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. josienutter says:

    I much prefer Redhook Slim Chance to any of the beers listed here. It has far more favor – closer to a witbier than a simple lager.

  2. George says:

    What about alcohol content? Does light beer have less?

  3. kginsu says:

    Miller lite? are you kiddin me? come on people, we have better taste buds than that. Heineken and Corona lite are the best.

  4. Belinda says:

    I like Abita light beer but you’ll have to make a trip to New Orleans, LA (LA brand..)

  5. It would also be interesting to know Acohol % compared to the calories and carbs too!

  6. steve coutee says:

    miller light beer the best over all

  7. Gabe says:

    Try Tecate Light with a twist of lime….

  8. Jeanie says:

    For us ladies………..a "Shandy"……Sam Adams Light stands up to Ginger Beer (when you can get it).. Ginger Ale is a so-so substitute.

  9. guest says:

    ? The Original does not have any HFCS in the ingredients and has 0g of sugar. I love the Original and use to combine with other cereals or mix in with my cottage cheese and or yogurt.

  10. Can't believe amstel light wasn't included in the taste test. Easily my favorite light beer. Actually has some semblance of flavor.

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