Beer Banter

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The Craft Drinker's Guide to Lightening Up Your Beer Choice

The Craft Drinker's Guide to Lightening Up Your Beer Choice

The Holidays have come to a close, and as you're sifting through the leftovers from holiday parties, you're coming to the realization that you need to start thinking about New Year's Resolutions. Weight loss and staying fit/in shape are consistently among the top of the list of resolutions every year. While you may want to start watching your figure, you don't have to give up on your favorite craft beers. Here are a few simple tips to help you choose beer styles that won't throw off your new weight loss regiment.

Beers with Low ABV

Typically, the lower the alcohol by volume is in a beer, the less calories in it. You start with less sugar, meaning that you have a lower gravity and the yeast produces less alcohol. Think session IPAs or Gose style beers. Both of those styles are not lacking in flavor, so they will quench your need for a beer without packing on the calories.

Sour Beers

Sour beers, on top of being trendy and a common choice for hop heads that are experiencing palate fatigue, also have a low residual sugar level. Because sour beers rely on different strains of bacteria to both ferment and sour the liquid, they often have less caloric content. Plus, many sour beers are fermented with lactobacillus, which is a probiotic!

Gluten Free Beers

While it is inconclusive that removing gluten from your diet as a means of weight loss, it is still a huge fad in the fitness industry. Since removing gluten from your diet eliminates many of the complex carbohydrates that can make you feel sluggish and cause weight gain. Unfortunately, many of those same complex carbohydrates are also pivotal for creating a flavorful malt bill in a beer. However, many craft brewers have found creative ways to use gluten free grains to brew delicious beers without gluten. Some breweries have even started to remove the gluten from conventionally brewed beers that, while they are not good for individuals who are extremely sensitive to gluten, can be a good option for folks looking to reduce their gluten consumption.

Go To Beers for Your New Year's Diet

There are plenty of ways to still enjoy craft beer while watching your figure. Here are a few great beers that are low in calories, but not low in flavor!

Guinness Draught - while many people think of Guinness as a thick, heavy beer, Guinness Draught is actually one of the lightest beers you can consume! It has less calories than most American Standard Lagers (like Coors Banquet) 125 calories.

Ballast Point Even Keel - this session IPA from one of California's hottest breweries is both low in alcohol and calories, but packs a nice hoppy punch 114 calories.

Sierra Nevada Otra Vez - this is a year round Gose from one the craft beer industry's trail blazers. It's brewed with prickly pear and wheat malt, making it a crisp, refreshing and slightly tart beer to keep your palate satisfied without tacking on too many extra calories 139 calories.

Brooklyn 1/2 Ale - a Session saison, so it is both low in alcohol and high in flavor. It's use of Sorachi Ace hops gives it a punch of lemongrass and citrusy flavors 102 calories.

Steadfast Pale Ale or Golden Blonde Ale - a totally gluten free brewery, Steadfast is also local. They have made a point to brew beers that are to style using fully gluten free ingredients and are 200 and 165 calories respectively.

New Belgium Glutiny Pale or Golden Ale - gluten removed beers from one of the country's most well recognized and loved breweries 160 calories.

Long Trail Ale - an alt bier from one of Vermont's largest breweries, this flavorful ale only has 138 calories per 12 ounce serving!

Matt Zaloga
Matt Zaloga

Matt Zaloga (aka Bow Tie Matt or Matty) is a man who is after the epitome of sensory experiences. Whether it be tasting the latest and greatest beer, testing out a new culinary experience or checking out a new band, his search for anything to excite and mystify his senses is never ending. Matt is as comfortable at home in the kitchen as he is out on the street, ensuring the public is well stocked with finely brewed liquid. You can find him wherever there is good food, tunes, and of course, great beer! Just look for the bow tie!

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