Taste Test: Light Beer

by in Taste Test, June 15, 2010
The Contenders in Our Light Beer Taste Test
The Contenders in Our Light Beer Taste Test

Cold beer just tastes better during the hot, steamy summertime. Light beers get a bad wrap on the flavor front, so we tested five popular brands (including the most requested ones from our Facebook fans) to see which brew tasted best. It was a hard job, but someone had to do it! Check out how your favorite brand measured up.

The Criteria
For this taste test, we looked at five popular light beers and focused on flavor and nutritional value. Each beer was scored on a five-point scale (with five being highest).

Light beer is often characterized as less flavorful and “watered down” when compared with its full-calorie counterparts, so we wanted to see if this was true across the board.  As for the nutrition facts, all beer is naturally fat-free and contains minimal protein. It does vary in calories and carbs, so that’s what we looked at. Each beer cost the same at $1.75 per bottle, so price wasn’t a factor.

Bud Light
Rating: 3
Nutritional Info: 110 calories, 6.6 grams carbohydrates
Our Take: Bud Light was one of the higher-calorie beers, yet it tasted very watered down. Many of our Facebook fans liked Bud Light Lime, but instead of buying the lime flavor, why not slice some fresh ones for an extra shot of vitamin C?

Corona Light
Rating: 4
Nutrition Info: 99 calories, 5 grams carbohydrates
Our Take: Corona Light definitely has a refreshing and light flavor that’s not much different from the regular version. It’s typically served up with fresh lime, which makes it even more delicious.

Sam Adams Light

Rating: 4
Nutrition Info: 119 calories, 9.6 grams carbohydrates
Our Take: Our Facebook fans raved about this beer and boy, they were right. The malt taste takes over every gulp of this darker beer, which was the most flavorful of the bunch.  The only downside? It was the highest in calories.

Miller Lite
Rating: 4.5
Nutrition Info: 96 calories, 3.2 grams carbohydrates
Our Take: As the motto goes, “ Great taste..Less filling” and we agree! This delightful light beer has a thicker and fuller flavor than many of the others. It also contains the least calories and carbs. A double bonus!

Heineken Light

Rating: 3
Nutrition Info: 99 calories, 6.8 grams carbohydrates
Our Take: If you’re a regular Heineken drinker, you may be disappointed by this lager as it tastes like a watered-down version of the regular Heineken.

TELL US: What’s your favorite light beer?

Check out our other taste tests:

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio »

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Comments (44)

  1. Philip Gericke says:

    I like Beck's Light, and think it gets a bad rap sometimes in comparison tests. I'm curious to hear more about the new low-cal lights (MGB, Bud 55).

  2. Texanwaterskier says:

    I am all for Becks Light! Great tast and only 64 cals per bottle!!

  3. lam821 says:

    I really enjoy Miller Chill – it has a great lime flavor without being too much (like bud-light lime) and it only has 100 cals.

    • lisa says:

      you are absolutly right the miller lite with lemon is awesome! the lemon taste doesnt taste fake like bud lite with lemon

    • alf606 says:

      My husband and I really love Miller Chill in the hot summer while working in the yard or just cooling off after spending all day working outside. He normally likes porters or darker beer otherwise.

  4. DJ says:

    How do I get this person’s job of tasting beers?!? Bud 55 tastes pretty good for only 55 calories.

  5. @MomDarLena says:

    I've tried them all except for the Heineken Light. I would go for the Sam Adams Light or the Corona Light, though I usually just have one regular beer if I am cutting back. :D

  6. @MomDarLena says:

    forgot to add that my Mom likes Miller Light above other light beers and one son likes Bud Light. If they're good & cold I'd drink them :D

  7. Sandy says:

    MGD 64 is good also Bud 55 is good

  8. Linda says:

    Bud 55 is my favorite. Then is MGD64 followed by Miller Lite.

  9. jay.B says:

    with all this going on.ask the mfg what there alcohol is.i call miller and coors there the some company now for you that dot no.well that new mill 64 is only 2.4 alcohol and the miller lite is 4.2 per cent.think about it.ill take the full version of beer anytime.

  10. Marcia says:

    I agree with the results! Miller Lite is my low-carb/low-cal beer of choice. Since I also like the lime flavor of Miller Chill and Bud Light Lime, I sometimes add a lime wedge, and even ask for one when I have a draft in a bar or restaurant.

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