The Best Light Beers To Drink In 2023

Despite the popularity of trendy alcoholic drinks like spiked seltzers and canned cocktails, beer will never go out of style. Some occasions can only be properly celebrated with a pint, whether it's enjoying a baseball game or partying it up for St. Patrick's Day. According to The Atlantic, the craft beer market exploded in the 2010s and has only continued to grow. 

People who drink beer range from novices to experts, similarly to those who know a lot about wine or other spirits. A newly turned 21-year-old college student and an expert brewmaster can agree that nothing beats a cold pint. However, since the craft beer boom, there are seemingly endless options for beer drinkers to try (even though deep down, they're all either an ale or a lager). 

One unexpected push in the beer market is the growing interest in light beer. It's difficult to classify a beer as "light," but it usually means that the can contains lower calories/carbs and a lower alcohol by volume (ABV) content than your run-of-the-mill beers. Light beers may have gotten a bad reputation for being overpriced and watered down, but brews like Miller Lite and Bud Light have become some of the most popular drinks at bars across the U.S. and beyond.  

We decided to break down the best light beers 2023 has to offer. If you're looking for something new to sip on or a low-alcohol classic to drink all summer long, we've got you covered. 

How we select the products

Contrary to popular belief, all light beers do not taste like watered-down versions of their full-flavored counterparts. There are so many different additives, brewing methods, and recipes that make up the vast universe of light beers. At Mashed, we take into consideration press buzz, online reviews, and general popularity when it comes to picking brands. We also broke down sub-categories, like beers from specific regions of the world, to make an expansive list of brews to try this summer. 

Additionally, websites like Untappd and Beer Advocate feature dozens of user reviews from at-home beer enthusiasts to help us narrow down the best of the best. Sure, there are plenty of good beers we probably missed, but the goal is to give you a wide range of popular options to help you pick something new. It's totally based on personal preference, so it doesn't mean your favorite light beer is bad because it didn't make the cut. 

Best overall light beer

If you're craving a light beer, odds are you're looking for something cool and easy to drink. It's hard to pick one that's the best, but Kona Light Blonde Ale epitomizes everything that light beer should be. Each 12-ounce can has 99 calories, 4 carbs, and an ABV of 4.2%. As for the taste, it's like sipping on sunshine itself. 

Kona Light Blonde Ale is crisp and refreshing. The brewery adds a bit of mango to the mix, giving it a subtle tropical vibe. It's one of those beers you can't go wrong having in your fridge at all times, because it's the best option on a hot day when you need to cool down from the inside out. "Enjoyable beer, easy to drink with spicy food or burgers, or sipping on a hot day," U/BroBobby70 wrote in a Beer Advocate review. Other reviews commend the balanced flavor for a beer marketed for being low in calories, which isn't always the norm. 

You can purchase a six-pack of 12-oz cans of Kona Light Blonde Ale for $9.49 at Total Wine as of April 2023. 

Best classic light beer

It'd be a shame to make a list of light beers and not include Miller Lite. It's the self-proclaimed original light beer, and it has been a staple in bars everywhere since 1975. This simple lager epitomizes the generic taste of beer. It's thirst-quenching at its finest, which makes it way too easy to mindlessly crush a few cans. 

The Chicago Tribune even broke down the reasons why Miller Lite is the superior light beer on the market, especially when compared to Bud Light, because of its light and balanced flavor. Fans on Influenster also aren't shy to sing the praises for the classic. One review wrote that it's the only beer they will drink because it doesn't have an overwhelming bitter flavor from hops. "Miller Lite Beer is always in my fridge," one review reads. "The taste and price have always been great and I will continue to keep my garage fridge packed with these." 

Miller Lite is available in a 12-pack of 12oz cans for $14.49 on Drizly as of April 2023. 

Most unique light beer

Some expressions of light beer can fall victim to tasting similar to one another even if they come from different breweries. It can be hard for an inexperienced beer drinker to distinguish one pilsner from another. One option for a pilsner that doesn't suffer for flavor while retaining a light and refreshing essence is from pFriem Beer in Hood River, Oregon. 

The 4.9% alcohol by volume pFriem Pilsner tastes like liquid honey with pleasant herbal and slightly spicy notes. The bitterness rating is low in this can, but the fun foam factor is high and adds to the drinking experience. "Taste is really interesting. A great collision between sweet and bitter," one Beer Advocate reviewer of the beer wrote. "Mouthfeel is light and crisp. Overall, a really well crafted pilsner."

A six-pack of 12-ounce cans of pFriem Pilsner sells for $12.49 at Total Wine as of April 2023.

Best low carb light beer

Lagunitas DayTime Session IPA might look like your average craft beer, but it's hiding a lighter side. It's 4% ABV, only 98 calories, and three carbs, but don't let that fool you into thinking this beer lacks flavor. It's a hop-forward blend dripping in fruity flavors, but they're all on the subtle side. In fact, Lagunitas advertises this low ABV beer as the perfect drink to grab if you still have work to finish for the day, but need a little pick-me-up. 

Laguintas DayTime is definitely not as flavorful as full-bodied beers, but that's sort of the way light beers are supposed to be. It has a more robust mouthfeel than your average light beer as well as an amazing aroma, making it a feast for the senses. "Who says a beer must be high in alcohol to be remarkable," Beer Connoisseur Owen Ogletree said in his review of the brew. 

A six-pack of 12-ounce cans of Lagunitas DayTime Session IPA is selling for $10.99 on Drizly as of April 2023. 

Best gluten-free light beer

One of the worst things that can happen to a beer lover is that they become unable to consume gluten. However, thanks to innovations like Omission Brewing Co's Ultimate Light Golden Ale, those avoiding gluten can have their beer and drink it too. Omission invented this blend in 2017 that is brewed to remove gluten. Even if you aren't avoiding gluten, you can't beat the flavor packed into a can with just 99 calories and 4.2% ABV. 

Reviews on Influenster from those gluten-free drinkers praise Omission Brewing's blend that is the perfect balance between light and hoppy. "One of the best gluten free beers out there by far," one review reads. "My wife is a craft beer snob and even she likes this beer." Beer Advocate also features taste tests from craft beer enthusiasts who still appreciate the recipe. "A great summertime ale — almost like a very light IPA overall," one review reads. 

You can purchase a six-pack of Omission Ultimate Light Golden Ale on Drizly for $10.99 as of April 2023. 

Easiest light beer to chug

If you're looking for a beer that's almost too easy to drink, Night Shift's Nite Lite is the answer. In an interview with, one of the co-founders said this beer was the brewery's attempt to make a better version of Bud Light, and they succeeded. It's an easy drinking beer that has a slight citrus taste, but it essentially tastes like the best version of any generic light beer. It has 120 calories and 4.3% ABV, so it's easy to finish a four-pack without even realizing it. 

If you're someone who hasn't experimented with trying different beers, Nite Lite is the best can to start out with. It's as approachable as your average big-brand light beer, but with a twist that will make you want to further experiment with your typical bar order. 

You can purchase a four-pack of 16-ounce cans of Nite Lite for $8.69 on Drizly as of April 2023. 

Best Irish light beer

Most people probably grab a Guinness when looking for a solid Irish beer, but it's not the best beverage to crack open outside on a hot day. Luckily, the Guinness brewery offers the next best thing with its Harp Irish Lager. It contains 5% ABV and tastes like a beer you can drink forever. Unlike the stout, this is thirst-quenching, meaning that a six-pack will likely not go to waste in your fridge. It's your typical lager, but with a bit of added sweetness that brightens it up even more. Be warned: This is a beer best served cold. Well, aren't they all? 

Reviews on Beer Advocate indicate that this is a popular pick among those looking for something that's easy to crush. "Super easy to drink and good if you're planning on having a couple," one review reads. Additionally, The Beerly's review commends Harp Irish Lager for being consistently good. It may seem like a no-brainer, but it sucks to get the same drink from different places and have them taste like two different blends. With Harp Irish Lager, every bottle is near exactly the same.

As of April 2023, a six-pack of 12-ounce bottles of Harp Irish Lager is on sale for $10.49 on Drizly. 

Best Japanese light beer

If you've ever eaten at a Japanese steakhouse or sushi restaurant, Sapporo Premium was probably on the menu, whether you noticed it or not. It's one of the most popular Japanese-American beers on the market thanks to its versatility. Sapporo Premium is a refined Japanese lager that's the perfect accompaniment to a delicious meal. It's a bit dry and has a slight hoppiness, but it's subdued enough to keep it refreshing.  At just 4.9% ABV, it's a perfect light option, even for non-beer drinkers. "Though I do tend to avoid drinking beer because of this heaviness if I'm going to drink anything it'll be Sapporo," one Influenster review reads. 

Many other reviews suggest that most people try this for the first time at a Japanese restaurant, either straight-up or as part of a sake bomb. Those who have tasted it say it pairs perfectly with sushi, dumplings, ramen, and anything with teriyaki sauce, so it's one of those beers that's a no-brainer because it's always going to be good. 

Total Wine is selling six-packs of Sapporo Premium for $8.99 as of April 2023. 

Best Mexican light beer

Mexican lagers are always no-brainer beer picks for beach weather, and one light option in both calories and the alcohol content is the classic Dos Equis Lager Especial. It's a 4.2% alcohol by volume pilsner that, like many mainstream Mexican lagers, tastes even better with a wedge of lime squeezed inside. Dos Equis Lager is light enough to be easy to drink a few in one sitting, but still flavorful enough so that you don't get bored quickly if you spend a nice day sipping on a six-pack. 

One 12-ounce can of the Dos Equis lager contains 131 calories so it's still lighter than a heavy craft beer. "I'm not a beer drinker. I don't care for most beers. But on a hot summer day, when I'm outside grilling, an ice cold Dos Equis hits the spot," one Drizly customer wrote in a review of the lager. 

Drizly sells a 12-pack of Dos Equis Lager Especial for about $18.99 as of April 2023. 

Best Belgian-style light beer

Allagash White is the beer for Blue Moon drinkers who need an upgrade, according to Gear Patrol. This Belgian-style wheat beer is actually brewed in Maine, but it's become the gold standard for craft light beer. Allagash White has a light grainy taste accompanied by notes of coriander and Curaçao orange peel. It comes in at 5.2% ABV, so it's the ideal light beer for craft beer drinkers who need to expand their palates beyond IPAs. 

Interestingly enough, Allagash Brewery recommends flipping the beer over before opening it, swirling it gently for 10 seconds, flipping it upright, and then cracking it open to "rouse the beer's yeast." It's far from your average light beer, but one definitely worth trying if it's sold in your state. It is also an ideal partner for a wide variety of light dishes like chicken or fish, so you can learn more about pairing brews and food. 

As of April 2023, a four-pack of 12-ounce cans of Allagash White are being sold on Drizly for $11.19.

Best American light beer

Lucky Envelope Brewing from Seattle, Washington, proudly makes a line of what it has dubbed "Culturally Inspired Beer" with a wide variety of flavors in the lineup. As you might expect, that includes plenty of flavorful and creative beers that are more than worth your time. However, if you're set on drinking light beer, Lucky Envelope's Lite American Pilsner is one that you can't go wrong with. The seasonal 4.4% beer is a triple-hopped lager that has plenty of malty notes while remaining light and bright. The Lite American Pilsner is a little bit sweet but with undeniable bready notes that aren't typical for a light beer. "What a shiny and bright beer. Crisp and refreshing with a lot of floral notes and a clean finish," one Untappd user wrote in a review of the brew. 

Lucky Envelope Brewing sells its Lite American Pilsner seasonally in four-packs, so keep up with the brand on Instagram in order to purchase the next release.

Best Hefeweizen light beer

Germany has no shortage of good beer, especially considering the country's rich history of brewing. That's why when looking at all the classic wheat beers on the market, it's only right to go with one that's been around longer than the rest. Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier is your typical German wheat beer, except that it's brewed in the world's oldest continuously operating brewery. A beer that's been around since 1040 has been able to withstand the test of time, and that alone makes it worth trying at least once. 

This beer is full of notes of cloves and banana, tantalizing you to take a sip. It's a bit higher ABV at 5.4%, but it's so crispy and refreshing that you won't even notice the alcohol. It's a simple beer crafted expertly, which reflects its long-standing history as being a brew that will never go out of style.

At the time of this writing, a six-pack of Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier sells for $13.99 on Drizly.

Best wheat light beer

If you can't get enough light wheat beers in your summer rotation, try out Great Lakes Brewing Company's Crushworthy Lo-Cal Citrus wheat. This can is bursting with flavors of orange and lemon, rounded out with a nice yeasty beer taste. Each can has 4% ABV and 105 calories, so it lives up to its name of being easy to crush. 

In the summertime, Great Lakes Brewing features other flavors of Crushworthy, like lemon-lime and watermelon. Even if you're not a huge fruity beer person, the original Crushworthy isn't overpowering with citrus or sweetness. Rather, it's the perfect hint to brighten up the beer. Crushworthy is really great for people who need a break from drinking spiked seltzers. Brew Bound praised the beer for its low-calorie appeal without sacrificing its depth of flavor. 

A six-pack of Great Lakes Crushworthy sells for $8.99 on Total Wine as of April 2023. 

Best lager

If you're a die-hard Miller Lite or Coors Light drinker, mix things up by purchasing a six-pack of Blue Point Brewing's Shore Thing lager. It's a simple light beer, with just 4.5% ABV, but funky flavors that mix things up. This beer is like the beach in a can, thanks to the hint of sea salt in the blend. Also, drinking this beer technically counts as a charitable act. Blue Point donates a portion of Shore Thing proceeds to nonprofits with clean-water initiatives. It's that simple to enjoy your beer and make a difference at the same time. 

The Sporting Brews review compares the flavor of Shore Thing to a soft pretzel, thanks to notes of salt and bread. It has a bit of a sour finish, which rounds out the brew nicely. And while Sporting Brews says it has the drinkability of more mainstream American lagers, it has a little something extra flavorwise that helps it stand out. It's one of those rare cans that packs a lot of flavor into a subtle and light brew, which is worth trying. Reviews on Beer Advocate also praise the welcomed surprise of a low price tag for this craft lager

Blue Point Shore Thing is available for $18.49 for a 15-pack on Total Wine as of April 2023. 

Best pale ale light beer

While it's technically a hazy pale ale, Harpoon's Rec League is a must-try beer for the summer. Don't be like one reviewer on Beer Advocate who waited too long to discover this hidden gem. "A little PO'd at myself for not finding this in the heat of the summer," the review reads. Harpoon Rec League has 120 calories, 10 carbs, and 4% ABV. It's definitely light and refreshing, with notes of mango, grapefruit, and papaya prominent. It's juicy with mild hops, like a good hazy should be, but it also feels lighter than most of the other options on the market. 

As Beerstreet Journal points out, the ingredients in Rec League sound like they belong in a sporks drink or a artisanal smoothie rather than a beer. The website mentions buckwheat kasha, chia seeds, and sea salt as a few. This light beer might sound intimidating, but it results in a simply delicious beer meant for a hot summer day. 

Harpoon Rec League comes in a four-pack of 16-ounce cans and is selling for $9 on Total Wine as of April 2023. 

Best pilsner

Pilsners are light beers that can often fall victim to being one note and bland. If they're usually a brew you avoid at all cost, let Victory Brewing Company's Prima Pils try to change your mind. This is a crisp and light pilsner, but with complex flavors thanks to citrus notes and German hops. It's slightly fruity, slightly floral, and completely easy to drink a few without even realizing it. Prima Pils also comes in at 5.3% ABV, so it's pretty high when it comes to light beers. 

Beer Connoisseur's review of Victory's Prima Pils sings praises for this simple, yet expertly executed beverage. It's one of those beers that you'll be glad to see on the brew list at a bar or a concession stand at a baseball game. Beer and Brewing's review also points out that it's a pilsner that channels the flavors of an IPA, just in a subtle and dry way that isn't overpowering. 

A six-pack of Victory Prima Pils bottles is selling for $12.99 on Drizly as of April 2023. 

Best fruited light beer

Fruit beer is a category that's usually a hit or a miss. Some people may like fruit-forward beers as puckeringly sour and sweet as possible. However, as a review from Paste Magazine of Hell or High Watermelon wheat beer, it doesn't fall victim to tasting like the liquid version of a Jolly Rancher candy. Luckily, 21st Amendment Brewery put just the right amount of fruit in its beer, and the recipe is an absolute knockout. 

This seasonal beer is available from April through September, so it's a must-try this summer if you see it at your local liquor store. Hell or High Watermelon lives up to its name thanks to the perfect amount of watermelon puree in the mix. The notes of wheat help balance the sweetness of the fruit, and the beer comes in at 4.9% ABV. It's the perfect beverage to accompany a summer picnic or barbecue, as Beer Connoisseur's review states. 

21st Amendment's Hell or High Watermelon wheat beer is available in a six-pack for $10.29 on Drizly as of April 2023. 

Best hazy IPA

Hazy IPAs, also known as New England IPAs, are the perfect bridge for craft beer newbies. Somehow, despite having 6.8% ABV, Samuel Adams Wicked Hazy is shockingly light and juicy. It's full of fresh fruit notes, like mango, peach, and pineapple, and resembles alcoholic orange juice. It's as smooth as can be, but still has the right amount of hops to ease you. It's not the absolute best hazy IPA on the market — there are way too many to choose from. However, this is a widely available option that will always be a crowd-pleaser. It's perfect for enjoying a higher alcohol beer on a hot day while still quenching your thirst. 

Reviews from folks on Beer Advocate commend the crispness of an ice-cold Wicked Hazy. "Best feel of just kicking back and cracking one open than of any other beer I've had. A pleasant surprise," one review reads. 

As of April 2023, you can purchase a six-pack of 12-ounce cans of Samuel Adams Wicked Hazy on Total Wine for $11. 

Best light IPA

It might seem like an oxymoron to classify a beer as both a hoppy India Pale Ale and a light beer, but there are a few expressions that fit the bill. One classic option is Cigar City Brewing's Jai Low IPA from Tampa, Florida. The year-round beer has tropical notes that keep it bright with maintaining the hops you would expect from an IPA. It's a light beer by nature, containing 4% alcohol by volume per serving and 120 calories per can. 

"Overall a surprise in the quality of this pale ale hiding as a light/session IPA," one Beer Advocate user wrote. "Very drinkable and much better than most session IPAs as the maltiness counters the lighter flavor." Another reviewer on Beer Advocate wrote, "Beautiful beer that looks similar to its big brother. The nose features ripe tangerine and grapefruit, and those notes translate to the taste, with a bit of bready malt added for balance and body. Good stuff."

A six-pack of Cigar City Brewing's Jai Low IPA sells for $11.99 on Total Wine as of April 2023. 

Best light blonde ale

A blonde ale is a golden ale typically brewed in what's called American style that is characteristic of the color in its name. It's usually light, slightly citrusy, and oh-so-easy to drink, which is why Shiner Light Blonde is a great expression. The 4.2% alcohol by volume beer is available year-round for anyone who prefers to drink light beer regardless of the weather outside.

Shiner's light beer has just 99 calories and 3.8 grams of carbs per serving, making it another health-conscious option for those watching their diets. Shiner Light Blonde has been around since 2011 for a reason — it's a crowd-pleasing beer that never gets old. The brew is the epitome of the saying that if something's not broken, there's no need to fix it. It's a must-try if you have never had a sip before. "Delicious and perfect for hot weather. Only 99 calories per bottle! Tastes great," one Drizly customer wrote in a review. 

Drizly sells a six-pack of Shiner Light Blonde ale for $10.74 as of April 2023.