The Best Low Calorie Craft Brews

So you want to get in better shape... but you also like drinking beer.

Ok, so beer definitely isn't good for you. But getting down to fighting weight doesn't mean you've got to resort to watery "light" beers, or give up the stuff entirely.

Your biggest enemy is alcohol, which is what carries most of the calories in any given brew. And unfortunately, that means heavy-hitting IPAs and imperial stouts are out. A 16oz can of 8% ABV Heady Topper clocks in at 320 calories, and a single 12 ounce bottle of the hugely boozy, 14% ABV Bourbon County Stout packs 450. They're both delicious beers, but damn.

Luckily, there are plenty of mouthwatering craft beers with low ABVs that pack tons of flavor but won't do too much damage to your waistline.

Stone Levitation Ale

4.4% ABV, 132 calories

For such a low ABV, this amber ale packs a surprising amount of in-your-face flavor. Unlike most of Stone's lineup, this won't hit you with a palate-busting dose of hops, but the idea is still there with a bit more bitterness than you'd expect from the style. The lightly roasted malt flavor is offset by enough citrus-y hop presence to please any IPA devotee.

Brooklyn 1/2 Ale

3.4% ABV, 102 calories

Brooklyn's relatively new saison was originally conceived to comply with Swedish laws that limit beer sold in grocery stores to 3.8% ABV or lower, but it's now available stateside, too. Which is great, because it drinks like a younger brother to their knockout Sorachi Ace -- crisp and lemon-y with just a little bit of spice.

The Bruery Hottenroth

3.1% ABV, 93 calories

Berliner Weisse, an old school German style, is perfect for low calorie drinking. That's because while the ABV usually hovers around 3%, it packs a lightly tart note that gives off plenty of unique flavor without being too heavy. The Bruery's version is especially good, with a dry, subtle lemon taste and just enough sour flavor to make things interesting.

Uinta Baba Black Lager

4.0% ABV, 120 calories

Unlike your standard lager, this one uses deeply roasted malts to pack in a darker and more toasty flavor. But despite the dark malts, it's impressively smooth and sip-able, with a post workout-friendly ABV.

Sierra Nevada Kellerweis

4.8% ABV, 144 calories

Rather than the carefully controlled fermentation process of most beers, this stuff uses "open" fermentation -- basically, exposing the beer to open air as the yeast works its magic. That imparts a unique depth to the spicy and fruity hefewizen notes in the brew, adding up to a big punch of flavor that still won't wreck your diet.

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