Light beer, like cream ales, is typically available in every bottle store, bar, restaurant, and pub around the world. The golden glow and autumnal hues they exude make them undeniably beautiful to behold. They’re a popular drink and have been for years, but there’s more to them than just their paler colour.
Do you know what makes a light beer light? Why does it has a gorgeous golden colour? Where it originates from and what to drink with it?
We’ll try to answer all these questions – so sit back and get ready to discover everything you need to know about light beers, as well as the top ones to try this year.
Jump To a Section Below
- What Is A Light Beer? What Makes A Beer Light?
- What Is The Difference Between A Light Beer And A Pale Lager?
- How Are Light Beers Made?
- What Does Light Beer Taste Like?
- Is Light Beer Good For You?
- What Are The Absolute Best Light Beers To Try Right Now?
- What Is The Lightest Beer You Can Buy?
- What Is The Strongest Light Beer You Can Buy?
- What Is The Most Popular Light Beer In The World?
- What Foods Can You Pair With Light Beer?
What Is A Light Beer? What Makes A Beer Light?
When it comes to distinguishing light beer from other types of beer, such as dark beer, the easiest way to do this is to look at the main qualities that differentiate them. Namely, the colour, the actual flavour of the beer, the calories, and the alcohol content.
Light beer typically has a far fairer and paler colour compared to inky black or brown dark beers, while in terms of flavour, light beer is also typically less robust and intense – leading to a more refreshing experience. The term light beer also typically refers to the calorie content of the beer – and, as you guessed it, light beer is typically lower in calories than dark beers are.
Not only are the calories light, but the alcohol content of light beers tends to also be well below that of dark beer. Light beers which are low on calories and alcohol are often spelt lite by certain brands.
But regardless of how it’s spelt, it means the same thing – lighter in colour, and lighter in calories and alcohol. Although this is the exception to the rule – so if you’re counting calories or watching your alcohol intake, it’s always best to read the label or ask the barman. Don’t just assume that light means light!
What Is The Difference Between A Light Beer And A Pale Lager?
When it comes to differentiating between light beer and pale lagers, it’s hard to completely divide the two since they are both usually classed as light beer in terms of colour and flavour. However, some pale lagers tend to have a slightly higher alcohol level than most marketed light beers do, which differentiates them.
Light beers, on the other hand, usually have fewer calories in general than most pale lagers do. Otherwise, for all intents and purposes, light beer and pale lagers are virtually indistinguishable. Cream ale is one example of this since it is a mild light-bodied ale that is a delicious option if you’re interested in a light-coloured beer.
How Are Light Beers Made?
Beer making is quite standard regardless of type in the beginning, but as the brewing process progresses there are changes that affect the end result.
There are several ways to create light beer, and it truly depends on the brewery in question which method it is they use. The most common way is to add an enzyme called glucoamylase during the fermentation process of the wort. This enzyme then changes the carbohydrates left behind into a fermentable sugar that lowers both the alcohol and calories of the light beer being brewed.
Another way to create a light beer is to ensure a far longer mashing process, which will also cause the grains carbohydrates to break down into more simple sugars – as fewer carbohydrates in the beer will also lower the calories. The addition of extra water in this type of beer will also dilute the alcohol content which is what creates an overall lighter beer.
What Does Light Beer Taste Like?
Like all beer, it’s delicious! But of course, that’s not a real answer so we’ll delve a little deeper.
Light beer is typically a fruity, smooth, clean, and refreshing option. The taste will greatly vary between brewers, brands, and light beer types. Some light beers really do just taste like watered-down ales, while others have incredible flavour profiles like honey, blackcurrant, cherry, vanilla, watermelon, apples, and pears.
Cream ales are a good example of what one would expect of a typical light beer – they’ve got a better body than a larger generally does, but their taste is mostly mild, making them an easy drinking choice.
In general, light beer offers an easy way to refresh after a long, hot summer day. They are often served on hot days as they have a more summery feel and don’t have the same heaviness of cream ales. stours, porters, or some more robust lagers.
Is Light Beer Good For You?
Beer in general has a variety of health benefits that cannot be ignored – such as it assists in building strong bones, it boosts brainpower, cleans teeth, and may even reduce inflammation, to name just a few benefits of having a glass a day.
As light beer includes most of the minerals, vitamins, and trace elements that regular beers do, they contain the same benefits – and many light beers tend to have less alcohol and far fewer calories than regular beers.
Just remember that everything is good for you in moderation. The health benefits of a beer are only applicable if you don’t overindulge. You won’t enjoy any benefits if you overdo it on the drinking.
What Are The Absolute Best Light Beers To Try Right Now?
Some top light coloured ale choices include The Summer Solstice, Genesee Cream Ale, and the light-bodied Newburgh Cream Ale. If you’re after more accessible options in the USA, try one of these light beer options, you’ll be sure to recognise a few names on this list:
- Bud Light
- Busch Light
- Keystone Light
- Amstel Light
- Beck’s Premier Light
- Corona Light
- Coors Light
In the UK some of the top light beers to try are:
- Budweiser light
- Coors Light
What Is The Lightest Beer You Can Buy?
The lightest beer available to buy would be non-alcoholic light beer. These beers have the low calories and flavour of beer with no alcohol content. Top choices are Becks Non-Alcoholic Beer (0.0% ABV): Bavaria 0.0% Beer (0.0% ABV) and Coors Edge (0.5% ABV). If you’re after an alcoholic light beer, that’s low in calories, then Small Beer Lager with an alcohol volume of 2.1% per 350ml and 79 calories will foot the bill.
The Small Beer Organic IPA with 2.8% alcohol volume per 350ml and 87.5 calories is another great choice. Also, we can’t forget to mention the UK favourite, Skinny Brands Lager which has a 4% alcohol volume per 330ml and only 89 calories – this is a whopping 35% fewer calories than the other premium lagers available on the market.
What Is The Strongest Light Beer You Can Buy?
The strongest light beers tend to have alcohol volumes of around 4 – 5 % and include top beer brands such as Milwaukee’s Best Light, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra, and Miller Lite which all have an alcohol content of 4.2 – 4.5%. This is still relatively low, but if you were expecting lower, they have a good kick!
What Is The Most Popular Light Beer In The World?
According to YouGov, the American government statistics website, the most popular light beers in America currently are (in order) Heineken, Miller Lite, Corona Light, and Bud Light. If you go according to the website Statista, however, then Budweiser would be the most popular and most sold beer brand in the world.
What Foods Can You Pair With Light Beer?
Thanks to the variety of pale and light beers around, you’ll be able to pair most light beers with dishes such as creamy pasta, chicken with herbs, fresh salad, and oily fish dishes with ease. The dishes listed tend to be well-balanced by the bright, hoppy flavours of light beer that has just a hint of bitterness to it.
Light beers are preferred around the world during balmy evenings, hot summer days, and as a thirst quencher at the pub. With our preference for light beer including Heineken, Carling, and Bud Light, and any kind of cream ale, we’re certain that you’ll find a light beer that you’ll enjoy during the warmer months.
Next time you need a lighter drink and still want a beer, give a light beer a try. You may well find a new favourite drink or at least one that’s ideal for those warmer days!