and while at 5 grams per 12-ounce bottle it isn't as low-carb as some of the other options on this list, Amstel doesn't shy away from being upfront with that fact. In the early 2000s the brewery designed a campaign pointing out that although Amstel Light has a higher carb count than other low-carb beers, the difference in grams is as negligible as two pretzels, whereas its flavor is incomparable and far superior (via Adweek).

As VinePair describes, the slightly bitter flavor of the lager is noticeable and reminiscent of the grains used to produce it. Consequently, if you drink beer because you love the flavor of the malted grains and hops, you'll undoubtedly appreciate that Amstel Light tastes like the real deal, even if it entails a couple more grams of carbohydrates. As long as you stick to moderation, 5 grams is still well below the carb count of a standard beer.

7. Busch Light

Busch Light is a product from one of the many brands of Anheuser-Busch, the overarching company representing "America's best-loved brewery and beers." The beer is a low-carb offering, at 3.2 grams per serving, per Busch. A longer brewing process is responsible for a decrease in calories, and ultimately produces a lighter beer for drinking. Perhaps too light. The Los Angeles Times describes it as tasting like nothing, or at the very best, Arrowhead mountain spring water. Regardless, you'll probably want to take it easy since, unlike water, the ABV hovers just over 4%.

The reviews on Beer Advocate tend towards extremes, however, though a consensus can be made that Busch Light is easy to drink, doesn't have much of a flavor, and is cheap. If you want a low-carb beer to guzzle down without breaking the bank, then consider Busch Light. Just make sure to refrigerate it so that, at the very least, it's refreshing.

8. Milwaukee's Best Light

The original advertising campaign released in 2005 focused more on what it means to be a man and less on the redeeming characteristics of the beer (via Adweek). While the notion that "A man should act like a man," would surely be contested nowadays, beer drinkers would probably still appreciate the ultimate take-home message that "light beer should taste like beer." Indeed, Milwaukee's Best Light has done well for itself, starting with a silver medal at the 2006 Great American Beer Festival.

Bella Online lists the carb tally at 3.5 grams per 12 ounces with an ABV of 4.2%, setting this brew on the higher end of the alcohol spectrum among the low-carb selection. As promised, the beer has a perceptible flavor which Bella Online describes as bitter, albeit smooth. Another point in favor of Milwaukee's Best Light is the affordable cost. Just because you're watching your carb intake, you shouldn't have to pay premium prices for a simple pleasure.

9. Natural Light

Natural Light, aka Natty Light, is not a newcomer among low-carb beer offerings. Since 1977, the decidedly light beer has been consumed across the country, according to VinePair. Nonetheless, longevity doesn't always equate with popularity, and while Natty Light is surely appreciated by budget-conscious college partygoers, it's also number one on RateBeer's list of the 50 worst beers in the world. On the flip side, the same beer also won bronze at the World Beer Cup for American-style light lagers, pointing out the subjectivity of taste (via Natural Light).

For a number of people, the path into adulthood was paved with many cans of Natural Light. Thanks to its light refreshing taste, this low-carb beer is a good option if you're day drinking on the beach and want to make it to the evening. Taking it a step further, Slate remarks that this brew is acceptable as long as you pound back dozens of them (possibly because you'll obliterate any memory of the flavor). However, if you're going to be drinking lots of beer, you could do worse on the carb count. According to the beer's website, one 12-ounce can adds 3.2 grams of carbs to your tally, with a 4.2% ABV so you won't feel like you're missing out.

10. Yuengling Light Lager 99

When a light beer is successful, the brand often aims for an even lighter profile to bring in a wider group of people. Yuengling, America's oldest brewery, sold their Light Lager for 20 years before changing up the recipe and re-branding the beer as Light Lager 99 in 2021, according to WFMZ.com. The new product was created with the aim of approximating the original flavor of the classic lager (via Yuengling). The brewery's vice president of operations Jennifer Yuengling is in tune with the everchanging market and she notes, "We listened to our fans' evolving tastes and responded by refining our Light Lager beer" (via WFMZ.com).

An amber hue and notes of caramel, malt, and hops set this light beer apart from some of its milder competitors. You'll love the smooth balanced taste as much as the mere 3.2 grams of carbs (down significantly from the 8.5 grams of carbs in the original Light Lager) per 12-ounce serving.

11. Lagunitas DayTime

Lagunitas DayTime session IPA stands in its own category since it is a low-carb IPA unlike the various lagers and pilsners listed. A common feature of IPAs is a hoppy character, and Lagunitas DayTime is no different from it's full-carb peers. According to the brewery's website, this beer counts 3 grams of carbs per 12-ounce serving, with a 4% ABV making it much easier to sip than some denser IPAs. Lagunitas Brewing explains that the beer is brewed for a longer time and at a lower temperature in order to allow more of the carbohydrates to ferment, reducing the starch content in the final product.

Being an IPA, this beer definitely packs in the flavor, and the beer's tasting notes, per the brewery, includes tropical fruit, citrus, and eucalyptus. Any IPA drinker looking for something a little bit lighter whether for dietary reasons or simply to reduce the inevitable bloating will appreciate this brew.

12. Blue Moon LightSky

If a straightforward lager isn't really your style, then you'll love the Blue Moon LightSky. This hazy wheat beer is brewed with actual tangerine peel, providing a spike of zestiness to your drink. EatThis, NotThat! suggests sipping on this tropical-flavored low-carb beer by the poolside, and undoubtedly many consumers are eager to do exactly that. The source indicates that a 12-ounce serving counts 3.6 grams of carbs and a moderate 4% ABV.

Blue Moon already has its fair share of devotees, and Max Walker a vice president at Molson Coors, which produces Blue Moon, notes that this recent release will surely expand the fanbase even further (via EatThis, Not That!). For now, the low-carb beer is packaged in a slim can which makes it an easy addition to your picnic cooler. A tantalizing fruity taste with a refreshing and crisp finish is exactly what you'll want to pair with snacks (low-carb or not!) and friends.

13. Allagash Saison

If you're all about pronounced flavors, Allagash Brewing's Saison is meant for you. According to the brewery's website, the beer is inspired by traditional Belgian farmhouse ales, intended to quench thirst with a light mouthfeel yet distinct flavor. You're not imagining the layered taste — the beer is brewed with barley, malted rye, oats, and dark Belgian sugar, plus a trio of hops that add a citrus-forward element to the beer. Thanks to such a range of ingredients, the beer has tropical aromas, spicy peppery notes, and of course, a classic malty character.

MyFitnessPal calculates 5 grams of carbs per 12-ounce bottle, placing Saison on the higher end among low-carb beers. Nonetheless, for an extra couple of grams of carbs, you'll get to enjoy a beer with fragrant and complex flavors. To each his own, but actually savoring a unique tasting beer might prevent you from overdrinking in the search for elusive flavor from an extra light beer. Plus, at 6.1% ABV, you might find that one beer is all you need.

14. Devils Backbone Bright Tangerine Ale

Devils Backbone Brewing Company refers to this tasty beer as a tangerine sparkling ale, and if that doesn't pique your fancy then hand it over! For anyone who likes a refreshing beer with a citrus tang, this brew should be on your list. According to the brewery, the gluten is essentially removed from this low calorie beer, so you can freely sip away. Not to mention, each swig is loaded with zesty tangerine flavors which will satisfy lager-fatigued palates.

Upon releasing it, the brewery invited keto drinkers to try out the lightened up beer, boasting that at 2 grams per 12-ounce serving, it was ideal for carb counters (via Twitter). Bubbly and dry, this low-carb citrus brew is an obvious choice for a refreshing drink. If you're looking for a lighter option but want to stick with a quality European-style craft beer, pour yourself a glass of Devils Backbone Bright Tangerine Ale.

15. Shiner Ruby Redbird

If you're eager to continue along the citrus path, Shiner Beer, which is brewed at the Spoetzl Brewery in Texas, presents a refreshingly satisfying option. Ruby Redbird is brewed with locally grown red grapefruits and includes a kick of fresh ginger because, why not? The lager is tart, crisp, and includes a hint of spice thanks to the added ginger. Brewbound praises the quality ingredients, variety of hops, and all around easy drinking nature of this zingy craft beer.

With only 3.1 grams of carbohydrates in a 12-ounce bottle and a 4% ABV, Ruby Redbird is easy to love whether or not you're counting carbs. If you're tired of grapefruit flavored seltzer drinks, you'll want to try out this fuller bodied yet crisp brew. Although it's certainly a great option for summertime, thanks to the ginger aromas, this citrusy beer will warm you up throughout the winter.

16. Surly Brewing Co. Rosé

If you're a beer purist then you might want to skip over this rosé wine-inspired lager from Minneapolis-based craft sensation Surly Brewing Co. However, if you're eager to try something different then stick around. According to Surly Brewing Co., the beer gets its "pink as hell" color from currants and strawberries included in the brewing process. If you like a decidedly fruity character to your beer or are having trouble deciding between rosé wine or a beer on a warm day, you'll want to give this one a shot. Thanks to well-balanced tart and fruity flavors, this beer is equally tasting and refreshing.

Not only will you not have to compromise on flavor, but with an ABV of 5.2%, you won't feel like you're drinking fruit juice. It's certainly low in carbohydrates, with 2.25 grams per 12-ounce serving, making this rosé beer a great choice for anyone who's keeping count.

17. Bud Light Next

If you're always looking forward to the newest and latest light beer option, you'll want to make a note to try out Bud Light Next at the start of 2022. The vice president of Bud Light marketing Andy Goeler told CNN Business that this upcoming offering was developed as the "next generation of light beer for the next generation of beer drinkers." The zero-carb product was designed over the course of a decade, and Goeler remarks that among those at the source of the endeavor, it was referred to as "Project Impossible."

Nevertheless, the beer is ready to hit the market so get ready to have a taste. Bud Light Next is described as being "light, refreshing, and clean" with some citrus notes — don't expect anything too unfamiliar. With a 4% ABV and zero carbs, as long as the flavor is on par with the original Bud Light, the brew should be a popular one.